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How To Respond To Family Members Who Post Racist Memes During The Holidays

'Tis the season... for memes telling immigrants to "Stop the war on Christmas."

When it comes to the winter holidays, you can usually expect the following: busy shopping malls, extra chocolate and candy at the office, stressed-out parents trying to find that sold-out toy, and tired family members schlepping from one dinner to the next.

Oh, and memes with anti-immigrant sentiments.

Yep, sometimes we just can't avoid those family members who post racist memes all in the name of "protecting" Christmas.

Variations of this meme include telling immigrants or people of colour who don't celebrate Christmas to "go back to their country," that Muslims are taking away people's "right" to celebrate Christmas, and that there's a "war on Christmas."

To that, we say:

But it can be difficult to know what to say in situations like this, or whether we should say anything at all. Calling out a family member or friend, even on social media, can make us uncomfortable, even if we know we shouldn't stay silent.

But does that mean you should unfriend your racist uncle? No, you shouldn't.

"Do not purge your followers of all your white friends who espouse #alllivesmatter, your family who shout about black-on-black crime, and your former colleagues who are adamant they are victims of reverse racism. At least, not yet," explains Yes! magazine's Kimber Simpkins.

If you do want to have a conversation with your racist family member or friend, Simpkins suggests engaging with them "compassionately."

"Be as compassionate as you can. Empathize: 'I know it's hard to see someone else's hardship when you've had so much of your own.' Ask them questions about why they believe what they believe... Be interested and curious. Redirect the conversation back to race when you can... And remember, every minute you spend engaging with a racially unaware white person is a minute they can't spend antagonizing a person of colour with their micro- and macro-aggressions," Simpkins explains.

But, if you're at a loss for words and you still want to call out that person who's spreading hate over the interwebs, we asked graphic designer Madeline Poupore to come up with some memes that apply to these situations. We think you'll approve.

When the meme says: "They won't let us say Merry Christmas!"

You reply:

When the meme says: "People who don't like Christmas should pack their bags and go back home!"

You reply:

When the meme says: "F*ck all the people who hate Christmas!"

You reply:

When the meme says: "People who come to this country should abide by Canadian customs and celebrate Christmas!":

You reply:

When the meme says: "Stop making me say 'Happy Holidays!'"

You reply:

When the meme says: "Merry Christmas! If you're offended by that, then go back to your own country."

You reply:

When the meme says: "We're under attack by people who hate Christmas!"

You reply:

When the meme says: "I just want to live in a free country where we can put up Christmas lights without offending people."

You reply:

See? We hope these will get your relative to see the error in their thoughts. Happy holidays, one and all!

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