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Topics to Avoid at Holiday Dinner

We get it: You haven’t seen your fam in months and you’re dying to share your views on everything from your tanking 401(k) to your cousin’s horrible new haircut. But instead of diving right into the controversial talk, we recommend keeping your gabbing on these six topics to a minimum.

Personal Hygiene
Think you'll crack everyone up with a story about how your husband went all Man Vs Wild, which resulted in a nasty, burning rash in unmentionable places? Stop. No one wants to hear about any kind of bodily ailments while they're eating -- especially your mother-in-law.

Disorderly Conduct
You know that saying, “We’ll look back on this and laugh someday?” Well, not so fast. Your cousin Bill probably doesn’t want to be reminded of his drunken date who broke your great-grandma’s antique gravy boat last year. Some things are better left in the past (like that gravy boat).

Former Flings
We’re all packin’ excess baggage from relationships past, but for just one night, don’t ask your brother what happened to that really nice girl he met in college when his fiancé is passing you the green bean casserole.

Money Woes
Yeah, the economy sucks. And no, you can’t afford a much-needed vacation. But if you really want to wipe all those smiles off your loved ones’ faces, keep talking about how you’re so broke you can barely pay the rent.

Baby (Making) Talk
Children and grandchildren are a happy topic, we agree. Nevertheless, the statement “We’re trying to get pregnant” will evoke images of the two of you going at it (just think of everyone’s red-faced stares, smirks or grimaces, especially if teenagers are present).

Family Traditions
Have you ever hosted a dinner party? You want everything to be perfect, right? Well, so does your mother-in-law. If you notice differences between your family’s Thanksgiving hoedown and hers, don’t say a word. No one needs to hear “My mother always makes the stuffing from scratch, but I guess I’ll get used to a box mix” after slaving over a dinner for 12.

-- Lauren Le Vine

See More: Entertaining , Family & In-Laws