How To Avoid Brexit & Election Chat At The Christmas Dinner Table

by Aoife Hanna
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

We live in difficult times politically in the UK and across the globe. It's low-key my way or the highway vibes and even if you agree politically with your family, things can still get a bit heated. So in the final countdown to Dec 25, you'll need an arsenal of tips for avoiding election and Brexit talk at home during Christmas.

Nobody wants a slanging match between you and uncle Terry that leads to actual food being thrown across the table. Have you had a Brussels sprout thrown at your face? No, me neither, and I'd like to keep it that way thank you very much.

Arguments are so intense at Christmas that last year the Guardian reported that 13 people filed for divorce online on Christmas day. And although we don't know what led to that decision being made, the tension hiding behind all of that Yuletide cheer can't have helped.

Although it's super difficult to even countenance accepting political views that are polar opposites to yours, Christmas day is not the time to hammer it out. So prepare for avoiding battle, brace for storm-proofing instead. Because this year it's not only Brexit chat, but post- general election fallout too.

1. Accept In Advance You May Have To Bite Your Tongue

There are times in life that you need to pick your battles. And getting into a massive barney with someone who you know isn't going to change your mind is pointless, because it's unlikely you're going to change their mind either.

Just remember how little satisfaction there is to be had from a huge bust up that leads to not only no bridges being built, but bigger divides growing.

2. Use Tech To Rehearse


Concerns over avuncular types with slightly angry and right leaning views are such, not only in the UK but across that globe, that there's now an "Angry Uncle Bot." Forbes reports that the bot, created by the New York Times, helps you rehearse how you deal with commentary and views that aren't on your wave length.

3. Limit Alcohol Consumption

I know, so boring but at least one of you has to keep your sober hat on. If only to steer the conversation ship or put an end to silly arguments.

4. Prepare Neutral Conversation Topics


Hey Brits, there's a lot more neutral chat than the weather. Talk needn't be small and banal but it be sure to stick to topics that are non-controversial.

Let's say a cute animal story. Or some idle goss about a neighbour. Just keep it light, airy, and as far away from Mr Johnson as you can manage.

5. Kill Them With Kindness & Listen

Look, nobody likes being interrupted. As a matter of fact the BBC reports that according to Jonathan Herring, who wrote How To Argue, it shows complete disregard for their thoughts.

"When you interrupt someone you are essentially saying you don't want to hear what they are saying and that creates a bad atmosphere."

So listen. Even if it's trash. Go to your happy place in your mind and let those eyes turn to beautiful glazed baubles.

6. Have Fun Activities & Games At Hand


Idle hands is an actual thing. If people have nothing to occupy themselves with then there's potential for a Real Housewives style meltdown. Expect table flipping. Brace for screams. Heck, you might even be about to have to break up a fist fight.

You'd be much better off ensuring several board games are at hand, a few decks of cards, and maybe even a Bop It. As long as they don't bop each other it's all good. Cosmopolitan has a list of games worth checking out ahead of time.

7. Highlight Family Friendly TV Options

After arguing, eating too much, hangovers, and itchy jumpers — one guaranteed Christmas experience is excellent TV.

Go through the listings with a fin toothed comb and pull out shows and films that you know traverse generations. Also a lot of Yuletide movies have that "good will" message that you know is lit.

Have A Sing Song


When all's falling apart around you. When you feel panic. Someone is pointing at someone else and it's all gone a bit intense. Just as an individual has started shouting "eff off! Eff your effing views!", just stand up and start singing. Even if people don't join in, the sheer strangeness of a family member standing up and singing should be quite jarring. And "you eff off" will turn to "u OK hun?" in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Above all guys, remember it's only once a year. Yes, attending an event that's not for your own sake at all and doesn't relate to your day to day living situation in any way is very trying. But, while world peace is far from being achieved, you can make some small steps towards it starting at home this Christmas.