Whoever said that family is forever never met the folks in these stories. From politics to family drama and old grudges, the people in these stories will be skipping out on holidays with the family this year for these reasons!
A Very Tense Holiday
“About 10 years ago I went over to my cousins’ place in the country for Christmas. It’s the usual- awkward conversations, slight emotional tension, one uncle’s political leanings becoming more apparent the more egg nog he drinks, etc. Well that year, a few boomsticks were given as Christmas presents to my cousins. Nothing wrong with that, it was a whole family of avid hunters and the kids get taught to shoot early. A cousin about my age (~20) got a 12-gauge for Christmas and his little brother (7 or 8 at the time) got a small .22 bolt action.
Of course we got to talking about the gifts everyone got (especially the kids) and little Andy got to talking about his .22 and how they went and shot it this morning and cleaned it and so on and so forth. Then he gets to talking about his brother’s Remington 870 and how he shot one round out of that and almost fell over.
‘Haha, you’re small and that 870 is too big for you,’ we joke.
So we go back to talking a while and suddenly.
My 7-year-old cousin is now pointing a 12-gauge at the entire Christmas party. Everyone tenses and his mother tells him to put it away.
‘What? You guys are scared? Don’t worry it ain’t loaded,’ he says.
The Remington is now wavering between myself and my brother in law who has a touch of the PTSD leftover from Kuwait. About the time I start looking for a nice clean way to grab the barrel and disarm the little psychopath my uncle defuses the situation.
‘Hey, Andy. Why don’t we show everybody how we clean it?’
‘YEAH!’ Andy shouts.
He hands uncle the 12-gauge and goes and he gets his cleaning kit. When he comes back my uncle breaches the Remington and what do you know? Two unfired shells popped out. He could have maimed half the family.
I haven’t been back to that house in 10 years. “
His Dad Tried To Blow Him Up For The Life Insurance
“My dad rigged my car to explode the last time I saw him. He and my stepmom took out life insurance policies on my step sister and me.
That year I went to their house for Thanksgiving and while we were eating he went out into my car and loosened up all of the fuel lines. It was a Nissan 300zx so the engine would get really hot. He took off the engine cover so that it was bare metal under the hood. I caught him outside with the hood up when I went out to smoke. He said he was just glancing around.
One day, a few weeks later, the fuel lines popped off while I was driving. The car just died out(thank god) so I jumped out and popped the hood to see fuel had sprayed all over everything. Called my dad to ask what to do. He told me I had to get the car to his house which was 30 miles away. I
Instead, I got it towed to my shop and that’s where they told me that it looked like the hose clamps were intentionally loosened.
I knew that no one else was ever even under the hood. So I never went back lol.
Quick edit about the car:
Z32 VG30DE. It’s a very high-pressure fuel system in a tank of an engine. We figured that he just loosened the hose clamps by one or two turns and then it eventually just popped off.
After a few days of thinking that, I realized that there was no way that someone could have gotten into my car and done that without the key.
I also realized that baby daddy wouldn’t have done it because his 5-year-old was always in my car. So I thought about who was ever under my hood and determined that it was only my dad, myself, and my mechanic.
So I thought about why he would have done that and called my step sister to ask about a life insurance policy. She confirmed that there was a policy for both of us.
I did call the police and showed them the pics of the motor that I had. At the time, I lived in a town where the cops are notorious victim blamers. They said that there wasn’t any proof since i didn’t have anything that showed him unscrewing my hose clamps.
All I had was my step sister saying that there was a new-ish insurance policy along with pics of a wet motor with no hose clamps on a few of the fuel lines.”
“I’ve Never Celebrated Christmas Since”
“My mother was a narcissist. She got remarried when I was 10 or so and her new man was everything. She had always been abusive, but it was always of the emotional, mental variety. After his unwavering acquiescence of the abuse, he came to agree with it wholeheartedly. He would eventually step up to physical abuse, which, in turn, my mother decided to emulate.
When I was 11, his three boys came to stay with us over Christmas break from school. They were showered with gifts. I received none. Their explanation was that I was not a good child like his three. The eldest of his kids, who was around 12 at the time, took pity on me and gave me an RC car that had been gifted to him.
When I was caught playing with it, it was taken from me. When the eldest explained he had given it to me for Christmas my stepfather lightly reprimanded him and then took me outside while beating me in the head. I was told to stand still and watch as he ran the RC toy over with his big truck.
I then had to sleep on the cold cement basement floor for ‘taking’ presents from his children.
I’ve never celebrated Christmas since. The whole holiday season makes me very emotionally wrecked with bitter intermittent flashbacks of the way I grew up.”
WHAT. A. MESS.
