Surviving Thanksgiving dinner after Decision 2016

This Oct. 14, 2016, photo shows some of the food from a Thanksgiving dinner from Martha & Marley Spoon in New York. (AP Photo/Bree Fowler)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WOOD) — As if the holidays aren’t stressful enough, this Thanksgiving comes after an election that was contentious, some even say traumatic.

It may be more challenging this year than ever keeping an unwanted guest from the Thanksgiving feast — the raging political argument.

“I have family members who voted Trump, the majority I know voted Hillary, but that’s fine we have to accept that we are still family,” said Daniel Rodriguez who lives in Wymoing.

Rodriguez was at Rosa Parks Circle for a “Not My President Rally” that ended early in part because of the weather. He said he and his family have strong feelings that will have to be put aside in the name of peace at the table.

“Just being around the table we know the conversation’s going to be politics,” Rodriguez said. “I’m going to ask the family — please do not bring up politics as long as we’re at the table.”

But that is not going to work for everyone.

“Not in my family, we put all that out there,” said Kyle, a Grand Rapids resident attending a Griffins game Friday night. He said that doesn’t always end with everyone being cool with the opposing opinions “Oh no, they’re not cool with it. It’s all out there and we talk pretty openly about it all.”

Jim Bottenhorn is a psychologist who specializes in stress, grief and anger management.

“I think we should all be prepared for extra stress,” Bottenhorn said. “Maybe even more so than the normal stress of getting together one a year or maybe twice a year.”

He says you can only control what you do.

“Kind of be mindful of how you’re doing and if you’re getting upset, you can detach, like take a time out,” he said. “Would you rather be right or happy? Let’s have fun and y’know, be respectful of everyone here.”

He says avoiding the topic makes sense.

“Sending out an email to everybody just saying ‘hey, let’s just remember that when we get together, no religion, no politics,’” Bottenhorn said.

It might be a time to move past the hard feelings generated by the election.

“I think people might be looking for some time to not talk about it and just stuff their faces if they can,”said Jim a Cleveland native at the Griffins game.

If you are looking to argue, there is a text message hotline from the group “Showing Up for Racial Justice” that will send you arguments to use against Trump-supporters.

The conservative magazine American Spectator has a section “How to survive Thanksgiving with Liberals” which is nothing but recipes for cocktails.

Of course if that fails, there’s always Adele. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s