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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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Holiday Party 2014!

The Almanac’s guide to holiday small talk

All articles featured in Almanac are creative, satirical and/or entirely fictional pieces. They are fully intended as such and should not be taken seriously as news.

The holidays can be a really rough time of year for a lot of people, especially college students. Being away from your homes and thrust back into the purgatory that is whatever small-Wisconsin-town you managed to crawl your way out of can be hard enough as it is. To make this time easier Almanac has created a conversation guide to get you through what can only be described as a minefield — especially in today's political climate amiright?? Without further adieu, here are the topics to avoid, and bring up, at your holiday gatherings.

What you shouldn’t bring up:

  1. The Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Listen, I know it’s important that the punk of the century gets what’s coming to him. But that pie isn’t going to taste very good if your uncle Joe is talking about how that little shit is a national hero. In fact, that stuffing from earlier might make a reappearance
  2. Significant Others. This one is kind of a given, but it’s important to reiterate just how crucial it is to steer the conversation away from your relationship — or lack thereof. Yes, grandma I know I’ve never had a boyfriend and that both my brother and sister are in long term relationships. Why are we talking about this again?
  3. How school is going. Well dad, since you asked, half of my class has the Rona, I have alcoholic tendencies, and I’ve had the lowest score in the class for the last four midterms I’ve taken. Trust me, it’s better for you and them if they don’t know.
  4. Mental health. It’s not good. Moving on.
  5. Perspective jobs/internships. Life isn’t real. Neither is working. 

What you can bring up

  1. Taylor Swift. The girl-boss-ification of America has fully set in and that means everyone is finally allowed to admit that Taylor Swift and her music are good. Bonus points for playing some classic holiday tunes like “Tis’ the damn season” while with your toxic ass ex from Ashwaubenon while you’re hooking up in a church parking lot. Just make sure you tell your parents you were out getting ice cream when you get back and they inevitably question you.
  2. The weather. A perfectly acceptable topic in all social settings. As long as it doesn’t turn into a dangerous discussion about climate change where your grandma starts asking how that’s even possible if her fridge is still warm.
  3. Badger Volleyball. Who doesn’t love to watch a college team win. And volleyball is without a doubt one of the least controversial sports at UW-Madison up to this point. Nothing but good vibes from and to that team.
  4. Daylight Savings. Daylight savings is one of the worst concepts to ever grace the midwest. As I’m writing this the sun is going down five short hours after I got out of bed. Just make sure you don’t accidentally slip up and tell them that your seasonal depression is coinciding with your regular depression once again.

The members of the family that aren’t there. Nothing brings people together like talking shit and the holidays bring about one of the most opportune moments. Talk about how ugly cousin Elise’s boyfriend is when they leave to go pick up the ingredients for dinner. Or talk about how uncle Chris has really let himself go this time.

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