“My since past grandfather brought a Craigslist streetwalker to family Christmas where she preceded to get wasted and hit on me. She actually tried ripping off my shirt; a couple of buttons popped off. My grandpa, after seeing this, comes over and screams at her. She takes a swing at my grandpa and he attempts to grab her. I get in between them to try to separate them. This was all happening next to the bar which is getting ran into and begins to fold. I have my leg propping up the shelf from falling while holding each of them apart while they swing away at each other and me. Took what seemed like an hour for my brother to step in and help. My family then took my grandpa’s side and disregarded the event even happened. I didn’t attend the next three years of holiday events.”
“Remember June of 2017? The Orlando nightclub shootings? One of my friends died there. I was pretty upset about it. I was sharing some articles on Facebook about it. My sister is a very devout Christian. Think Westboro Baptist, but a little tamer. She decided to barge on in and take the opportunity to lecture me about Christian persecution and god’s will and homosexuality is a sin blah blah blah. Then my brother chimes in to talk about how the weapon the shooter used was really nice and he was jealous.
I told them to get lost and die.
I spent Thanksgiving with my friends last year. I’ll be doing the same this year.
Not Going Anywhere Near That Christmas Gathering
“Not me, but my husband’s family.
The first Christmas wasn’t too bad. Just the typical oddity. His great-grandma says pop music is the devil’s work, and his grandfather spent a good hour telling me that Michelle Obama has a Johnson. But otherwise nice, I drank and was merry.
Since then several things have happened that have caused the family to collapse, starting with the death of my husband’s sister and his mother’s subsequent descent into inebriated rages.
Then his Uncles son died of a traumatic brain injury at one year old and it’s still up for debate if the mother caused it on purpose (shaken baby syndrome). Because the family suspects her guilt, and another cousin had to watch her other children for 6+ months during the investigation and the mother took issue with how she was raising the kids, that entire group of brother/sisters and their spouses foam at the mouth around each other.
Then it came out his other Uncle had been having an affair for 8 years and has an illegitimate son. I believe he and his wife are still together but it causes a lot of tension in the marriage, understandably.
And then there is his cousin. She seemingly had a lovely family, two cute kids, hardworking husband. Then her husband slept with her Mom. I think they are still together….but I can’t imagine you ever get over your husband fooling with your mom…
All in all makes for a really tense Christmas and I’m not touching it with a 20-foot pole.”
Locked Out Of The House For Not Eating Candied Yams
“When I was about 13, like many other teenage girls, I worried about my weight. One dish my family always had for Thanksgiving was candied yams with big marshmallows on top. I opted out of eating the marshmallows, and as punishment, my family locked me outside on the porch, while I was only in light PJs, in the snow, as they enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinner in front of me because the table was right in front of the glass porch door. I was very lucky to somehow not get frostbite, but I learned that day that frostnip can be quite painful.
The most crushing thing however is that my grandmother was visiting for that holiday and she sided with my parents and saw no wrong in this, and even joined in their later berating. This kind of punishment wasn’t abnormal, but having someone witness and not care was one of the worst experiences of my life.
I don’t talk to any of them anymore.”
Christmas And Jehovah’s Witnesses Just Don’t Mix
“My uncle invites us to Thanksgiving every single year but we never go because of one specific reason. He’s a Jehovah’s Witness. Now, I’m not saying that they are terrible people but uncle in particular is. One year we went to Thanksgiving at his place, he handed out religious pamphlets to everyone at the table. All he talked about was how the end of days was coming soon and that we all needed to repent our sins or we would burn with Satan. It was a miserable 5-6 hours. Fast forward two years later and my dad (that uncle’s brother) was on his deathbed. His kidneys were shutting down and he was going to die within the week. My uncle had the audacity to CALL MY DAD ON HIS DEATHBED and tell him ‘If you don’t repent your sins, you’re going to burn in the lake of fire.’
He didn’t call to say goodbye to his brother, he didn’t call to offer help to our soon-to-be mourning family, he called to tell my dying father that he is going to burn for eternity.
That ticked off my mom so much, she called him right back and screamed at him. The last thing my dying father needs or wants is to have his brother calling him at the hospital and telling him that he is going to burn forever. Lousy scum.”
She Doesn’t Do Family Anymore And For Good Reason
“One Christmas, two of my brothers got in a fistfight on the front lawn. Another year, they got stoned and cut the Christmas tree I bought because my mom tried to swear off Christmas. I always do 90% of the cooking but at least one year was left to sit in the living room with two of my brothers’ random friends (a couple that fights a lot) because there was no room at the table, I regularly play referee and I always have to buy or at least wrap my own presents. Yeah, I don’t go home for the holidays. Since I started not going I receive yearly calls about how unmanageable the holidays are when I’m not there Ha! I enjoy them with my husband who gets me gifts and (sort of) wraps them and who appreciates my hard work.”
