Holiday gatherings are supposed to be a time where family and friends get together and celebrate another great year together, or at least that's how they're supposed to work. However, there are times where families can't put their differences, family history, or dram aside for a big meal.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to share the trashiest incident that ever took place at a holiday gathering, and the responses were something else. There were fist fights, petty theft, unneeded conversations, and so much more. Take a look at some of our favorite trashy holiday stories. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"This isn't an isolated thing, but if someone doesn't show up for Christmas, we automatically check the inmate records at the county jail. It's happened a few times that someone's absence is accounted for by an arrest and/or jail stay.
In 2016, my brother was a no-show for Christmas, and we checked the jail's website. We saw our unique last name on their roster and assumed he'd been arrested. It turns out it was my uncle. I never did ask my brother where he was that year."
"I was at my wife's uncle's house one year, and his wife decided right after dinner to play their wedding video ( because it was also their anniversary weekend).
She looked for half an hour trying to find the videotape, and when she finally found it, she had everyone there gather to the back room. She hit play on the VCR, and right as she was walking down the aisle, the video went fuzzy for a second and cut to Dale Earnhardt's funeral.
Granted, this was in a small town in Michigan that houses a NASCAR track, but still. Everyone froze in complete shock and I started laughing at the situation. It felt like I was in a sitcom, but it was real life."
"My aunt always brought several large Tupperware containers and would begin packing up food for herself immediately after everyone had filled their plate.
If you thought you might want seconds, you had to take them the first time because there was often nothing left after she'd filled her containers. Of course, if you did that she'd make a snide comment about how much food you were eating.
I don't recall ever seeing her sit down with a plate to eat with us; she was always in the kitchen packing up the food that she hadn't paid for or prepared.
Her daughter (28 at the time) wouldn't speak to anyone and fed the shrimp hors-d'oeuvres to the cats. They're no longer invited."
"We once had an actual family fight break out at Christmas dinner.
My step-grandmother's daughter called my grandpa 'a dumb illiterate idiot' because my grandpa couldn't read. But my uncle lost it and jumped the lady. My grandpa tried to break it up but accidentally hit the daughter in the process, which only made things worse. We had to call the cops and everything. My grandpa got a fine, my uncle was arrested. My step-grandmother's oldest daughter was arrested as well after she tried to attack my mom for calling the cops. She had prior convictions and was on probation, so it didn't end well for her.
Before my uncle and grandpa passed away, we wouldn't let them live it down. It was glorious. We didn't go back to my grandpa's for holidays for a while after that experience. When we finally did go back one year, my aunt gave us all food poisoning. My mom was literally dragging my brother and me into the hospital because we were on the brink of death. I have NOT eaten anything she has cooked since."
"My step-grandmother didn't like my dad all that much, so she picked a fight with him one year. My dad finally had enough and went home.
When my step-grandmother realized that my stepmom (her daughter) was going to take dad's side and go home too, she yelled a lot and then, as a last-ditch effort, dramatically clutched her chest and collapsed very carefully (it was outside and I guess she didn't want to bump her head or muss her clothes).
So yeah, she faked a heart attack.
My dad offered to call 911, but my step-grandfather said it wasn't necessary, and when step-grandmother realized no one was taking her seriously, she opened her eyes, allowed grandfather to help her up, and went inside with him while fake sobbing.
Normally, she was quite nice, but she had her moments and really wasn't happy that her daughter had grown up and had a life. Holidays usually brought out the worst in her, which was weird because she loved cooking and celebrating."
"My parents and I were hosting Christmas and prepared all the food ourselves and my mom spent all morning cooking and baking.
My aunt, uncle, and cousins arrived right before dinner and walked in with an empty White Castle Crave Case and said they just stopped to eat a few minutes ago. We had prepared dinner just for them, and they decided that they wanted White Castle instead.
We thought that maybe there was some miscommunication, but no, they told us that they knew they were running late and but got hungry on the way over and decided it would be a perfect time to eat 30 sliders from White Castle.
It was not the first incident and we are not really on speaking terms with them anymore."
"My uncle hosted Christmas one year and invited a 'special guest' that his colleague's daughter was dating. He wouldn't tell us who it was until we arrived; he just said it was a big political figure.
This guest turned out to be David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the KKK. I was young, but being the only member of my family to grow up in the city, I had no qualms with telling him 'my friends and teachers are black, and they all seem a lot smarter than you.' He then calmly said he didn't hate black people, he just wanted a nation for white people. My grandmother, who was half-Native American, promptly told him he would burn and excused herself. Most of the family was just quiet, save for my smarmy uncle.
It was weird. I think I was 12 at the time? My uncle is incredibly narcissistic; always concerned about clout, never misses an opportunity to climb the social ladder. I don't think he was racist at the time, but his moral compass has always been driven by power and influence. Bear in mind, he's from a small town in Arkansas. Not a whole lot of social pressure to refrain from being racist.
He's always been in a weird bubble of wealthy white Arkansans, and won't take criticisms because he's God's gift to man. I'm not defending him, mind you. I've always hated that guy. I just think he's a morally bankrupt sociopath, rather than being ideologically driven.
