This holiday season is definitely unlike any other in recent years, in part due to re-enforced pandemic protocols, post-election friction, and everything else that 2020 has dumped onto our laps. That might make things easier on some families, while some others are no doubt going through far more complicated get-togethers. For what it's worth, Voice star and talk show host Kelly Clarkson gave her two cents on how to approach awkward family time during Christmas (and other holidays), and it's quite the challenging piece of advice.
On a recent episode of the wildly popular Kelly Clarkson Show, the pop star host fielded viewer-submitted dilemmas tied to the holiday season. One fan's hilarious situation involved getting caught in a lie over visiting his mom's "fun" family instead of his dad's "not so fun" family, which prompted Clarkson to share that the best move in that case is to not lie to anyone and to get those potentially confrontational opinions out in the open. That answer led directly into the question of what to do when conversations turn political, leading to Clarkson offering up this hot take:
Here's the thing: 'm not a good person to ask about this, because I don't think most people like my answer. I don't like when people say, 'Don't talk about faith or politics or all the big issues.' That's how we get here. That's how we get to 2020. [Mimics an explosion.] 'Cause no one talks about stuff. That doesn't fix the problem. And it doesn't help in any way, shape or form on either side, you know what I'm saying? Why would you not want to have conversations about stuff like that? Because maybe, just maybe, what I think about something isn't really right, and I didn't really think about it in that way, or that vantage point or perspective.
While most people would probably prefer to quietly slink away from the dinner table once polarizing topics like politics and religion come up – and perhaps sports as well, albeit to a lesser degree – Kelly Clarkson is in favor of having more conversations about these topics, so that those thoughts and opinions don't just fester and grow without a clear outlet. Granted, personal debates have gotten far more testy in recent years, to the point where violence is occasionally the outcome, but Clarkson obviously has a more idealized debate session in mind.
It's easy to see how the "talk about all your problems with politics" approach could be a giant headache from the jump, but it's also hard to argue with Kelly Clarkson's notion that the instinct to bottle up all of our opinions about these kinds of social issues is part of the reason why people argue with such animosity and vitriol these days, regardless of their point or what side they're on. People who are accustomed to getting into calm two-sided conversations are more likely able to engage with others' sudden anger without flying off the handle themselves. (At least at first, since we're only human.)
Specifically, Kelly Clarkson used her mother as an example of someone that she loves and enjoys her time with, even though the two of them don't share the same outlook on a lot of topics. In her words:
My mother and I are very different on some things. But wanting to be loved and respected and helpful and [having] a servant's heart, there are a lot of core things there. Granted, we are different in some other ways. But I think that's not a problem.
Kelly Clarkson finished that answer up by saying one of the things she loves most about being born in the United States is that, despite all of the obvious atrocities that have happened, this country's history is full of uncomfortable conversations between people who don't agree, and those conversations could often led to better situations for all. Obviously a holiday meal at someone's grandmother's house is to be taken in a slightly different context than the Continental Congress, but the point is basically the same. Check out Clarkson delivering the advice herself in the clip below.
Watch more from the Voice coach when The Kelly Clarkson Show airs weekdays in syndication, and get ready to watch it for years to come, since it was recently renewed for two more seasons. Check your local listings to see when and where it's playing in your area. While waiting for the next episode, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 premiere rundown to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon.