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Will politics ruin our Christmas?

(88 Posts)
pancakes Wed 30-Nov-16 16:01:56

I've been burying my head in the sand a bit on this but with December beginning tomorrow should probably face my fears. Christmas is to be spent in a big family gathering as usual. But this year I am seriously worried about arguments ruining the whole shebang. Brexit has revealed huge divisions within our family, and created a lot of bitterness which we have tried to heal but I fear it's only plasters over the cracks. My own view is that what's done is done and we are stuck with it whether we like it or not so let's move on. But that's not stopped blame being thrown around along with all sorts of accusations and I worry that it's all so raw a bust-up is unavoidable, especially when a few drinks have been downed. Anyone else in this position? And how can I stop politics from ruining my Christmas?

M0nica Wed 30-Nov-16 16:16:52

Read/email/write/phone or face to face them all and set them an ultimatum. There is to be no, absolutely no political discussions over Christmas. Anyone who starts or takes part in a discussion must put £1 in a jar placed in a prominent position, contents to be sent to a charity helping Syrian refugees as a reminder of where bitter political arguments can take people.

Beammeupscottie Wed 30-Nov-16 16:24:27

Politics ruins most thing! IMO, starting discussions on Politics or Religion leads to people falling out which is why "tribes" stick together in the main. As a family we do not discuss politics; it is an unwritten taboo. All you can do when anyone starts is to put a quick lid on it; eg, "It's Christmas and we want joy, not woe".
You are right about Brexit being a very hot topic. We have friends who voted opposite to us and I am trying to find a way to avoid them this Christmas. Mind you, I have been off them for a long time and Brexit has given me (in all probability tbh) the excuse I need.

Grannyknot Wed 30-Nov-16 16:34:18

Monica if I tried to control my family in advance like that, they'd tell me to take a running jump. Also, once "a few drinks have been downed", all control goes out the window...

pancakes maybe ask the experts on that Relate thread. But my feeling is don't project (it may not happen), and unless there are fisticuffs, I'd go into the other room and let everyone fight their own corner!

Luckygirl Wed 30-Nov-16 16:35:40

Good idea M0nica - we never discuss politics at Christmas!

pancakes Wed 30-Nov-16 16:40:52

Good points thank you. It may not happen, you are right, but I suspect it will. We have, some years ago, had a Christmas bust up on an entirely different subject and it left a bitter taste for several years to come. The thought of all those leave/remain arguments coming up again makes me feel quite ill. I have strong feelings myself but Christmas is neither the time nor the place and also I try to be mindful of others which, sadly, some of the others do notl

ginny Wed 30-Nov-16 17:12:10

We have a big family gathering too. All of us except for my Mother in Law voted the same way. So we have decided to have a gang up on Grandma game.. .... No of course we won't . For goodness sake it's one day. Surely adults should be able to contain themselves and not spoil things for everyone. A bit of give and take and good manners are needed.

pancakes Wed 30-Nov-16 17:16:45

yes I agree. There's a bit of a generation divide in all this too (in some parts of the family)

Oh well if all else fails I will retreat upstairs with a book and a tin of quality street

irene55 Wed 30-Nov-16 17:18:02

The generation thing has been an issue in our family too. I'm getting bored of the 'it's alright for you rich babyboomers' comments

kittylester Wed 30-Nov-16 17:18:54

My eldest 3 children are all vehemently left wing and the two younger ones are both resolutely right wing. DH and I belonged to the SDP when it started. Luckily, i think we all voted Remain and none of us like Trump. We ban politics talk generally, by mutual consent!

KatyK Wed 30-Nov-16 17:19:49

I'm quite shocked that people argue about Brexit shock

pancakes Wed 30-Nov-16 17:26:41

Really KatyK? I guess it depends on where you live, what you voted and your perspective on the result. Most people I know have such strong feelings and the lack of clarity around what will happen next and the effects on jobs and housing and finance that have already been seen are enough to fuel a row for most people I know

KatyK Wed 30-Nov-16 18:23:52

Yes pancakes I've never had anyone argue with me about it. Some members of my family voted in, some voted out. When we have discussed it, we have all given our reasons for voting the way we did and it's been left at that. Maybe we're not passionate enough!

rosesarered Wed 30-Nov-16 22:08:33

Same in our family as KatyK and that is the adult way to treat politics within a family.

It should be your house your rules pancakes and even if it isn't your house, let family members know that you won't be joing in any argy-bargy.

