The holidays are a wonderful way to reconnect with friends and relatives, and a great time is usually had by all. There are a few things that can derail Christmas, however, and politics is definitely one of them. America is in an incredibly divisive place at the moment, and politics is usually at the heart of these disagreements. Relatives berating each other over their political views is not pleasant at any time of the year, but especially unfortunate during the Yuletide season.
You can lay down a politics ban at Christmas, if you want. However, if the subject does still come up, here’s what you can do:
Encourage Everyone to be Open Minded
One of the downsides of social media is that people can easily cocoon themselves in discussions that only include others who agree with them. Thus, dismissal of the opposite side is now almost an automatic reaction, and being open-minded has become a challenge for some.
If you have attendees on opposite sides of the political spectrum and the conversation is starting to turn sour, politely suggest that everyone take the time to consider each viewpoint.
Have the Political Discussions Before the Drinks
Alcohol has a way of loosening people up which can make for a good time. Unfortunately, it can also cause people to lose their inhibitions to the point where common sense and decorum also disappear. That can cause a simple conversation to degenerate into name calling and yelling. If at all possible, suggest that everyone put politics behind them by a certain point in the day, and then serve the drinks.
Try to Keep Certain People Apart
This is not a particularly desirable alternative, but you might have to, should problems continue.
Not in Front of the Children
Another last-ditch strategy. It may not stop the arguing, but it might at least tone down the language people use.