Dearest family,

Can’t wait to gather with you all this Thursday! But in light of recent events, a gentle reminder: let’s please avoid discussion of that one topic.

I’m of course referring to cornucopia grapes. It’s clear that some of us believe Aunt Darcy’s signature centerpiece should prominently feature a plastic bunch, while others think grapes have fallen out of favor as autumnal decorative items. On this matter, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree, if there’s to be peace at the dinner table.

I know it’s been on all of our minds. Last night I woke up at 3AM wondering how, in the 21st century, are we unable to respect each others’ right to live and believe and fruit-populate as we wish? How can we not understand that some people enjoy a horn of plenty that’s teeming with a bounty of non-climatic deciduous berries, while others prefer their oversized bugles overflowing with gourds and maize, yet sans our jammiest produce?

But divided we are, and the ongoing crisis of whether a luscious vine of concords should be crammed into a wicker ornament alongside pumpkins and pine cones is not one we’re gonna solve overnight.

There are of course the conspiracy theorists who believe Aunt Darc’s tablescape did once contain grapes. We’ve all seen the pictures showing a similar centerpiece sitting in a Home Goods in Akron, with a big, globular bunch of green Niagaras front and center. But we also know how easy it is to doctor images in this ongoing propaganda war. Disinformation abounds, made worse by the fact that Aunt Darc is a scatterbrain who can barely remember where she put the yams. It’s best to show each other the courtesy of grace.

Which brings us to the subject of alcohol, which can further diminish said grace. Mainly because the wine starts reminding us all of grapes. As such, we’re asking you to please keep your drinking under control.

Or to opt for tequila, as who the hell’s heard of a cornucopia that features an agave plant?

It’s not that we’re trying to silence anyone. We’re a large, multigenerational family, and we know that this issue is seen differently by different groups. Some are too young to even remember life before that godforsaken centerpiece found its way to the table. Some of our elders survived past tragedies, like the Easter centerpiece that featured three ovular indentations floating above an empty basket. It’s easy to talk past one another.

The truth is that certain topics are just best avoided at the Thanksgiving table. Politics? Religion? Both fine! But nothing good will come from yelling about whether there’s a glue spot on the plastic pear that indicates where a neighboring bunch of muscats should be adhered, or whether that’s just a sticky remnant left over from the histrionic sneeze that erupted from Cousin Stacey at Thanksgiving of ’98.

Let’s remember there are good, innocent people on both sides. Whereas ol’ intellectual Uncle Samuel considers himself an historian on the exact varietals of grapes the Mayflower settlers would’ve brought to the first feast, sweet Aunt Darcy is such a fucking idiot it’s a wonder we’re not all staring at a goddamn St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun. We should respect every perspective, even if Uncle Sam can get a little too strident regarding Francis Billington Brewster’s supposed preference for the tartness of the Mustang grape, and Aunt Darc would benefit from an argument more cogent than, “I did buy the yams, didn’t I?”

My advice? Let’s focus on beautiful things. Like the upcoming election. Or tracking the cost of everyday goods and services. Or anything involving land entitlement in the Middle East. After our annual ice breaker wherein we ask everyone what they’re thankful for and whether or not it’s their vaccination status, there are so many paths toward productive discussion. Abortion, anyone?

But in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s have a truce on the ultimate third rail: the fruit makeup of decorative cornucopiae. Let’s call for a ceasefire, if you will. What could ever be controversial about those?

All my love,

P.S. Remind me to tell everyone which God is the undeniably real one; I finally figured it out.