Lewlew Thu 01-Dec-16 10:14:33

I am shocked that people would consider ruining Christmas Day with their personal BS over Leave/Remain! If I had family like that, there would be no Christmas lunch at mine and I'd go to the pub!

If we had a Christmas in the US, at my late brother's place with his widow and grown kids, it would be as you way pancakes. So again, I would not go! Even though my brother was a Trumper... he'd not allow Christmas to be spoilt, bless him.

Marion58 Thu 01-Dec-16 10:22:00

I wonder why everyone thinks Babyboomers are well off? We are Babyboomers and existing on the State Pension - not enough to live on, but too much for Pension Credits! I say not enough to live on, we're ok if very careful and whilst both of us are alive.

I agree this Referendum seems to have caused a 'divide'. I get fed up of the 'oldies' getting blamed for voting Brexit - I didn't. I treat the subject as I do Religion and never talk about it, unless I know who I'm talking to also voted to Remain.

Kim19 Thu 01-Dec-16 10:22:22

This is a really difficult one. I'm in this 'dangerous' arena too AND I have pretty strong opinions. I've considered the prospective outcome and decided I can really only control ME. Believe me that will be extremely difficult if I hear something expounded which I consider to be outrageous. However....... this is my challenge to me and I will try to stay away from the heavy topics. When specifically asked for an opinion, my plan is to make the case for Christmas joie de Vivre. Help!!!!

littlefierce Thu 01-Dec-16 10:23:55

Although I'm happy to discuss politics with my rellys, my personal standpoint is that family is more important than politics. I have a v right wing cousin who regularly debates with me on Facebook (he affectionately calls me 'my little socialist firebrand :D)but I'm sure never to post anything I know will enrage him, like anti-Thatcher stuff (he adores her) & we are generally polite & humorous. However one of my other cousins has fallen out with him via FB & has deleted him. Just not worth it imo. However it is difficult as you say, you can't control how others behave, & I don't envy you negotiating this minefield.

maryhoffman37 Thu 01-Dec-16 10:26:13

Fortunately, everyone in my immediate family voted Remain. We might have to ban expressing despair or misery just for Christmas. No Brexit, no Trump!

norose4 Thu 01-Dec-16 10:37:36

My 92 mother cannot help her self getting passionate about the subject, all attempts to stop her, fall on deaf ears & then she gets upset , it certainly remains (pardon the pun) a very passionate subject with many people . Earplugs & vodka will be on my Christmas list or should that be 'seasonal celebration 'ohpps sorry just thought I would throw that one out there🎄Merry xmas everyone😄

Purpledaffodil Thu 01-Dec-16 10:41:53

I think Facebook has a lot to answer for! We had a family gathering not long after the vote and I was extremely anxious because one of my DC has always been right wing whereas the others are not. Words were exchanged on FB with various of their friends joining in on opposite sides and it all got very heated. I voiced my anxieties pre gathering to each of the DC and they agreed that it was a done deal, in the past and they would not let it spoil our rare time together. And they didn't! Grown ups at last?
Hopefully this will continue over the festive season. Shall we water their drinks Pancakes ? grin

Devorgilla Thu 01-Dec-16 10:44:20

It will be pretty hard to stop discussion of politics in our family as we are all politically involved and have strong views. It won't be over Brexit though as we all voted to remain, except that we will comment on what a shambles it is. Our conversation always, inevitably, turns to the situation of the day.
If it really gets to you pancakes, add a couple of bottles of the best wine to your book and Quality Street and, to take all the heat out of the argument raging downstairs, take the corkscrews with you and/or superglue the screw tops. Then they really will have something to argue about.

Zorro21 Thu 01-Dec-16 10:57:09

Really relevant topic, my husband fell out with his son for over a year over arguing about politics and my husband refused to go to a Christmas celebration with them because son arranged it, in that same year. Everyone else in the family tried in vain to bring them together again, and eventually they made up. Father's Day was the same, after a lovely breakfast they were arguing like cat and dog even though his daughter had warned before not to argue. I absolutely hate it and for me it ruins everything and makes me very unhappy.

marionk Thu 01-Dec-16 10:59:22

We just agree to differ and don't discuss it further as there is little point, no one is listening anyway especially not politicians

Rosina Thu 01-Dec-16 11:12:41

If you have a family that are passionate enough in their views to row about the EU on Christmas Day, then if that subject is banned they are bound to start on something else!
This is a sad old world for many people; we are so fortunate to have food on the table, no bombs dropping on our children, and family to spend the time with. Can't they be grateful for that and leave the arguments for some other time?