A Plea For Politics-Free Thanksgiving and Christmas

BY JACK RICCARDI

Think about this: twenty-six empty chairs at dinner tables around south Texas next Thursday.

Chairs that wait, forever, for the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs congregants who died on the 5th.

We won’t just miss them this Thanksgiving. Next year too. All the years to come.

Life’s too short to miss a meal with the people we love, or even like, because of how they voted last November, or what they believe or don’t believe, this November.

Forget that they are red or blue. Once they were just people we loved.

I think¬† about my dad a lot at this time of year. He passed in 2005. That’s a lot of turkey ago.¬† I remember that he taught me how to make a proper Thanksgiving-leftover sandwich: you put the meat, cranberries, stuffing, onions and mayo between two pieces of serious bread, and eat it over the sink. I’ll have one for you, Friday, Dad.

What I wouldn’t give for one more meal. One more smile. One more touch. He called me “Jake”, which no one else did. It’s funny, who knew I’d miss that?

I keep hearing about people avoiding gatherings with family over the possibility of political discord. People who know they will be outnumbered, politically, or challenged to debate/defend their politics. Believe me, I know.

Really, I get it. Snark is bad for your digestion.

But we need to remember how fast life changes, even in the slowest Texas town, and how we are not promised next year with these people.

What else can we discuss over a meal, instead of politics? Anything and everything would be better. Children. Weather. Sports. Movies. Books. Jokes. Family memories. Take the day off from the work of electing more of your party. Even World War I soldiers called truces for Thanksgving and Christmas. If the worst war known to human history up to that time could wait a day, surely the Culture War can too.

Have the dinner. Change the conversation.

Be grateful that all the chairs are full.

 

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