Opinion: Family means more than politics

Nicholas Hunter

Nicholas Hunter

Thanksgiving break has just ended. With finals just a couple weeks away, winter break is fast approaching.

Throughout this break, I have seen pictures of friends seeing family and enjoying a real meal for the first time in months, putting up Christmas decorations, going Black Friday shopping and generally enjoying this tease for winter break.

What I’ve also seen is a lot of people expressing worry about going home. Mostly because they’re worried about talking politics.

Over the past year, political lines have been drawn harder than ever and one of the hardest lines seems to come with generation gaps. My older family members constantly bemoan that young people “just don’t understand,” and the idea of the offensive uncle at the dinner table has turned into a meme of its own.

I understand how deep politics have cut this year. Many people are still reeling after this election, and tension and anxiety can be produced by just saying the word “politics.”

So, as hard as this may sound, I am asking everyone to consider leaving politics out of the conversation this holiday season.

To me, the holiday season is an opportunity to leave school responsibilities behind and enjoying time with friends and family back home. It’s a time to celebrate love for one another and enjoy the company of people you no longer see all the time.

When the subject of politics comes up, it rarely leads to a wholesome, loving moment. It can result in nasty fights with loved ones and — especially when you already know someone’s views — rarely leads to a productive conversation. That time can be much better spent sharing stories and laughing together.

If you can manage to sit down with that offensive uncle and have a real conversation about feelings and points of view, that is wonderful. But spending the entire month back home arguing with one relative after another can easily spoil what is supposed to be a break from stress.

When you first get home, talk to your family. Tell them that, yes, you know that you disagree with something, but that’s not what’s important now.

What is important is spending the time you have with people productively. Enjoying what a great storyteller your crazy uncle can be is much better than getting in a shouting match with him.

Nicholas Hunter is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].