10 Tactics to Avoid Talking Politics at the Holiday Table

Forced family time around the holidays can make for some discomfort—something everyone can actually agree on.

As much as we are thankful for friends and family and the chance to gather together around a table, and we are fortunate for all of these things, well, the conversations are sometimes not the most comfortable. Relatives have the natural tendency to bring up everything you don’t want to talk about. ‘Tis the season.

Good news for you, this holiday will be much comfier thanks to Allbirds, who we’ve teamed up with to make your holidays a little less uncomfortable. And not just for your feet (though, no matter how awkward the conversation with Joe gets or how long the pauses might be while you think of what you might say to Carol from accounting at the office holiday party, if you have those Wool Runners on your feet you can just distract yourself by thinking of how warm and cozy your toes are, and then be like, “Oh sorry, I was just thinking about sheep in a meadow” and run away). We’ve constructed this list of ways to escape the mention of politics at your next holiday gathering. You can thank us later.

So, you’ll all be sitting around the dinner table making small talk about how pumpkin spice season seems to start earlier every year or that Lebron James sure is losing his hair and things are cruising along. After that third or fourth glass of wine though, inevitably your mom or uncle or that one neighbor who always seems just a little too nice and fake-smiles will bring up something like, “The socialists are ruining this country,” and, while you might have read everything Harvard Medical School has to say about single-payer healthcare reform, now is not the time.

Here is your game plan:

Tactic 1: Escape

Scoot back, stand up, exit the dining room to take a break, let the Allbirds do the walking and avoid the talking.

Tactic 2: The Presley Plan

Anytime you hear the word “election,” start singing Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” in your most authentic impression, over top of all other conversation. Hopefully others will join, otherwise you’ll be the weird cousin forever. Sorry. It’s still better than debating the electoral college with someone who has been pouring peppermint schnapps into his coffee cup for the last hour.

Tactic 3: Everybody gets a car

Politics resurface? Your time to shine. Stand up and tell everybody about how you brought the same deviled eggs tonight that Oprah makes from her recipe in Allbirds + Whalebone’s “Holiday Comfort: A Cookbook.” This should help. Everybody loves Oprah.

Tactic 4: Reenactment

If it still comes up after the previous options, shake the table and yell “earthquake.” We haven’t tried this one, so let us know how it goes.

Tactic 5: Family outing!

If you are lucky enough to be having dinner near the West Village or can get yourself there in some way, go to the World’s Most Comfortable Pop-Up. Booze, comfy shoes, and no politics allowed. 326 Bleecker Street.

This must be the place.

Tactic 6: Did someone say “peaches?”

If someone says “impeachment,” just pretend you heard “peaches.” Every. Time. Respond with something like, “Wow, there are over 2,000 varieties of peaches in the world. So many kinds of peaches.” Here are some facts about peaches to help you through:

  • Peaches are a great source of vitamins A and C.
  • In China, the peach is a symbol of longevity and good luck.
  • Nectarines are just peaches without the fuzz. So basically dishonest lying peaches in disguise.
  • The peach is a member of the rose family and is a close relative of almonds.
  • Although Herb Fame has remained a constant as “Herb” since the duo Peaches & Herb debuted in 1966, there have been seven different “Peaches.”
  • A medium peach, which is a nice snack, contains only about 37 calories. A large one, about 70.
  • Every year in Georgia, they make the world’s largest peach cobbler. It measures 11 feet long. Every year they make this thing.
  • August is National Peach Month.
  • Peaches are at their peak from June to September.
  • The band members of The Presidents of the United States of America have acknowledged that “Peaches” borrows riffs from Bad Company’s 1975 song “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
  • The Presidents of the United States of America features a two-string bass and three-string guitar. This one really comes in handy to add confusion and help your subterfuge along.
  • The two main varieties of peaches you’ll find in most stores are clingstone and freestone.
  • It’s a bit harder to remove the flesh from the pit on a clingstone peach.
  • If you have a peach that’s not quite ripe, you can ripen it by placing it in a brown paper bag for two to three days.
  • The scientific name for the peach tree is prunus persica.
  • Prunus persica was first domesticated and cultivated along the north slopes of the Kunlun Mountains.
  • Merrill Nisker, better known by her stage name Peaches, began her musical career in the 1990s as part of a folk trio, Mermaid Cafe. In 1995, she established a rock band called The Shit.
  • The average lifespan of a peach tree is about 12 years.
  • A peach’s flower has five pink petals.
  • Georgia may be “The Peach State,” but California produces about half of this country’s peaches. (Maybe be careful with that one.)
  • Peaches are known to reduce anxiety and are often referred to as the “Fruit of Calmness.” (Nice recovery! Hopefully, by now they are back to talking about football anyway.)

If someone says ‘impeachment,’ just pretend you heard ‘peaches.’

Tactic 7: Diversion

You’d be surprised how well, “Hey look over there!” works when the conversation is as dry as the turkey. Shout and point accordingly, then swiftly and silently disappear under the table and army crawl your way out of there. You’ve trained for this.

Tactic 8: Incoming!

Give yourself a generous lunch-lady style serving of mashed potatoes on the first round of pass-the-plate. Discretion is everything. Slyly assemble a massive spoonful and lock your target. Catapult the delicious ammo at the speaker of politics then, like an adolescent, blame your younger sibling. It’s only natural. If you really want to be prepared, see these instructions.

Tactic 9: Throw someone else under the bus

Now might be a good time to remind the family about your brother’s adult film career.

Tactic 10: Fake an illness

Pretend to pass out. If this doesn’t work, maybe try family counseling. Best of luck.