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  1. The Amazing Kim
    The Amazing Kim at |

    *standing ovation*

    Some people are really invested in #5. This year I wanted to do the charity thing instead of buying real presents. My mum was keen but my grandma was really hostile, saying it was symptomatic of how the family’s falling apart, that my unenthusiasm was like a disease, I was ruining Christmas for everyone, etc etc. Apparently Christmas has to follow a strict formula otherwise it means that no one loves anyone.

  2. QoT
    QoT at |

    Thanks Amazing Kim! I was pondering writing a new version for this season but life got in the way. There’s a definite need for some people to tick all the boxes that will objectively prove Your Family Is Normal And Good.

  3. mimbles
    mimbles at |

    Yesterday was a number 4 special for me, we went out for the day with my brother-in-law and his family. When we met up I said cheerful hello to his wife and she turned her back on me. It went downhill from there. I asked my husband why we were doing this and he said “because we don’t see them any other time all year.” Yeah, there’s a reason for that.

  4. Jo
    Jo at |

    Agree so much! I’m vegan, so there’s all the food choices crap, including one part of the family that make a point of ensuring they won’t feed me, by adding cheese to green salads etc. (I either don’t go there or arrange my own food on the rare occasions that we do.)

    We now do (secular) Xmas home with just husband, the kids and me. We then catch up with families on other days. Boxing Day is good, because we can say that we’ll just have/bring left overs, which seems to take a lot of expectations off the table.

    I and the husband have also demonstrated a willingness to calmly leave or ask people not to be so rude, which applies to way more issues than my food choices as we both have rather dysfunctional families. That works really well. Queen of Thorns is completely right!

    Mimbles

  5. Jo
    Jo at |

    It submitted before I finished!

    I was about to offer support to Mimbles! It sounds like your SIL is a nightmare! It’s always worse with a SO’s family. You don’t want to burn their bridges for them (been there!).

  6. QoT
    QoT at |

    @mimbles: Exactly!

  7. Kite
    Kite at |

    “Fuck sacrificing your happiness so other people can tick their My Family Is Normal box.”

    Heh, THIS. I lost my reason and decided to fly down this year, but only for a close family member who’s just moved back to Australia, and another who’s very very old. Oh and should I say “hey this is my same sex life partner get used to it?” Well, I hated most of Xmas. There’s a reason I live 3000km away from my family. Next Xmas period I’m travelling again, or… something not this.

    Good article!!

  8. Helen
    Helen at |

    Xmas means at least two gatherings (there’s a family birthday and farewell for an overseas visitor in there too) with my homophobic, racist, anti-semitic, sexist BIL… there’s probably a few other boxes I haven’t ticked there. There is another kinda-sorta-relative who likes to get on my nerves by being “edgy and non-pee-cee!!”, too. Good times.

  9. Yuki
    Yuki at |

    Right on the money!
    Re. #5 I am finally giving up on cooking for family members who refuse to even try what I have made because it’s vegan or because I cooked it. Not worth it. More for me.

    “Fuck sacrificing your happiness so other people can tick their My Family Is Normal box.”
    I need this on a plaque or something! Screw stressing out over entertaining people who will do nothing but criticise you and tell you all your choices are wrong! Either say something or just don’t spend time with them if they can’t be civil.

  10. SunlessNick
    SunlessNick at |

    This thread reminds me of the touching and boundaries thread from Feministe.

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