Editorial: As we enter the most festive season of the year, let's commit to family and friends
This editorial is modified and updated from an editorial we published on Thanksgiving Weekend 2016.
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
In a conversation with a friend the other day, we were advised of an admonition apparently making its way around social media:
"Your vote for president was important, but don't expect the candidate you voted for to show up at your funeral."
The clever among us might think this is a sarcastic reference to the advanced ages of Donald Trump and Joe Biden and the likelihood that so many of us will outlive them. But the point was more relevant to the holiday we celebrate today and the season we are entering: Trump or Biden might have appreciated your vote, but during the crucial moments in your life, they'll have other things to do.
Your politics are important, but in this season of goodwill, let's remember that family and friends are what really matter. That message is particularly relevant in 2020, as COVID-19 forces Thanksgiving Day separations at a time when families most long to be together.
In other words, they're the ones who will be seeking comfort at your funeral. Not Trump. Not Biden. (Not any sports or entertainment stars, either, for that matter.) Your family and friends are the ones you'll miss when they're gone, the ones who will cause your heart to break when they pass.
Family and friends are the ones who are there to celebrate your accomplishments and to offer comfort on your disappointments, the ones who share excitement over weddings and births and new jobs and new homes.
Let's keep all of that in perspective.
Today is Thanksgiving Day. The calendar turns over to December next week. We've just entered the most festive, most loving, most cherished season of the year.
Let's remember it.
We've just survived the most polarizing election of our lifetimes. Passions were inflamed. They still are.
But if we can't keep a political conversation between family and friends civilized and respectful, let's talk about something else, at least during the holidays.
And if you're not going to change your sibling's mind anyway, then don't go there. What's the point?
This election has been hard on relationships. The instances of Facebook friendships being unfriended have become legendary. But the strain has not been limited to cyberspace. It has not been uncommon for friends to stop speaking to each other, relatives to stop seeing each other.
Politics is important, but let's each of us commit this holiday season to embrace the family and friends we have, to respect our differences and disagreements and not let them undermine the love and kindness that in the end binds us all to each other.
'Tis the season to be merry.
The coronavirus has cast a pall over celebrations this year, and made it harder than ever for families and friends to get together in person. But we can still make this holiday the merriest. Let's remember the spirit of the season and the loved ones in our lives and may "God bless us, everyone."