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Old 11-20-2012, 01:07 PM   #1
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Holiday family friction?

We hear quite a bit about extended family tensions at holiday dinners.
Often we don't see some of these people we really don't like all year until we're thrown together at the holidays.

When I was a kid I had an Uncle Walter who was obnoxious most of the time, and during the holidays he was even worse. He all but ruined holiday dinners for years.

Do you have any stories?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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No real frictions here. SO and I always used to go to my sister's home for dinner. Now that my daughters are established, they come here most years and that's my priority. Sis understands.

The only real issue is that SO really doesn't like Thanksgiving. She accepts that I really love making Thanksgiving dinner. She focuses on the family's being here and dotes on our grandson. She also makes a killer pumpkin roll and Armenian holiday cookies.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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We enjoy our time with family & friends with no friction at all... other than... I do have a brother-in-law who is totally obnoxious and profane, even in front of the kids. He lays around taking up the entire sofa, puts what HE wants on the television. Pulls all the skin off the turkey before it's carved. Doesn't work. Drinks like mad which makes him worse. I dislike how everyone just accepts this behavior and simply says: "That's Just Kenny".
Other than that...hehehe..... loving family.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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CM. Kenny sounds like my long gone Uncle Walter reincarnated. He rips the skin off the turkey before it's carved? Not even Uncle Walter did that...if he had, he wouldn't have lived as long as he did.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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Most of the time we all get along just fine. There are moments though when I rater be some place than here. But it passes and we love and enjoy the others. I so love making the foods for snacking, the sweets and drinks. It all comes together and we just eat,drink and watch the little ones open their presents and play.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:54 PM   #6
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we have two ... my mils boyfriend ... he is something else .. i do my best to avoid him at all costs .. and i cook a lot of the turkey day dinner on the grill .. and he is one of those that has to open it every 5 mins ... drives me insane .. then we have a neighbor
that likes to make a few visits on our street ... last year i had to tell him to leave he was so infused with the holiday spirit if you will ... and my mother and my sister just generally bicker non stop but im used to that ...
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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Well, and I just remembered my nieces boyfriend who enters the house, walks past everyone without so much as a "POOH" and starts eating . Sits down with his food and let's my elderly mother stand. Plops himself in front of the tv to watch sports which most of us aren't interested in, yelling at the set. Immature Inconsiderate and ~@!X*^. ya know?
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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Thanksgiving has always been my dad's favorite holiday, so he is on his best behavior. That helps. I went home last year for thanksgiving and all was calm. I don't get back for holidays much, so when I am there things go well for the most part. As for my family here, we just get along. None of us are into arguments or petty behavior.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Maloney
Well, and I just remembered my nieces boyfriend who enters the house, walks past everyone without so much as a "POOH" and starts eating . Sits down with his food and let's my elderly mother stand. Plops himself in front of the tv to watch sports which most of us aren't interested in, yelling at the set. Immature Inconsiderate and ~@!X*^. ya know?
Are you sure it's not my BIL? He does that too.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
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Are you sure it's not my BIL? He does that too.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:24 PM   #11
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No friction here .. we celebrate alone. Too many nuts in his family tree who live to fight. My family is all gone so it's just us and our 2 dogs .. it's perfect !!

We do get together with the whacky ones but only once in a while and never on a holiday. They get just as upset with us because we won't fight with them LOL
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:16 AM   #12
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there was tension between 2 in my family. was so tense, i was grateful to leave there.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:23 AM   #13
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I have a sister who makes me glad I don't go home for the holidays. Drama Queen.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:05 AM   #14
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No friction here. Sadly, other than a brother I don't hear from very often, I have no real family left. My wife's family has adopted me, so that's where I spend the holidays. They're all very nice people, though, and we get along great.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:05 AM   #15
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When I was growing up, in a very dysfunctional family due mostly to my mother's behavior, ANY event that remotely smelled like a holiday was fair game for her obnoxious behavior. Screaming, yelling, criticizing, browbeating, you name it. Nothing was ever right or enough. No one could behave or dress to suit her. If she prepared the holiday meal, whatever holiday it may be, everyone had to practically genuflect as they went on as to how wonderful/beautiful/delicious it was.

As for the schedule of events during a holiday, it was always on her terms no matter if family/guests had to travel many miles. If you didn't arrive when she expected you to be there, you didn't appreciate all the work, etc. she'd gone to to "make everything nice."

Nice? A holiday meal at her table was like eating thorns with Attila the Hun.

Needless to say, I left home at 17 and never went back and made a vow to myself to NEVER ever subject my family/friends to what I was subjected to in my family home.

I kept my promise to myself. And the children, now all in their 40s, still speak lovingly and happily about all our holidays and the traditions that were established, many of which continue in their homes.

I can't abide strife and won't sit still for it. Life is too short to waste it hurting feelings or causing emotional disruption.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:31 AM   #16
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All good here, other than I wish my brother would learn some new songs on the guitar. He has been playing the same 6 for 35 years.... drives a man to drink....
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #17
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I adore my family, but there is always one....

My sister, I am convinced is bi-polar. She likely will never get diagnosed or treated because she is a military officer. We can be having an amazing time and I can see her go from jovial to argumentative in mere minutes.

