Pumpkin pie without the politics

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Sunny Tsai/File

It’s Thanksgiving night and you nervously sit down at the table, surrounded by a handful of distant relatives. You already know how dinner is going to play out: appetizers topped with small chat, the main course served with a side of political jabs and dessert that will ultimately go sour from post-election debates. All you wanted was a turkey leg and some pumpkin pie, but after this year’s election, the odds weren’t promising. Don’t fret yet, because we at the Clog have come up with some diversions to use before your drunken uncle can even finish saying, “POTUS.”

UC Berkeley squirrels

The best way to divert any political talk is by mentioning your school. While this may bring on a bombardment of questions involving grades, graduation and social life, there is a loophole: the campus squirrels. This topic is both riveting and covers the college conversation. You can mention the adorable squirrel family you saw the other day or another that stole your sandwich. Plus, this is a great time to pull out any photos you’ve snapped of these critters around campus. This is the best way to regain control of the conversation because everyone loves animal pictures.

Childhood memories

Don’t think we’re talking about you. There’s no doubt that your relatives love to talk about themselves. If you ask the right questions, you’ll have your grandfather or great aunt talking for hours. Your entire Thanksgiving dinner will be taken up by how they remember their first colored television and how they don’t understand iPhones. At this point, you can nod sympathetically or even offer to explain how Apple is more than just a fruit.

Pop culture

Everybody at your dinner table surely loves television, movies and music. There’s bound to be a common crossover conversation that will appease everyone. Start by first mentioning a television series, such as the Walking Dead, because you can delve into multiple seasons. Plus, if someone isn’t familiar with a show, you can describe every detail (start with season one!). But if television isn’t a hit, there’s always that blockbuster movie that’s been hyped up more than your Thanksgiving ham to talk about.

Starbucks holiday cups

The papers seem to cover it every year, so why can’t you? They’re only cup designs. You can even spark debate to see what holiday decor would be the best to adorn the seasonal cups. While this may trigger some political banter, referring to the holiday drinks or snacks can always prevent such a situation. There’s nothing peppermint mochas can’t fix.

Now that you’ve got some strategies for avoiding a family feud, your biggest worry is getting your hands on a slice of pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

Contact Kirsty Fowler at [email protected].