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A Season of Political Discontent

Dec. 13, 2016
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Dear Ruthie,

We love your column, so when an issue came up the other day, I looked at my husband and said “I know just who to ask!”

The issue at hand is that our five children (all adults, some married with children) have various political views. With this past election, there have been lots of arguments. There were some constructive, smart debates, but often the conversations led to shouting and people storming out. My husband and I don’t want this for Christmas Day. Any ideas on how we can steer the conversation away from politics and keep things merry and bright?

—Political Polly 

Dear Polly,

Well, deck my halls and call me Kris Kringle! I’ve received a few such questions lately! I guess there won’t be any “Pin the Toupee on Trump” games or platters of Hillary Clinton Cookies at your house this year—and that’s a good thing!

Clear the air instantly! Simply announce that you and your husband made a decision, and there will be absolutely no political discussions or comments at your house for the entire day. Zero. No exceptions. Period. Let them know you’re serious but don’t linger on the topic too long. A sentence or two is all you need. Then, raise your glass and toast to the merriest Christmas of all time.

Setting such expectations early should squelch any political conversations. Should someone break the rule, instantly correct them and remind them of your request. Ask them to stop. If they won’t shut their chimney, stuff some fruitcake in their mouth!


Dec. 14-18: ‘The Second City Dysfunctional Holiday Revue’ at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (929 N. Water St.): Holiday mischief awaits at the Marcus Center! The renowned troupe Second City is ready to stuff your stocking with all sort of silly holiday cheer, including crazy skits and their legendary improv games. Call the box office at 414-273-7206 for more.

Dec. 14-31: ‘The Last Holiday Punch’ at Off the Wall Theatre (127 E. Wells St.): Bah-humbug! A Milwaukee tradition is coming to an end! For nearly 40 years, Dale Gutzman’s Holiday Punch has been a Christmas tradition for hundreds of folks. Don’t miss the hilarity as the zany Off the Wall company tackles the presidential election, Broadway hits and misses, Pokémon and even Barbra Streisand! In addition to the craziness, you’ll enjoy classic holiday tunes, dancing and more. Hurry! You don’t want to miss the last call for this Milwaukee staple. Dial 414-484-8874 or see offthewalltheatre.com for tickets and show times. 

Dec. 15: HamBingo for Ruthie’s Kennel Club at Hamburger Mary’s (730 S. Fifth St.): It’s the season of giving, and that includes helping our four-legged friends, too! Ruthie’s Kennel Club sponsors 10 rowdy games of bingo at 8 p.m., hosted by me…Dear Ruthie…with a special appearance by Karen Valentine as Mrs. Claus. Shop our holiday marketplace, explore the new Hamburger Mary’s Beercade, enjoy classic (free) video games and more! Call 414-488-2555 for reservations.

Dec. 17: A Valentine’s Christmas at This Is It (418 E. Wells St.): Warm up your pipes, and fa-la-la your way over to This Is It because everyone’s favorite ho-ho-hostess, Karen Valentine, celebrates Christmas with a sing-a-long for the books! Enjoy Karen’s high-class, high-camp music stylings alongside accompanist Gino de Luca for an 8 p.m. evening of unforgettable holiday hits! 

Dec. 17: Subspace Holiday Special at The Local/Club Anything (807 S. Fifth St.): For the second year in a row, the kids of Subspace host an alternative yuletide party, including what’s being called “weird-ass holiday music,” snacks, presents and cheer as seen through the unique “subspace lens.” The change-of-pace party kicks off at 9 p.m. and runs until bar close.

Dec. 18: Dinner-and-a-Movie Potluck at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center (1110 N. Market St.): Every third Sunday of the month, the LGBT Community Center hosts a finger-licking potluck, and December is no exception. Bring a dish to pass for the 3 p.m. feast, then stick around for a movie! No cost and no stress, the family-friendly afternoon is a great way to meet new people, fill your tummy and celebrate the season!

It’s that time of year! Jingle Ruthie’s bells and drop her an email at dearruthie@shepex.com. Share your problems or tell her about an event she might want to print in this column. 


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