The last couple of years have been rough, the year before last we knew that this would likely be the last with my dad. This wasn't bad, my sister adored dad (actually her stepdad) and didn't often show her dark side around him. This last Christmas dad was gone, and mom was very fragile, in the span of a month mom had dealt with her first Thanksgiving, anniversary, dad's birthday and now Christmas without him. We traveled to my sister's for Christmas eve and all went well until the end, she started saying inflammatory things, crazy things, so we decided to go and used the excuse of the 2 hour drive. So far mom was safe. Later in the week my sister was in town and asked us to meet her at a restaurant for dinner. By the end of the dinner my mother left crying harder than I had seen in a long time.

That's the last time that I've seen my sister.

This year I asked my mom to stay in Maine, to spend it with her mom, who at 90 has Alzheimer's but is still pretty lucid, but this might be the last Christmas that we can say that. I wanted a very low key Christmas. I need time to regroup myself during the holiday season, I've spent so much energy taking care to be there for mom, that I haven't been able to deal with holidays without dad.

I look forward to having my holiday spirit revived, so that next year I can have my mom here and have a festive, fun Christmas. I look forward to getting my Christmas spirit back.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:05 PM   #18
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oh wow Katie, from reading your posts i would have placed heavy bets on your coming from a close-knit, loving family--precisely because you are such a warm, loving and appreciative person yourself.

how in the world have you managed to break the cycle of a dysfunctional family experience? so many of us vow not to repeat the abusive behaviors to which we were subjected as children, only to continue, to our horror, the very objectionable cycle, in our own adult lives. we find that, against everything we hold dear, we grow into adulthood, somehow doomed to walk in the much despised footsteps of our violent, abusive, neglectful mothers and fathers. it takes more than desperately wishing to become a loving and nurturing parent, avoiding past mistakes of our experience. what did you do, Katie, that was different, that made you succeed in breaking the mold which all too often is imprinted from mother and father to their children, for generations to follow?

you deserve every minute of your enviable life and family, Katie. you helped to create this loving environment which surrounds and enriches your life today.:)
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:04 PM   #19
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oh wow Katie, from reading your posts i would have placed heavy bets on your coming from a close-knit, loving family--precisely because you are such a warm, loving and appreciative person yourself.

how in the world have you managed to break the cycle of a dysfunctional family experience? so many of us vow not to repeat the abusive behaviors to which we were subjected as children, only to continue, to our horror, the very objectionable cycle, in our own adult lives. we find that, against everything we hold dear, we grow into adulthood, somehow doomed to walk in the much despised footsteps of our violent, abusive, neglectful mothers and fathers. it takes more than desperately wishing to become a loving and nurturing parent, avoiding past mistakes of our experience. what did you do, Katie, that was different, that made you succeed in breaking the mold which all too often is imprinted from mother and father to their children, for generations to follow?

you deserve every minute of your enviable life and family, Katie. you helped to create this loving environment which surrounds and enriches your life today.:)
Thank you, vitauta. Yes, I did break the cycle. I made up my mind when I left home that I would NEVER subject anyone to the environment I was forced to endure.

The first thing I did was to distance myself from anyone's abusive behavior, this included my first husband who turned out to be not so nice once the ink was dry on the marriage license. That was especially difficult because I left him with 3 small children, 2 still in diapers. At that time, finding daycare for children that small was nearly impossible but I persevered and found a wonderful, loving woman who did childcare in her home and accepted my children. To this day, her oldest daughter and my daughter are like sisters.

I also fought every step of the way to provide a normal, loving life and home for my children when I was a single mother. It nearly wore me out at times but I kept my eyes on the prize...a healthy family life and happiness. I quit a very good, well-paying job because I realized that all of us spent too much time on the road going to/from work and/or daycare and not enough time together at home.

Because of the abuse growing up (often severely physical), it was a challenge for me to discipline my children firmly. I didn't want to cross the line from discipline with love to a beating. I was always conscious of whether I was angry when I disciplined my children. If I felt the least bit of anger, I held off and waited until I became more calm inside.

It did take years for me to understand and accept that I am a capable person. All the time spent in my family home being emotionally and physically beaten down, plus the nearly 10 years under the "management" of my ex-husband took a serious toll on my self-confidence.

I also have to give a huge amount of credit to Buck who met me at about the lowest time of my struggle. He had a big heart and nurtured me, and my children. We had 32 wonderful years building our blended family and all our children are happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults.

My children are now in their 40s, with children of their own and I can, safely, say that the cycle has been broken because these families that are going forward are loving, caring, reasonable, emotionally healthy and happy.

I didn't do it all by myself, but it did take a generation to get it done.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:17 PM   #20
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thank you so much for sharing your story with us, katie. the road you traveled in life to distance yourself from your past was not an easy one. it took much strength and character on your part to forge ahead with three small children, in uncharted waters, to build a new and better life for you and them. and you did it, katie! your children must be very thankful and proud of their mom--all of your hard efforts are being rewarded today, and your children and grandchildren have a much easier path to pave and pass on to future generations. thank you, katie, for being the pioneer, the survivor, and the inspiration that you are! :)
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