Christmas and Trump: A Time for Change


By Mary Connor
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We all know the dread felt when the task of meeting up with certain families for holiday dinners is put on our heads. Once you arrive, everything is sunshine and rainbows until your grandma begins guilt-tripping you about not choosing to come to last year’s dinner. From there, it’s every man or woman for himself or herself. Your mother is constantly reminding you of your grades and dirty room and your father is no help as he devours a piece of pie. Your great aunt always turns the conversation into one that concerns religious values and your cousin from the city makes a point to challenge her. That one cousin you only ever see at these events argues with his brother about football. Sisters fight about boyfriends, brothers fight about girlfriends and there’s always a harsh political debate between the conservative and liberal side of the family before the night is over. With president elect Donald Trump’s recent victory, I couldn’t help but notice parallels in our family gathering and the aftermath of the election.

Just as Christmas dinner can turn into a divided scene, so has the nation; we have become a rather not-so-United States of America. After the results of the election were publicly announced, thousands of protesters rioted in the streets, heated social media hashtags and trends began, including the infamous #NotMyPresident, and nearly half the country is still severely discontent with Trump’s victory. With all of the drama and chaotic scenes, now is the time to truly embrace the holiday spirit and come together as one, big, happy family.

The 2016 election stirred issues involving race, education, gender, sexuality, etc. and practically gave media a circus to broadcast across many mediums. The arguments over these values struck a chord with the majority of the nation; any People of Color (POC), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and others (LGBTQ+) person, person of minority religions or women felt the impact of the harsh words being thrown across news stations, newspaper headlines, podcasts, tweets, but most especially from the mouths of politicians and political candidates themselves. Every time Trump’s face is shown on TV, I can’t help but to compare him to a rowdy uncle who says and does whatever is on his mind regardless of whether or not he is correct and regardless of the upsets he creates with the other side of the family. To me, all of the slander, controversy, insults and the downright lack of solutions left me disheartened for the future of our country and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

With political discrepancies in the spotlight, Christmas has lost that special touch. The sounds of Christmas carolers at the doorstep, the crackle of the fire, have turned into loud commercials, blaring alert tones on smartphones, and the awkward silences and piercing shouts that ensue when certain family members come together. Once again because I mean it; we should embrace one another this Christmas. Keeping family traditions alive is important to the tradition of coming together as a family, but it’s just as important to embrace new ones, as well. Just as we cater to grandma’s Christmas stories and your aunt’s prayers, we must say a peaceful farewell to President Obama and a hefty ‘hello’ to Trump with a believable smile and hope in our hearts.

This year, we should be attempting to put aside differences and aim for the betterment of our country after the election revealed that a highly rambunctious and controversial businessman was going to become the next president. After the chaos that ensued after the election, the end of 2016 calls for many disagreements and arguments, but coming together to make change is our best option right now and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Although our big family may not be very amiable or even totally stable, at the end of the night, we, as United States citizens, are still able to gather around the table and enjoy the dinner we’ve created together, the turkey platter of issues we must face as a nation. Now isn’t the time to point fingers and call names. Now is the time to use Trump’s election as a pedestal for change. Trump is going to be the President of the United States and that can’t be changed by the many young voters tweeting out hateful comments. Let’s all settle down and feast on the big golden turkey at the middle of it all.