Non-Political Talking Points to Ensure a Peaceful Holiday Season

It’s been a heck of a year. And after eight months of a pandemic topped off by a heated election, tensions are high. So whether you’re gathering the family around a computer screen or under an outdoor heat lamp this year, here are some activities and conversation starters to help you keep the peace. While we can’t guarantee these topics won’t be controversial, we can promise they will steer you clear of holiday heartburn brought on by political debates.

Gifts that say, “I care… enough to make you laugh.” Right when you thought you had seen it all, Cogent Managing Director Randall Gerard recently brought to our attention the KFC® Limited-Edition 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog. The log, which retails for under $20, advertises as “dramatically less wasteful and significantly more effective at making your home smell like fried chicken than burning actual fried chicken.” Can you imagine the disappointment on relatives’ faces when they walk into your herb-scented home expecting to find a bucket of chicken but discover only a burning log? There is no end to the jokes about this gift, which is why the KFC® Firelog and other white elephant-type presents are the perfect topic for holiday conversation.

Streaming shows to avoid small talk. Nothing says “let’s spend the holidays together” quite like silently streaming a new show for six hours. On the flip side, it gives you plenty to discuss when the series is over. The Cogent team was quick to bang out Tiger King in the early days of the pandemic. For those who are yet to take on the six-part documentary, now is your chance. The Crown has returned, and season four is all about Princess Diana. For fans of the Royal Family, this show is for you. Want a suspenseful drama? We’re obsessed with The Undoing. Need something funny? Borat is back… but maybe not the movie you want to watch with Grandma. For gentler content, tune into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade followed by the National Dog Show. Whether watching together or apart, these programs will give you plenty to talk about… and some much-needed silence.  

Giving back gives all the feels. As a small business, Cogent is keenly aware that local shops and restaurants have been incredibly hard-hit by the pandemic. And we applaud the creativity and ingenuity we have seen from so many area businesses that are reimagining their operations to keep the lights on and their doors open. Similarly, community foodbanks never have been more vital as more and more Americans are struggling to make ends meet. If you are looking for ways to bring your family together this season, please consider assisting area pantries like the Capital Area Foodbank or those serving your community. And don’t forget to shop local this season! Grab your mask and some sanitizer or cozy-up to your computer this weekend in support of #SmallBusinessSaturday.       

Everyone has said it, but we’ll say it again – the holidays will look different this year. But whether you’re Zooming with family or hosting a small gathering, talking about the pandemic and politics will give you more indigestion than gravy and stuffing. So this season share a laugh, stream a show or support your community together to keep spirits high for the remainder of 2020.