Needless to say, I celebrate Christmas with my Hispanic in-laws these days. I don't want to associate with people that would tolerate that behavior.
At first, my wife didn't believe me until I brought it up with my mother.
Me: 'Hey, remember that time your brother invited David Duke to Christmas and I was the bad guy for some reason?'
Mom: 'Oh, that was a mess. We were all uncomfortable. I'm sorry about that.'"
"My dad died in August of 2011. That year, we (my mom, my boyfriend, and me) went to visit my dad's brother. I was 17. All three of us worked in special education with severely handicapped students.
The visit started with my aunt and uncle making fun of my much-loved students and called them a burden on society, their classes a waste of school funding that took resources away from the 'normal' kids who deserved that money because they would actually grow up and be 'useful.' So yeah, great start right out the gate.
Then my aunt's father (not related to us at all) showed up and started grilling my recently widowed mother on when she was going to start dating and if she was going to remarry. Why or why not? Why didn't she know? Why why, why?
It was by far the most uncomfortable and infuriating holiday I've ever experienced."
"One year, my stepdad wanted to drive 30 miles from home to go to an airport to steal a bunch of fencing that was clearly set aside for a work project. He apparently needed my mom and me to help.
I was 13 or so at the time, starting to develop my own ideas about the world, and so I objected, frequently. This angered him greatly, so he told me I could walk home. He got in the truck and started driving away. My mom refused to get in with him, so she was walking with me.
We walked for a good hour or so, enough time to get back to the main road, at which time he showed back up. I was tired of walking by this point, knowing Christmas was the next day, so I was ready to throw in the towel. My mom wasn't having it, though. I get much of my backbone from her. My sister was in the car and I assume my stepdad brought her along as leverage. It wasn't helping.
About that time, while the truck was pulled over and step-dad was shouting at us to get in the truck, a station wagon pulled up and asked if everything was okay and if we needed any help. My mom said yes pretty quickly and got me over there and I got in the back seat with my mom and a very happy dog.
That dog became my security blanket for the rest of the night as I had a breakdown about experiencing true abuse and knowing my mom had to deal with this more often than me."
"About a decade ago, my cousin, who was a junior in high school, finally got himself a girlfriend. She didn't come to Christmas lunch, but everyone wanted to see what she looked like. He gave us a picture and everyone had a turn looking at it, made a comment, and pass it along.
Most of the men in the family were wasted and when they got the picture, all of them would say, 'Hey, she looks familiar,' then proceed to talk about the time they banged her. Of course, it was all meant to be in good fun, but it was pretty classless, and this was my cousin's first girlfriend and he was not really the 'Fratboy/Alpha male' type to appreciate this type of ribbing. He was also the smartest in the family by far.
Eventually, he left the state for college, became a doctor, and never showed up to any holiday dinners ever again. He did show up to a family wedding, and all of those guys who were messing with him about his high school girlfriend were asking him for free medical advice."
"Every year we had Christmas at my grandparents' house. One year, everyone was there but one aunt. She was outside in her car refusing to come in. Turns out, she had taken out a credit card in my cousin's name while they were in the Navy. My cousin found out about it on the drive over while opening her mail. My aunt had racked up $10,000 in debt in my cousin's name.
My uncle made my aunt pay her back using part of her retirement. It seems this was just one of the first signs my aunt was not in her right mind anymore. My cousin did not want to press charges but was able to get her credit back up with some work after the debt was played off by her mother.
There were a couple of other things my aunt had done but nothing like this. Unfortunately, she was literally out of her mind and only got worse. That Christmas was one of the last ones where our family got together like that. My uncle, aunt, and cousins never came back for Christmas after that. They did visit again at other times, but my aunt was medicated and not like herself anymore."
"My very conservative and kind in-laws drove three hours to have Christmas dinner with my family the year my husband and I married.
It was supposed to be this sweet new tradition of melding our families and all that. My youngest sister and her boyfriend must have not gotten the memo and they arrived a couple of hours late. They had obviously been up to no good. They proceeded to eat a ton of food and then promptly passed out on the couch. My in-laws watched in abject horror a little bit later as the boyfriend came to slightly, flipped them both off, and then passed out again.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but my in-laws haven't visited for holidays since."
"I got shamed for my diet last year by my girlfriend's overweight nutritionist sister in front of my girlfriend's family. Before I go further, I sort of get where she's coming from. She was bullied for being overweight during her childhood; it's a defense mechanism and I get it. She ran a 5k recently and got 'run' tattooed in cursive on her neck. She's also pushing 300.
Now that you have the context, she likes to force dessert on me every year with cupcakes, toffee, brownies, you name it. I'm actually very fit. I don't workout during the winter, so I do keto. If everyone doesn't have dessert, I think psychologically she gets insecure about falling behind in a health sense. I politely decline every year, but last year, she interrogated me, and I finally broke and said I don't eat sugar or carbs on my diet.
She took it as an opportunity to 'educate' me with her nutritionist background, saying carbs are essential and that I don't know what I'm talking about. Mind you, I have an evolutionary biology degree. I knew exactly how wrong she was.
