The Funny Thing About Christmas…

Most of us (who celebrate) love Christmas and the holiday season for so many reasons – Christmas cheer, sparkling silver, gold, red, blue decorations everywhere, cute winter clothing, the smell of fir trees in our living rooms, holiday goodies, giving and receiving presents, spending time with loved ones and family… . That is, if you like and enjoy your family.

Not to say that I don’t love my family! They’re just a little different. I mean, I know I’m crazy but not that crazy, right?

Sometimes I wish I had a quiet, small family, but I know if I didn’t have my big, loud, obnoxious, dysfunctional family I might be completely bored.  I know a lot of you have just as ridiculolus families and think that it’s just your family that is crazy, but trust me, there’s a whole bunch of us.  And because I love all 3 of my readers SO much, I’ve decided to let you in on what Christmas with my family is like, and maybe you won’t feel so bad about yours!

Scene 1: Helping my mom cook in the kitchen while my dad watches the football game in the living room pretending not to hear or see the chaos that is happening just steps away from him.  And by “chaos” I mean my mom cussing up a storm because she either forgot an ingredient to what she made, the oven isn’t working well enough, or she can’t find the “Facking can opener!” and it’s not enough that I’m helping her try to find it, I have to be just as frantic as her, mirroring her moves of opening and closing drawers with furious abandon and waving my hands up and down — just to help her feel a little less crazy.
Me: I don’t know! MOM. MOM! Why don’t you just calm down, quit stomping around and yelling and we’ll find it?
Meanwhile, my sister is prancing around the kitchen shoving food in her face trying to talk to us about something completely different than the serious subject at hand of finding the “facking can opener”.

Scene 2: After we’ve all taken five trips back and forth to the car with Costco-boxes filled with food and presents, we (mom, dad, sister and I) all gather around the counter in the kitchen to take a shot of Patron to help us deal with what we are about to enter into. Lord help us. Or Lord help me, my face is now getting all blotchy from the Patron!

Scene 3: We have driven to Grandma’s to pick her up and she gets in.
Grandma: Well Merry Christmas, everyone! How are you? I never see you anymore! (She ALWAYS says this to us)
Mom: Mom, if you’re going to talk about how you don’t see us while we’re seeing us, instead of enjoying the time you have with us, you can stay at home. (People wonder where I get my bossiness!)
Grandma: Well I didn’t think I’d say it much, I don’t usually get a word in edgewise with you. (ohhhh snap!)
*awkward silence as Christmas music that nobody likes plays on the car radio*
It doesn’t take long before Grandma starts badmouthing her other children to us all the way to my Aunt’s house.

Scene 4: Eating dinner while my aunt talks about how Obama or something he wants to do has the devil written all over it, my dad still oblivious to the chaos while he eats, my teenage cousin telling us a story of a guy trying to ask her out (like we want to know) 10x more loudly than she needs to with “so like” littered between every word, this random woman in a santa hat (we invite a lot of strays)  talking to everyone with so much joy on her face it looks like she might snap and break her fork in two from all the joy, my grandma talking about how many corrupt shows we watch, and my own sister asks me for the 500th time what I’m going to school for and when I’ll be finished. Mom’s out smoking on the porch. These are the times I wish I smoked.

Scene 5: Instead of giving each other all gifts, the kids get gifts and the adults play a gift exchange game in which we bring a gift, pull a number out of a hat and the first person to go picks a gift, the second person can steal their gift or grab a new one, and so on. In our family, it’s CUTTHROAT.
Everyone is yelling at me because I’m stealing a gift from Grandma (“How dare you?!”), I’m yelling at my sister because she can’t understand how to be an ally.
Sister: Brittany, I want the rice cooker in your hand.
Me: BROOKE. WE’VE BEEN OVER THIS. I HAVE what YOU want, so that means you have to STEAL WHAT I WANT.
Sister: Oh. …What do you want again?
My family refuses to believe that they once set rules for this game so my uncle and two cousins keep passing the gifts they want around in a circle because they’re too stubborn to end up with crocheted pot holders that the random lady made and want the amazon gift card or the best buy gift card instead.

Scene 6: Three hours later, we’re still playing the game. We’re still yelling and throwing our hands up at each other and my sister is about to cry. I just want to go home with my rice cooker! I’m so tired!
It’s like warfare, people, I’m telling you.

Scene 7: We’re all loaded back up in the car with the gifts we won in the exchange and leftover food. Grandma still feels like badmouthing.
Grandma: I am so glad to be going home, this family is just so loud.  Lacey* (cousin) really is out. of. control.
Mom: I thought she was fine, mom.
Grandma:  Beth* (aunt) just did not teach her kids right.  But your girls, I love your girls.  It’s just too bad I don’t see them anymore…
* cue sister and I to roll our eyes

When I was a teenager I dreaded these family gatherings but part of me has grown to love the dysfunctional weirdness of our family and our gatherings.  See, I may say I’m a little less crazy than they are, but I’m still just another loud-mouthed, sarcastic smart ass that has their own way of dealing with spending time with my family: blogging about it!

So little weirdos out there, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas (or if you don’t celebrate, a lovely day!) and feel free to tell me your crazy dysfunctional family stories because they make me feel better about my mad little assortment of relatives. And if we can’t stand them, we can always laugh about them, right? Right!


*Names have been changed to protect the insane.

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