They Got A Dysfunctional Family Discount
“I don’t go home for Thanksgiving and it’s been a pretty awkward subject since this happened.
My wife, myself, and our roommate at the time decided we would do the holiday at my family home. We even ended up taking one car so only one person would be stuck being the DD. Very early on in the evening everyone but my wife, the roommate and I had way too much to drink. As the night went on, somehow my mother and wife got into a physical fight (it was crazy and unexpected), her husband (at the time) saw me trying to get into my car to leave so he proceeded to run over screaming about respecting “our family” and continued by ripped all the valve stems out of my tires.
After I dragged my mother off of my wife, we ended up leaving on foot for a few hours until everything died down. After that, we snuck back into sleep then left early as heck in the morning (on flat tires) to get the valve stems replaced.
While this was unfolding my roommate and uncle had got into an argument about politics (this was way before Trump too – it’s always been a mess). My roommate was then kicked out of my family’s place (wife and I were already walking far away from this mess and didn’t have cell service) so he ended up walking 20+ miles to the closest town with taxi service and took a ~$75 trip back to our apartment.
Fortunately, the shop we used to repair the tires gave us a deep discount because they ‘understood families around the holidays.'”
Both Of Them Are Repulsed By Their Families
“Last Christmas I went over alone, left the boyfriend at home as he had plans with his own family. My family has never liked my boyfriend anyway and makes a point of badmouthing him whenever he’s not around. Well, I had been staying at their house for three days and at around 9 pm on Christmas day my boyfriend texts me to tell me he left his family’s home. I ask why and essentially his ‘totally reformed addict’ mother is wasted, and she’s selling her Oxy’s to a cousin. He catches her and she says ‘Well where do you think your Christmas money came from?’ He gives her the money back and leaves. He’s in tears because his mom’s a piece of trash and now he’s spending Christmas day alone.
So I tell my family I’m gonna leave and go spend time with him. They start losing their minds, asking ‘Why he doesn’t just come over?.’ I tell them ‘because he’s not freaking stupid. He knows you don’t like him,’ and that starts a whole thing about dogpiling on me for telling him that, then ends with my mom calling him a coward for not wanting to be alone on Christmas. I desperately don’t want to go back this year, especially after other things I’ve learned about my parents, but I have a feeling I’ll get guilted into it. My boyfriend won’t be going back to his family for Christmas though.”
Raised By Narcissists
“My dying grandmother gave me something of hers and when I came back from the bathroom I found that my mother had broken it. I got angry then my mother started screaming at me and ran outside after she was done. I was never able to talk back to my mother growing up, but the last few years my patience with her personality disorders (psychopathy while appearing to be normal to everyone who doesn’t know what she’s really like) waned, and I just glared at her until she ran away. I followed her outside and asked her angrily if she wanted to be a part of my family (my wife and I are trying to have a baby). She said no.
So I turned around and left. She followed me out screaming the whole time about what a piece of trash I am. It’s a tactic used by narcissists to degrade their supply’s (me) sense of self in order to subjugate them. I told her the only way I’d talk to her again is if we were in court. I can’t legally say anything more about that. So this holiday season will be the first time away from my family. I’ll be with my wife’s family, who are nice people.”
A Very Toxic Family Dynamic
“My wife and her parents have been going at it for years. They’re very controlling and do all these passive-aggressive things which have driven her away. They’ve even attempted to sabotage relationships with other members of the family, including her dying grandparents. It’s been tough for her, but she started cutting them out of her life and ultimately has not seen or really even talked to them in quite a few years.
Her mom would get upset and send her nasty messages like ‘you’re not my daughter anymore don’t you dare even think of getting me anything for mother’s day I’m not your mother anymore’ sort of messages. Followed by her dad lecturing my wife for not even saying ‘happy mother’s day.’ Real dumb and petty drama.
Well, my wife hasn’t come home for the holidays in quite a few years and her Dad constantly texts her things like ‘I sent you a package let me know when you get it.’ My wife thought maybe after all these years they were willing to maybe start making amends and he wrote a letter or something to start the healing process, but no, it was some gift cards. So my wife said thanks for the gift but that she would not be coming home to see them for the holidays. So her dad threw a tantrum and insisted she sends back the gift cards and how awful of a daughter she is. My wife obliged but was heartbroken.
The worst part is her dad will text her with just random small talk like ‘How about that football game?’ or ‘Dang those Yankees’ which she ignores and isn’t above using anything to try and guilt her into responding back. The latest was that truck attack in NYC a week back. He sends some heart felt message about ‘days like today it would be nice to hear from you’ but otherwise won’t take any responsibility to try and actually mend the relationship. Shame, if it keeps up they may never get to meet their grandchild or have a relationship with their daughter. Oh well, I prefer to keep things lowkey for the holidays and negative forces in your life aren’t worth it.”
