By Kaitlin Lehner

It’s that time of year when we gather around the dinner table with family and loves ones to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. So in order to keep said spirit merry and bright, I’ve come up with a list of topics to avoid:

#1 Don’t: Discuss Politics

Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way since I’m sure it was the first one to pop in your mind. The 2016 election is probably one of the worst, if the not the worst, thing to discuss this year at your holiday dinner table. If your family is a little like mine then you might have a politically divided household, half of you voted Clinton and half of you voted Trump. Cue the anxiety, frustration, and yelling. Whatever you do this holiday season establish the reality that it is in the best interest for everyone that you do not discuss the election. Even if everyone at the table voted for the same person, refrain, it will still ruffle your feathers. Seriously it’s too fresh, it’s too heavy, and it’s too complex. Turn around now!


#2 Don’t: Talk About Diets and Working Out

Yes, we know you go to the best CrossFit gym in your town, but nobody wants to hear about it in depth while they are laying on the couch in a food coma and can’t even fathom the idea of going up one step let alone going to a CrossFit gym and pretending they are the next American Ninja Warrior. Now let’s get to the diet thing. Eating holiday food can make you feel seriously guilty sometimes, keep that to yourself for now. It’s easy to start going on a rant about how you need to go on a diet but it puts a damper on the whole table because now you have made everyone else so aware of all the calories they are consuming while devouring mashed potatoes with 8 pounds of butter. So enjoy your meal and save all the gym and diet talk for your New Year’s Resolution.

(credit: AP Photo/Markus Gilliar, Pool)

(credit: AP Photo/Markus Gilliar, Pool)

#3 Don’t: Grill Anyone About Their Relationship Status

Please keep yourself from interrogating anyone about who they are dating, if they are dating, or “What ever happened to what’s his/her face.” The single people already have to go through the holidays without a cuddle buddy so when they go home for the holidays the last thing they need is for you to make them feel pressured to get a significant other, remind them of their ex, or make them feel like something is so lonely and sad about them. Shout out to my single people, keep your heads up and embrace your single self!

Not The One - Crying

#4 Don’t: Bring Up an Illness That You Have Known About

This is a sad one, and while we all care very much about your health and happiness, announcing to the table that you are sick (and possibly have been for a while) is a no-go. Doing this makes everyone terribly sad and does nothing but linger in everyone’s hearts and minds with worry. It will always go down in the books as the holiday where “enter name here” told us that they were sick with “enter life-threatening illness here.” This is a sure way to make people cry, so please don’t do this.

#5 Don’t: Talk About Fight Club

If you don’t get this reference, then you have some catching up to do in the movie department.

#6 Don’t: Discuss Finances

Dolla Dolla Bills Ya’ll! We really don’t need to sit around and discuss money, or lack thereof. Both ends of the spectrum are murky waters. If you talk about having a lot of money then you look self-entitled and materialistic as you look down upon all the sorry peasants at the table. If you talk about your lack of money then you look pitiful and people get uncomfortable and don’t know what to say. So just sit there and be humble and grateful you aren’t spending your holidays in a van down by the river.

Stack of Money

#7 Don’t: Get Into Family Gossip or Drama

Ok, so I am guilty of this being my favorite “Don’t” during the holidays but trust me when I say that it will indeed leave everyone scowling at you. Maybe everyone is getting along a little too well this year and you want to spice things up so you suddenly become tempted to bring up juicy gossip or re-hash some drama you and a family member had in the past, but these things come with a big, fat red warning label. It kills the good vibes and people start hitting below the belt, so refrain from this temptress of a topic.

Gossip Girl Mondays 9pm

#8 Don’t: Bring Up Religion

The holidays are for everyone no matter what their religious preferences are. It is the time to bring loved ones together, not to convert anyone or preach your beliefs in excess. This is one of the classic topics that everyone tells you to never bring up on dates, family gatherings, at work, etc. There is a reason for that. It’s too big of a topic to bring up during moments that are supposed to be light and peaceful. Let’s be real, how many arguments have you gotten in during your lifetime because religion was discussed and you got into it so deep that you couldn’t get out and you had to finish your point and then it resulted in a bitter goodbye? We have all been there.

Stay tuned for more of “Kait’s 8” soon, right here on
(I love lists, and I know you do too!) #Kaits8
-Kaitlin Lehner/Atlanta’s CW


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