Tips to avoid talking politics at the Thanksgiving table


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)-Even though the President-elect called for unity in a Thanksgiving message Wednesday, many people getting ready to celebrate the holiday are nervous about talking politics with their families after an extremely divisive election.

One family, the Holderness clan, even made a YouTube video, joking about it.

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“Thanksgiving day it is gonna come up. Yeah, you know they gonna bring up hillz and Trump,” the family sings to the tune of Flo-Rida’s “My House”.

You probably do not need their warning, though, right? You know the election results are likely to come up at your Thanksgiving meal.

“Very likely, yes.” Jasmine Adkins said at the Blue Grass Airport

“I’m hoping that we can keep things civil because one side is very upset and the other is pretty happy,” Marianne Fox, a traveler at the airport, said.

So how do you keep the peace at the turkey day table? Family therapist Iris Gutierrez says the first step is recognizing how you feel and how your family feels.

“Try to focus on why you are there, why you are having dinner with those people. This is an opportunity to embrace the differences,” Gutierrez said.

The Social Worker says she has seen several clients worried about facing their families.

“Some of them say should I go to the family dinner, should I stay, should I pretend that I am sick?” Gutierrez said.

Rather than pretending you are sick, Gutierrez says think positively about your family members, redirect the conversation to a different topic, and think about Thanksgiving’s historical symbolism of the joining of two cultures.

“I think as a nation we’re all one so I think as a family you have to come together as one too,” Ryan Kent, a traveler at the Blue Grass Airport, said.

If that does not work, you can always try a little dancing.

As the Holderness Family sings, “You guys can become friends. Just don’t turn to CNN. Happy thanksgiving. Welcome to my couch. Let’s all be friends now.”

One final bonus tip from Gutierrez. She says if you can, try to remove yourself from a conversation that could blow up by taking a minute of alone time. Just as long as it will not be perceived as rude.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at She looks forward to hearing from you!