Missing Pills And Missing Family
“I used to be an active opiate addict. Almost five years clean now, and had built up trust with family I thought I had lost forever. My son’s we’re thrilled to be able to see our whole family again for Christmas or Thanksgiving. My family is very small, I have a female cousin, but we felt more like sisters our whole lives because we were both only children. For three holiday seasons, after I got clean, everything went great. I was allowed to my grandmother’s house (because I wasn’t stealing anything to pawn or trying to find her pain pills) and I was so proud of myself and my family for being able to get past this shittiness I heaped on my family, even just for a holiday dinner.
Then, last year. My cousin comes to visit. She has gained… A lot of weight. Like 100lbs and she is barely 5’5″. She had just recently had children, but it seemed she gained even more weight after they were born. She complains of PPD, which I totally understand. Then she asks if I can get her Xanax or pain pills. I had to tell her no. I have no more connections in this town, for the SOLE PURPOSE of staying clean!!! I was surprised as she became agreeable a little later on in the day, and even apologized for getting so upset I couldn’t hook her up, her anxiety is just terrible, blah blah blah. We had a nice few days and she and her family flew back home. Two days later I get a phone call. All of my grandma’s hydrocodone were missing. All of my aunt’s Ativan was replaced with Prednisone. Even my mom’s extended-release tramadol was missing.
As you can probably guess, it was me they thought did it. My children are still allowed to go to Christmas but I am not allowed to attend any family get-togethers. My cousin is here visiting, right now… I wonder who she will blame those missing pills at this time since I can’t be there to be her scapegoat?”
Fast Food For Christmas Dinner
“My mother-in-law gets so stressed out by Christmas preparations (everything has to be exactly perfect and exactly according to family tradition, of course) that a few years back she put herself in the ER with atrial fibrillation. Christmas dinner that year was Subway and Jack in the Box (because naturally, not everybody could agree) around a hospital bed.
My wife and I have since figured out that, if we stonewall on Christmas itself and wander up a month early or late “just to see them”, she doesn’t shoulder nearly the same amount of anxiety, because it isn’t “Christmas”, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. We can just have dinner like normal people, next to an aseasonal indoor tree that happens to still be set up and has a bunch of presents under it.
So we stopped going home for the holidays to keep my mother-in-law alive.”
“Kind Of Ruined The Whole Thing For Me”
“One year at Thanksgiving, my uncle yelled at me before a family photo so I walked away to cool down for a moment. Obviously, the natural response would be for my grandfather to scream at me, call me a worthless brat, and insult my manhood. When my mom and aunt came over to calm me down, my grandfather accused me of slapping my mother, which has never happened. Then, my wasted cousin-by-marriage tackled me, threw me over a couch, screamed in my face for five minutes, told me that I’m tearing my family apart, and threatened to kill me in the front lawn. After crying for about thirty minutes, I went back inside to confront everyone (I’m insane), which resulted in my mother and I being assaulted by that wasted cousin’s mother.
Kind of ruined the whole thing for me. I’ll go back once my grandfather dies. The inebriated cousin and his lousy family don’t come to family events anymore because his idiot mother poisoned my uncle to death.”
She Left Her Boyfriend AND Her Dad!
“Boyfriend of three years is a liberal. Dad is a conservative. The day I got my new job (big money in a big city) I invited them over to have dinner with me and celebrate. My boyfriend proceeded to goad my dad into a debate about the NFL/kneeling protests. My dad, being a rageaholic, exploded. Ranting and screaming, he kicked my boyfriend out of MY house. I am still ticked off at both of them and this happened months ago. Needless to say, I’m doing my own thing for the holidays.”
He Should Save Himself The Plane Ticket And Just Not Go
“My mom has plenty of money but hates paying utility bills, so it’s always freezing in her house at Christmas time (and sweltering in the summer). She’s a very light eater and expects everyone else to eat the amount she serves herself and gets upset if you want more because it then tempts her to eat more. And she has a cat that has attacked every person who enters their house except her. (She’s been blacklisted by multiple cat sitters.) And when we stay there, she either has me spend hours undoing all the nonsense she’s done to her PC (unwanted browser add-ons, etc.) or wants us to sit around and read rather than do anything engaging. And the walls are paper thin in her house so she can hear everything. (She literally complained once that I tossed and turned too much while sleeping in the bedroom adjacent to hers and it caused her to have trouble sleeping.) And it takes us two flights and seven hours to get there…”