By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) — With Thanksgiving around the corner, the Cheneys are living a nightmare familiar in many households – the fear that a holiday get-together might turn ugly as political disagreements flare up.

It’s so common, we sought some expert advice on what to do if it happens to you.

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Liz Cheney says she believes in the traditional definition of marriage. The statement by Wyoming senate candidate has run afoul of sister Mary, an openly gay woman.

Their father also supports gay marriage.

After Liz Cheney made the statement on Fox News Sunday, sister Mary called her out over Facebook.

“The effects of this can be really, really serious. I know of family members who never speak again,” said Boston-based etiquette expert Roseanne Thomas.

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Bringing contentious opinions to the holiday table is just asking for trouble.

“Since they both know, the two factions know how the other feels, there’s no reason to bring it up in front of everyone once you get to Thanksgiving,” Thomas said. “It’s not that you can never talk about this, but maybe you just can’t talk about it right now.”

So, what’s an anxious host or hostess to do?

“You as host have a responsibility to sort of protect everyone in that room, so in that regard you would want to say ‘Oh, you know, let’s change the subject,'” Thomas said. “You might actually have to ask someone to either stop or leave.”

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Thomas says this sort of conflict may be on the rise because people are used to voicing their opinions constantly on social media.

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Jon Keller