15 Things to Never Discuss at Thanksgiving Dinner (Slideshow)

Fights don’t have to be a regular occurrence at every holiday; you just need to know which topics to avoid
Politics

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Politics

Avoid These Topics

Avoid These Topics

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Family fights don’t have to be regular occurrences at holiday gatherings. All you need to know is what topics of conversation to avoid. Luckily for you, we compiled a comprehensive list of 15 topics not to talk about over Thanksgiving dinner. Soon, you’ll learn just what a peaceful holiday dinner can be like — and it’s pretty great.

Religion

Religion

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Maybe Cousin Jeff sat out the family prayer, but Thanksgiving is one of the major family holiday gatherings that isn’t about religion, so there’s no need to call him out for it. Leave this tumultuous debate for another day.

How Much Someone Else is Eating

How Much Someone Else is Eating

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Whether someone decided to fully embrace the all-day gluttony marathon with seconds (and thirds) or if they measured out 4 ounces of turkey on a food scale, keep your eyes on your own plate and your mouth filled with your own food.

Politics

Politics

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Listen, we know the election was just a few weeks ago. It’s likely half the family is feeling pretty burned from the outcome, but leave that and other touchy topics — such as immigration, abortion, war, and taxes — far away from your table.

Family Scandals

Family Scandals

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It’s never appropriate to bring up family scandals around the dinner table, and that goes double for holidays. Perhaps Uncle Robert is spending his nights in a new apartment, but now is not the time to inquire why, no matter how nosy you may be. 

How Bad the Food Is

How Bad the Food Is

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Listen, maybe this was Aunt Helen’s first time trying out homemade cranberry sauce or perhaps Grandma decided to cut some corners and use a boxed stuffing mix. Even if it’s not ideal, be thankful for the food on your table and don’t complain about someone else’s hard work.

Dietary Preferences: Your Own

Your Dietary Preferences

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Are you vegan? Have you developed an intolerance to gluten or an allergy to walnuts? Be sure to alert your host before Thanksgiving dinner, and if something doesn’t fall in line with what you can eat, just avoid it.

Dietary Preferences: Other People’s

Other People’s Dietary Preferences

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If someone at the table just won’t eat gluten or processed foods, don’t embarrass him or her by egging them on with, “Come on, just a bite won’t hurt.” Maybe it could be harmful, and, most importantly, people are allowed to choose their own diets.

Colonialism and Native Americans

Christopher Columbus and the Origins of America

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Everyone with a high school education knows the colonists didn’t always treat Native Americans with kindness, and nothing kills the celebratory vibe faster than that one guest who has recently read A People’s History of the United States and spends the whole meal talking about the evils of colonialism. Seriously, people will lose their appetites fast. Keep your reservations about Thanksgiving to yourself or don’t celebrate.

Unemployment

The Unemployment Rate

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It can be incredibly difficult to find a job after getting laid off, and being unemployed is sometimes a really embarrassing subject. On a holiday focused on being grateful, it can be a pretty big bummer to be reminded of an inbox full of rejections. So be kind and leave the job search talk for another day.

Annoying Things Happening at the Kids’ Table

Annoying Things Happening at the Kids’ Table

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Not everyone is charmed by your 3-year-old niece’s incessant chatter with a full mouth or a child who is whining over having to eat broccoli on a holiday. However, it’s never OK to gripe to parents about all the mistakes they’re making in raising their children. Sometimes, despite their best efforts, kids will be kids.

Other Guests’ Lifestyles

Other Guests’ Lifestyles

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Some people are childless by choice, some people decide to quit their reasonable jobs to fulfill their passions, and others are perfectly content being homemakers. It’s not your business how someone else chooses to live his or her life, so leave it be.

Better Thanksgivings in the Past

Better Thanksgivings in the Past

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As families grow and move away, Thanksgivings can change. Perhaps this year’s affair is smaller or less extravagant. Maybe your brother’s new fiancée insisted on making an apple pie that can’t even compare to Great Aunt Mary’s classic recipe. There’s no reason to compare to holidays past, so keep these thoughts to yourself.

How Much Better Christmas Is

How Much Better Christmas Is

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Christmas can already eclipse Thanksgiving — it’s basically the exact same dinner but with a tree and presents. But let’s take it one holiday at a time...

Money

Money

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It’s always tacky to discuss finances over dinner. But even if you got a big raise and are debating whether to buy a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW, it’s better to have that discussion with your accountant. Don’t brag about money; you never know what other family members may be going through.

Sex and Sexuality

Kissing Couple

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It shouldn’t need to be said, but no matter how many glasses of wine you’ve had, talking about your sex life is always a no-no at the dinner table. Not only can it be embarrassing in the light of day, but Granny Mae could be within earshot, and she’d rather not know these things.