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Christmas fighting

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The other night, while doing the Christmas thing with my wife's family, I settled into bed and soon was jarred by the traditional sounds of the holiday: Two people screaming at each other at the top of their lungs.

    This time, it was my two brothers-in-law (my wife's brothers), battling it out over some perceived verbal jab over the weekend that may or may not have occurred. Also in the ring was a similar perceived verbal jab delivered 20 years prior. It wasn't a huge surprise - the tension had clearly been building in the one brother-in-law all weekend long. It was just a matter of if the dynamite would ignite before the night was over or not. It did. The straw that broke the camel's back? The one brother-in-law asking if someone could turn the TV down, because he had a short night of sleep ahead of him and a long drive in the morning. This, apparently, was another sign of his "moral superiority."

    Anyway ... it took me back to the lovely Christmases of my youth, when no December 25th was complete without a knock-down drag-out battle royale between my mom and dad about some sort of unresolved, unaddressed family issue - often something that an extended family member may or may not have said or may or may not have meant at the annual gathering.

    What I'm getting at: Why do people fight so much on Christmas? Are they looking for a reason to get pissed off? Is there anyway to survive this minefield other than announcing that I completely withdraw from the holidays, and I'll see everyone on the Fourth of July?

    It is something I am seriously considering. The tension and the gift-giving pressure and everything else associated with the holiday is just more than I feel like dealing with at this point.
  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    My parents always host Christmas eve and it turns into a fucking nightmare shouting matches. It has gotten so bad over the years that I would actually request Christmas Eve as my holiday to work in the newsroom so I didn't have to put up with it.

    This year, my girlfriend is coming over and she will be meeting the family. My brother says it is a terrible idea and he is probably right, but I'm not sacrificing spending the holidays with someone whose company I actually enjoy because my family is bat-shit crazy.

    I already told my parents if there is one hint of trouble, we're leaving and spending Christmas Eve at Applebee's.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    These were my Christmases as a kid.

    Wake up at one parent's house. Then, hope on a plane or a train to visit the other parent.

    Those were the good years, when my father lived out of town. When he lived in town and we woke up at his place he would always pull some shit that would result in delivering us two hours late to my mom's to try to ruin her day.

    The moral of the story is, if you want your kids to grow up and hate you, pull that kind of shit when they're kids.

    Good times... :D
  4. Family drama+Christmas= tons of stress.

    Not to be a grinch, but my happiest adult Christmases are spent far, far away from family members. Or maybe drive in for a Christmas lunch, drive out a few hours later.

    If I have to stay more than 24 hours, I just start drinking and hope to block everything out.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Christmas Eve 1989. Alcohol. A pickle flies across the kitchen table. Voices raise. Children wake up crying. Swearing. A relative flies down the stairs. A punch is thrown. More swearing. The cops arrive. The wee hours of Christmas morning. Eating cheeseburgers at an all-night greasy spoon. Awesome memory.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for letting me vent. It's so gratifying to hear that misery has company where this is concerned.

    Length of stay can be a huge factor, I think.

    With my in-laws, it's a 48-hour-plus visit, with two nights spent with everyone under one (little) roof. That includes five children under age 8. Whenever I tell my wife it seems like a bit much, though, she tells me that she "likes spending time with my family." I think it's particularly uncomfortable when you are an in-law and getting pulled into the middle of the drama.
  7. I think that's a big factor. When it's your own blood, yes they're crazy people, but at least they're your own crazy people.
  8. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    My brother and I got into a huge shouting match at Christmas about 7 years ago. Basically, I was calling him out on 35 years of being full of shit. We haven't had a cross word since.

    Only drawback is it made my mother cry. I felt bad about that.
  9. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    The same greasy spoon you had Thanksgiving dinner at?
  10. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member


    I never remember any Christmas fights whatsoever in either branch of our family.

    But in the summertime at the cottage when it was hot and everybody was drinking -- whoo nellie.
  12. Bodie_Broadus

    Bodie_Broadus Active Member

    A relative flies down the stairs?

    Oh, my.
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