Feature, Politics

Different Political Views Are Not Keeping This Family Apart During The Holidays

With opposing political views in one family, the Wages have to be careful about political discussions during the holidays. (c) 2015 Courtesy of Deborah Wages

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By Rebekah Castor, Syracuse N.Y. (NCC News) — The election is over, but the repercussions in people’s lives may be just beginning as families across the United States contemplate uncomfortable holidays, or decide to bypass them.With many unhappy about the results of the presidential election, many people are calling up their family members to cancel their holiday plans to avoid seeing relatives with opposite political views.

While many families chose not to gather for Thanksgiving, every member of the Wages clan attended Thanksgiving dinner last month. (c) 2016 Courtesy of Deborah Wages

While many families chose not to gather for Thanksgiving, every member of the Wages clan attended Thanksgiving dinner last month. (c) 2016 Courtesy of Deborah Wages

The Wages, a family from North Carolina, refuse to let politics take away their Christmas spirit.

“I’m not going to reject someone in my home because they voted differently than me,” mother of five Deborah Wages said. “Within families, you really can’t do that. That’s just wrong.”

Deborah and her husband, Lee are strong conservatives and are happy with the results of the presidential election.

“I can sit back knowing that Trump won and we got the Clintons out of there,” Lee said.

Their son, Peter feels differently. He’s coming home from college for Christmas and says he’s going to avoid talking about politics as much as possible.

“I’ve learned not to speak that much,” Peter said. “The more you try to convince someone they’re wrong, the more they’ll believe they’re right so it does the exact opposite of what you want to do.”

Peter turned away from his parents’ political party affiliation this election because he admired Hillary Clinton’s stance on many social issues. He was particularly concerned with what candidates said about gay rights. Peter came out to his father last month during one of their politics talks to help him understand why he was supporting a different candidate.

“My dad likes to rile me up,” Peter said. “We tried to keep from getting heated but sometimes the group you are a part becomes affected. Then it becomes more personal.”

Heated conversations are something many families are worried about as we prepare to gather for the holidays coming up. Some family members have decided to bypass it altogether.

“We didn’t cancel Thanksgiving or Christmas when Obama won,” said Lee.

For those who are still planning on seeing family for the holidays, Psychologist Jamie Howard recommends avoiding political talk completely. She also suggests using humor to pivot the conversation away from politics if the topic does come up.