I just read a post on Pajamas Media about how to deal with potentially nasty political discussions at family gatherings (e.g. Thanksgiving dinner). It reminded me of last summer's trip to Los Angeles, where much of my generally-liberal extended family resides.
Some time before, one of my daughters came up with the idea of a "CHILL" sign, to be produced and displayed when a political or other discussion became heated. During the summer visit, we spent some time at a cousin's house, gathered around a long table. At one end, I got into a spirited but friendly debate with an uncle about Iraq. One daughter, at the other end of the table, feared that things were getting out of hand, and made a CHILL sign from a napkin. The other daughter, closer to the action, could see that all was civil. She responded with her own napkin stating "They're just discussing". We then put the two signs together to read "Chill -- they're just discussing".... I rather like the idea of having both signs available, and deploying either or both as needed.