As we gather together today with family, friends and in-laws — reaching across the table to grab a warm Parker House roll, scooping out a spoonful of mashed potatoes and then dumping the turkey gravy in the center pool, adding a slice of Ocean Spray and modest bit of Mom’s cranberry relish, carrots, peas, creamed onions, then carving slices of white and dark and finally stuffing the last corner of the special-occasion plate with rice stuffing — may we suggest a conversational strategy that best suits this American holiday? That is:
Give it a rest, already.
Sure, this past election has been divisive and passionate, and, sure, it’s only been a couple of weeks.
But relax. It’s done.
Team Blue, don’t gloat. Team Red, put the bitter rhetoric on ice. The ominous campaign ads will recede further into memory. (Ask the Lord’s blessing for that). The lawn signs are gone.
So give it a rest. Some suggestions:
When Uncle Clarence starts to rattle on about secession from the formerly great United States, just smile and steer the conversation to something other than the fate of all that’s holy in the free world. (Hey, that new James Bond movie is terrific!)
When Aunt Lillian squirts a dab of instant whip cream on her slice of pumpkin pie, then launches into an impromptu analysis of African-American voting patterns and 120-percent voter turnout in Philadelphia and Ohio precincts, just ask about her sister’s health. Keep asking follow-up questions along the same line. (So, will she get in-home nursing care during her recovery? What’s the name of the doctor?)
When cousin Jane cranks up about free contraceptives, the War on Women and male intransigence, take a deep breath. Extend an olive branch when you reach across the table with a forkful of sweet potatoes. Divert the conversation. (Is Daniel Craig the best Bond ever?)
Hear the word Benghazi? Think quick: Blurt out random compliments about sister Donna’s mincemeat pie. (Scump-diddly-umtious! Where’d you get the recipe?)
When Aunt Sandra steers the conversation toward photo IDS and the correlation between America today and the breakup of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, nod your head emphatically and drive the conversation onto another track. (Wow, “Skyfall” got a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes!)
Just check your muskets and hatchets at the door. Eat up. Count your blessings. Accentuate the ties that bind. Be thankful for family, good company and good health. Then make plans to hit the big-box stores at midnight or to go see the great, new Bond film. (Early-evening shows in many theaters).