Thanksgiving and Politics – Difficult Decisions

It’s hard to tamp down the overheated rhetoric of this ever-so-divisive election. Suddenly, the holidays are upon us and we aren’t even sure if we can bear to spend a whole day with certain family members. I see some online friends struggling with this. Here are some of the concerns and some solutions they’re going to try.

Online meme about Native Americans and undocumented immigrants.

M.L. has a great idea for Thanksgiving: “A tasty protest. If you feel obligated to have Trump supporting family members over for Thanksgiving. Do what I’m going to: have a Global Thanksgiving. No turkey here, just delicious food from all the countries and ethnicities that make up my community and my circle of friends.”

Another friend said, “This is great because you can feel good about it either way: if they like it, you’ve taught them the value of understanding people who are not the same as them. If they don’t like it, you get to smirk into your napkin as they shift uncomfortably in their seats and muddle through the meal.”

S.B.K. added an idea to expand on this, “I suggest that you play a soundtrack of world music while everyone is eating. Putumayo World Music puts out some fabulous albums.”

Someone suggested posting a sign at the door, “Politics not spoken here.”

B.H. had this perspective, “We have two options for dealing with Trump supporters in our family during the holidays:

A) Have the difficult conversations.

Don’t make it easy. Don’t fear making them uncomfortable. Part of the reason Trump was elected was because many white people, myself included, have not been having the difficult conversations with other white people. The old mantra of not bringing up politics or religion is dead. Bring it up. Make them squirm. Look up resources for having productive difficult conversations and practice as a family what you will say. If you’re thinking “I don’t want to ruin Thanksgiving” think about the LGBTQ youth who have been kicked out of their homes and might be without shelter in Trump’s America. Think about the undocumented people currently in detention centers. We need to sacrifice our own comfort to make the world a better place for them.

B) Don’t go/Don’t welcome.

We didn’t uninvite my in-laws to Thanksgiving, but we told them that we were deeply unhappy with them and didn’t really want to break bread with Trump supporters right now, so they uninvited themselves. These people voted for Trump because the bad stuff doesn’t affect them. Make them recognize actions have consequences. Make it affect them. A vote for Trump was a hateful act. The price should be your company and affection.

I recognize if you’re married to a Trump supporter these suggestions might not be possible, but I hope they are useful for confronting parents/siblings/cousins etc. Strength to you all as we navigate a difficult time together.”

V.B. is bypassing Thanksgiving with relatives, “I hope to go to the soup kitchen and serve. I want to give this year. I have a lot and more than enough to be thankful.”

A.L.B. has used these instructions in the past and it certainly seems appropriate for this election year Thanksgiving. “I actually post the ‘annual house rules’ when I invite everyone, since I do have friends of all types. It includes a ‘rule’ as follows: 3- My friends are diverse. They come in all colors, sizes, ages, ethnic groups, religious beliefs, political affiliations, orientations and with all kinds of hobbies/interests/passions. Negative energy or negative/inflammatory conversations of any kind are forbidden. I will toss out offenders. It’s my party, my favorite holiday and my house. Deal with it.

A lot of people are dreading Thanksgiving next week. If you find yourself with your stomach in knots,  then perhaps you need a new version of the holiday and not the same old family gathering.


Topics for Thanksgiving Week

Pilgrim Costume for Thanksgiving Pilgrim Costume for Thanksgiving
This looks great for a Thanksgiving pageant or a school history program. Wouldn’t it be fun for the children to dress in pilgrim costumes to read poems at t…
Thanksgiving Decor - Table Runners Thanksgiving Decor – Table Runners
A Thanksgiving table runner sets the tone for the holiday table decoration. When it’s time for the big turkey feast, you’ll want the table to look extra spe…
Place Card Holders Thanksgiving & Other Holidays Place Card Holders Thanksgiving & Other Holidays
A well-dressed table sets the stage for a festive family gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Valentine’s Day table complete with special place card…
Updated 8 days ago | place card holderschristmas table
Walking Off Thanksgiving Calories Walking Off Thanksgiving Calories
At Thanksgiving, people usually remove all restraints from their eating. Indulging in extra helpings of mashed potatoes, pecan pie and other holiday delights…
Updated 18 days ago | overeatingcalorie counter
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
  The stores stock up on canned cranberry sauce, chilled whipped topping, and other quick fix foods to simplify the Thanksgiving Day preparations. Actually,…
It's Turkey Day It’s Turkey Day
Americans sometimes refer to the Thanksgiving holiday as “Turkey Day” because of the emphasis on the big turkey dinner. Of course, the holiday is so…
Holiday Writing Triggers for Family Memories Holiday Writing Triggers for Family Memories
Following the calendar, I’ll give memory prompts to start you writing about long ago holidays. It’s important to write down these memories to save for your…

