Due to the pandemic, there is no shortage of stress this year. Do not add to it by discussing the topics below and creating the awkward family silence.

1. Family drama
It is tempting to share gossip now that everyone is gathered together but this is not the attention that you want to attract. People will remember your bad behavior more than the story that you are talking about.

2. Politics
The current political climate is very tense. It is best to save this conversation for another time. However, if you can guarantee a tactful and respectful environment, then you can discuss some points but always refrain from name-calling or broad-group insults.

3. Money
Money is always a touchy subject. Debt, inheritance, and other financial conversations should be kept off the holiday table. Use this time to enjoy delicious pumpkin pie instead of addressing tense money problems.

4. Religious beliefs
Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. Still, a big family dinner is not the ideal place to discuss religious topics, especially those that you know your family will find controversial or upsetting. The last thing you want is to hurt feelings or have explosive arguments on a holiday.

5. Gun control
This is another hot topic that divides people. It does not translate well to dinner conversation, particularly with a large group of relatives. With continued instances of mass shootings and opposing views on gun laws, talking about gun control simply does not add anything to strengthen your family ties.

6. Relationship status
Single family members dread family gatherings because everyone else just drills them on their relationship status. Of course, it is understandable that family is interested in another’s relationship status, but it is in bad taste to ask questions or make comments about it in the middle of a large gathering.

7. Weight gain
Body image is a sensitive topic around the holidays. There is plenty of good food around – what can you expect? Do not discuss your own body in a negative way and certainly do not bring up anyone else’s weight gain or appearance. Just focus on how glad you are to see family again instead of commenting on anyone’s appearance. It will create better energy for your Thanksgiving meal.