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How to Avoid a Polarizing Political Catastrophe During the Holidays

Holidays can be very tough for those who have different political views from their friends or family, especially those who no longer live at home and have had the freedom of expressing their opinions loudly and freely at their campus.

But, this holiday season brings even more political problems with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Talk of masks, vaccines and overall health have become political discussions and thus are much more heated than normal.

There are a few options that your family can do to avoid unwelcome arguments over politics this tumultuous holiday season:

1. The Side-Step Routine

Whenever anyone brings up something political, try to veer the conversation away quickly and quietly to another topic the person is interested in. Hopefully, this will take their attention off starting a debate and instead will have them discussing something else they are interested in.

2. Establish with your invitees that there should be no political discussion at the festivities.

Because most of us have COVID at the forefront of our minds most every day, it’s nice for the holidays to be easy and relaxing.

Try asking some of your more willing invitees to not bring up politics, so that the night will be more of a vacation than a reminder of everything scary going on around us.

3. Have two separate parties

Invite everyone for the first party, then later, have a more intimate get-together. This ensures that there will be one night of comfort, and the other might be bad, but at least you will have one where you can relax and have a good time.

4. Anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who don’t like wearing masks and won’t get the vaccine. If it’s at all possible, I would try to move the gathering outside. But since I live in Northeast Ohio, I know it gets very chilly. If this isn’t plausible, and your family is dead set on meeting in person, I would suggest leaving some windows open and attempting to social distance.

Last year, my family got together with our grandparents and cousins for Christmas in our barn. While it may have been freezing, we had enough time to swap gifts, see everyone (from six feet) and enjoy our holiday, while maintaining CDC-recommended guidelines in order to keep our family safe.

5. Zoom!!

Over the past year and a half, we’ve learned that Zoom is extremely useful and easy. Can’t attend an in-person class? Zoom! Can’t have a face-to-face meeting? Zoom! Can’t safely have a family get-together for the holidays? ZOOM!

You can mail presents or drop them off, and then have the receiver open your gift on Zoom so you can see their reaction! This makes it very easy for people who live far away to be a part of the party too. You get to see your family, talk to them and celebrate, but from a safe environment.

The holiday season can be very stressful for many, so I hope you stay safe and joyful and have the happiest time for the remainder of the year!

Happy Holidays from Her Campus Kent State <3

Emilee Keaggy

Kent State '25

I'm a lover of reading, music, movies, astrology, and food! I'm a freshman at Kent who's interested in psychology, english, and fashion. I'm an avid magazine reader and I live for Vogue's September issue (and free tote!) every year.
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