No need to avoid family to avoid arguments

Published 11:27 am Monday, November 21, 2016

Living with a workaholic growing up made holidays interesting.

My dad hated not working. Born to Russian immigrants, he grew up in a poor Jewish home and started working at the age of 12 and never stopped.

Holidays were hard on him. He couldn’t work and it was like watching a smoker who ran out of cigarettes and the store was closed.

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It made holidays at our house stressful at times. Arguments flared up often. But after a glass or two of Manischewitz wine, my father generally relaxed and there were many good times too.

As he got older, and grandchildren became a part of his life, he relaxed and holidays got a breath of fresh air with small children around to spoil once again.

However, families are families, and arguments would still pop up during the holidays. Today, I can’t even remember why because it no longer matters. We were family.

Both my parents are gone now. My brother lives in Florida and my sister in Ohio. We seldom get a chance to be together on the holidays now. While that saddens me, I am fortunate and blessed to have all three of my children and five grandchildren living in Oxford to make holidays wonderful – and yes, sometimes filled with squabbles as siblings tend to do, no matter their age.

I’ve read some people’s posts on Facebook who have decided not to “go home” for Thanksgiving this week because they have different political views than some of their family members and they want to avoid the fights.

What I would give to hear my mother yelling at my father to relax during Thanksgiving dinner just one more time. My greatest wish would be to have enough money to get my entire family together to share a Thanksgiving meal, bickering and all.

Not being together on holidays was something our family never considered. The wrath of my mother was enough to prevent anyone from deciding not to join the family for holidays unless distance or illness prevented it.

There are no promises in life as to how long any of us have on this planet. Avoiding family for the sake of avoiding political arguments seems so silly to me.

The president of the United States is an important person, no matter who they are. It comes with the job. But no one, NO ONE, is important enough to keep families apart and risk losing a chance to be together.

Go home. Eat turkey. Make a pact that politics won’t be discussed. Walk out of the room if you need to.

Spend this Thanksgiving holiday with those you love, who are with you today. Put aside the rest of the world and may the only arguments at your dinner table be over who will get the turkey leg.

alyssa schnugg is Senior Writer at the EAGLE. Write to her at