Thanksgiving Decorating

Nature celebrates the harvest season and cooler weather with a burst of color. Bring some of that color inside your home to enjoy. Here are ways to do that.

Pick up a few pieces each year after Halloween and Thanksgiving when autumn leaves, pumpkins, gourds, chrysanthemums, and other traditional fall decor goes on sale. Even jack-o’-lanterns can be used beyond Halloween if the back view is a plain pumpkin. Just turn it around. Over the years you’ll build up a good-sized selection to fit your seasonal decorating needs.

Store the items in a large bin with heavier items on the bottom and more fragile items like silk flowers and leaves on the top. Bring out the bin when it’s time to decorate for fall.

Look around for areas to enhance with the fall items. Fill the traditional places like mantels and tabletops. Add a swag or wreath to the front door. Don’t be shy with the groupings and colors. Put enough pieces together to catch the eye.

I like to change the feel of my entertainment unit with the seasons. By creating autumn vignettes on each shelf, it makes a colorful wall in the living room.

As Thanksgiving draws near, add some pieces that relate to that holiday’s traditions. Think turkeys, pilgrims and cornucopias.

Decorate outside the home too with corn shocks, pumpkins, and scarecrows.

Tips & Warnings If you use candles, be sure they are set apart from anything that could catch fire (silk flowers, leaves, etc.).

Wild Turkey

Solivita, FloridaSomeone needs to tell the turkeys in my neighborhood that it’s almost Thanksgiving. They had better make themselves scarce. As you can see, it’s well-fed and would make a nice holiday meal.

Of course, with frozen turkey on sale at Wal-Mart for 89 cents a pound, it’s hardly worth trying to capture one of these wild ones. Just think of trying to get all those feathers off.

I made several Squidoo lenses for the holiday. One is called An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving and the other is It’s Turkey Day.

I Love Holidays

At the moment, I’m decorating the house for our annual St. Patrick’s Day party.  Before long, everyone will be in the mood for Easter.   Whatever the holiday, it gives a lift to our routine lives.  I think everyone loves holidays.

Here are my articles on eHow about the different holidays:









More eHow Articles from the Family

Keep checking Mom’s articles on eHow.  She has added the following topics: How to Make Clothespin Reindeer Ornaments …How to Make Whipped Topping from Non-Dairy Creamer …How to Make a Snowman from a Brick …How to Make a Candy Cane Reindeer …

She added twelve articles in November as well.  If you have any special requests (recipes, crafts, family history), she will probably write it up.  Just ask her.

Ginger has some new ones too.  She’s added: How to Make a Star Ornament from a Paper Bag …How to Decorate a Golf Cart for Christmas …How to Make Snow Flakes Online (this was a favorite site of Shannon’s) …How to Quit Obsessing Over Bad Economic News …How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and a host of other topics.

Thanksgiving is almost here

Wild Turkeys in Our Neighborhood
Wild Turkeys in Our Neighborhood

When the holiday comes around, I like to reread Mom’s account of Thanksgiving in the 1930s.  It’s posted at both eHow and on Our Echo.  Then I read my 1960s version of a Martin Thanksgiving.  That should put us in the mood.    Mom has her giblet gravy recipe posted on eHow as well.  For decoration, you can try her article on How to Make a Fall Pumpkin from a Dryer Vent Hose.

The Ross family gets everyone out walking after the big Thanksgiving dinner.  That inspired me to write: How to Walk Off Thanksgiving Calories .

You might also enjoy my article, How to Spread Good Feelings All Year.