(KPIX 5) — So you’ve made your way to the Thanksgiving table. How will you navigate through the dinner conversation?
Surveys show that more than any other topic, you’re most likely to start an argument today if you talk about President Trump.
A huge family gathering in Redwood City is managing to keep the peace. More than 80 family and friends sit down at Andy and Joanne Hyland’s home every year. In addition, another 80 friends stop by during the day.
The Thanksgiving Day tradition started with Andy Hyland’s mother decades ago, and continues with him and his four siblings, their children, and grandchildren.
“I’m thankful for all of this,” he said.
His daughter, Tiffany Wolf, echoed the sentiment. “This is the only time that we get together, so we try to hang onto this tradition as long as we can,” she said.
It is an all-day reunion with basketball and ping pong competitions, and a feast with more than 20 fried turkeys.
But relatives say the talk never gets overheated.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had disagreements here,” said Hyland’s sister, Theresa Hyland.
During this country’s political divide, an NPR/PBS Newhour poll says 58 percent dread the prospect of talking politics at the Thanksgiving table
Four in 10 say talking about President Trump could start a fight, according to Survey Monkey.
Unlike the GQ writer who argues it’s one’s civic duty to bring up Trump and ruin Thanksgiving, a number of websites are dispensing advice to avoid conflict.
In fact, a radio station posted a guide to non-confrontational talk that’s designed to be printed out like a place mat.
But at their Peninsula party, Hyland family members independently agree to pass on divisive discussion.
Andy’s nephew, Sean Hyland, said, “We respect everyone’s opinions and we have a good time.”
“Most people know what the politics are ’cause our family is pretty close, so why talk about it?” mused Theresa Hyland.
Just as etiquette experts recommend, they stick to safe topics like sports, food and fun.
Andy Hyland likes to focus on the grandkids, and family memories.
“Once a year, we catch up and we just talk about what we did the whole year,” he remarked.
“That’s what today’s about, being thankful,” said his sister, Theresa.