She went on to say that humans have always needed carbs and that I need to listen to her. Before I could say anything, her uncle chimed in and said, 'She's right, the extra carbs helped my migraines. I think you're out of your element here.' At this point, I hadn't even pitched a rebuttal. I had only said no thanks a few times and then explained myself when she wouldn't drop it.
Then the mom dropped in and said, 'She works at a doctor's office, you could learn from her.'
In my head, I was thinking of the millions of ways I could rip her apart with glycogen indexes, NIH studies that I've read, and government subsidized corn and sugar, to name a few. I was sitting there contemplating my next move, and as I glanced around, everyone just had this pretentious look on their face, displaying their preconceived notions of how crazy/stupid I was.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I exhaled. I then remained silent and looked away. I know exactly how hard it must have been for her growing up and using this career as an identity to justify her health choices and lifestyle. I sat there and stewed at all of the comebacks I could've thrown to destroy her. 'How's that working out for you?' Or lifting up my shirt and saying, 'Your turn.'
I had probably 30 of these cycle through my head as I stayed silent for the rest of the evening. I can't help but feel I permanently lost respect, credibility, and any perceived intelligence that my girlfriend's family may have had for me. I didn't want to fuel the fire in a fragile relationship that my girlfriend has with them. I didn't want her to defend me. I took the defeat because I thought absorbing all of the crud myself was better than ruining someone else's evening.
Now I have to go back tomorrow and I'm dreading every second of it.
On Christmas Eve every year, her family has another huge gathering. Last year, I was using the bathroom and honestly just killing some time in there on my phone. I then overheard a joke that kills me inside. 'Where's [my name]? Did he run home to his hobbit hole?' her aunt Nancy quipped. It was followed by a few laughs. Her sister added another short joke that I thankfully forgot. I'm not the tallest guy, but I've never actually heard people making fun of me. That stuff hurts, man. It's not like I can go the gym and fix that."
"Every Christmas is something new with my mother-in-law. My wife and I always host and about 15 people come, and everyone brings side dishes, as is the custom. That is, everyone except for her mother. She only brings stuff for herself. She proudly announces that whatever she brought is just for her. It's not for diet purposes, because she eats all the other food, too.
When dessert makes an appearance, she will make a big scene about wanting the first piece instead of letting the kids get theirs and get out of the way. One year, there was a big argument about the corner pieces of a chocolate cake. She went first, as usual, and cut herself two corner pieces and took them both. If you want to make little kids cry, do that. She wouldn't give them up, either.
Also, she treats our guest room and bath like a hotel. When she leaves, she takes the toilet paper rolls, the Kleenex box, paper towels, soap, and pretty much everything else that's not bolted down.
She's not fat and she's not senile. She is invited every year because my wife is the only family that she has and my wife would feel tremendously guilty if she didn't invite her. Not much of an excuse, but that's why.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. She stole my mother's prescription eyeglasses last Christmas when they were both here, claiming that she thought they were hers (hers were black reading glasses, my mother's were red prescription glasses). After getting busted for that, she planted a black sweater in my mom's guest room and made a big deal about my mom taking her things."
"One year, my aunt got wasted and ran down the street stark bare. This all happened after she was caught hitting on my cousin's boyfriend in front of her young children. She later got her kids and drove home in her wasted state. I called CPS for that incident.
This was after the pool incident. She lost balance when she stepped into the pool filter. She first hit the pool but caught herself with the hand that was holding the glass bottle. The shards of glass bottle ended up inside of her cheek and neck. After hitting the ground and passing out, she rolled into the pool and would've died if others hadn't fished her out.
She's not invited to holiday gatherings anymore because of incidents like that.
We didn't see her for years after these incidents until she showed up to my parents' house a few days ago. She had been homeless for 12 days living in her car. She kicked an ex-con she had been hanging with out of the car for the night to park her car in my parents' driveway. After a few hours, she went back to the boyfriend likely because she needed to get tend to her unhealthy vices. Also, she got fired from another nursing job. Another nursing job let her go without reporting her."
"My uncle and grandfather don't have a good relationship but were tolerating each other because of the holidays.
My uncle was cooking lasagna and my grandfather decided to help, so he grated the cheese. He did this in another room because the kitchen was full of other people cooking. I had brought in the cheese, and everything was going fine, or so I thought.
During dinner, my grandfather made some joke like, 'I know you hate me, but at least I'm grate,' and that's when everything went south. My uncle literally went into a rage and was yelling at everyone because we didn't tell him he was using 'tainted' cheese. Then he said 'forget it' and proceeded to flip the table ALL the food was on. Then my grandfather called him outside to settle the score, which resulted in two grown men fist fighting in the backyard, culminating with my grandad getting thrown into the pond in the backyard and slicing his leg on a jagged rock that he landed on.
The rest of us ordered Chinese food and kicked my uncle out and my grandfather refused the hospital because he had a little too much 'holiday joy' in him at the time. Surprisingly, my uncle hasn't come to holidays in years now."