Twin Cities resident share topics to avoid at Thanksgiving dinners

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Thanksgiving is a time many families get together, and many family members have different points of view.

Some subjects are better left off the table during dinner discussions to avoid a side dish of drama at the table.

While Thanksgiving meals bring people together over turkey, mashed potatoes, and other side dishes, certain topics of conversation can also divide families.

Money, politics, and religion, three major topics residents in Bloomington say won’t be brought up at the dinner table this Turkey Day.

“I think we have a bit of a divided family politically; conservative and left-leaning and we’ll probably avoid those topics generally,” said Phillip Cusey, a Bloomington man traveling to Memphis for the holiday.

“We think it’s really important to avoid those topics because we want to be together as a family and we don’t want to have that conflict, we don’t want to have that fight, we want to enjoy ourselves,” said Emily Becher, shopping Tuesday for her get-together.

Becher said her family loves to reminisce and take a trip down memory lane of Thanksgiving’s past.

“A lot of it is the family memories, a lot of it is, ‘Hey remember the time we did this’ and the things that we’re thankful for,” Becher said.

Another shopper, Amy Arnold, said her family enjoys playing games, sharing memories and getting updates on her family’s pets. She said any conflicts they have involve the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

“I was born and raised in Green Bay and my brother and sister-in-law still live in Green Bay, so we’re all Packers fans,” Arnold said. “My husband and his son are Bears fans so we give each other a little grief now and again.”

She said those arguments are all in good nature.

“[With] football, we can pick on each other and nobody gets harassed or upset,” Arnold said.

Phillip Cusey said if/when politics get brought up at his politically divided family gathering(s), things stay civil and any teasing is done with love.

“I’m sure I’ll be doing some complaining about the gas prices and I’ll get the left leaning side of the family to chime in on a positive way,” Cusey said.

Dr. Brent Sylvester a clinical psychologist at Carle-Bromenn said whatever the gathering, make sure to keep it positive.

“Try to remember that your goal is to have a good time; I think set the goals around your own behavior, not other people,” Sylvester said.

He said for those feeling tense, take some time to mentally reset, do some fist-clenching (under the table) or practice taking deep breaths.

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