(Closed) Awkward/Dysfunctional Family Holiday Dinner Stories

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1749 posts
Bumble bee

@DrTeeth:  My family is not perfect but we get along and love each other. We also like each other and spending time together. Today was everything I hoped for, I love being around family especially during the holidays. However, my patience has about a 6 hour limit, after that I’ve had enough and its time to go home.

Post # 4
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We talked about deer carcasses and how before one processes the meat, they have to cut off the junk. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear as I’m shoveling stuffing into my mouth. This was particularly delightful since I hate the fact that my IL’s hunt and it disgusts me when they talk about it so openly.

What am I thankful for this year? The fact that I have my own home and I only have to deal with these people for a few hours at a time.

Post # 5
2750 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

With ExH’s family, it was super tense on my part bc they always made me feel so awkward and wrong. They’d SAY that they loved me and thought I was smart, but then they would act completely opposite of those words. His mom got to the point where she would actually mimic what I was saying in a high voice and laugh to herself when she thought I couldn’t see/hear her. For our last year together, I basically would only speak when spoken to and say the minimum required like a teenager. Plus she treated ExH like a little boy and catered to him shamelessly. The first time we had Tday with them, I was horrified and was totally expecting her to cut his meat and veggies for him. 

With Fiance, it’s much more relaxed, but his sister is kind of a bi— to him and can’t stand to have the focus off of her. This year he was in the middle of a story to the rest of the family in the living room, and she screeched for him to get in the kitchen now. Last year, my first Tday with them, she cut him off every single time he was talking. It took all of my willpower not to sling mashed potatoes at her. Oh well. Now we’re decompressing with leftovers and drinks!

Post # 6
1735 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I had an early Thanksgiving dinner at my grandma’s house with my dad and his new girlfriend. Turns out they also invited the girlfriend’s entire family, so out of the 20+ people there, the only people that I actually know/am related to were my dad, my grandma, and my one aunt. (My other aunts and uncles don’t like the girlfriend or her family so they refused to come. Joy.)

I’m not a fan of the girlfriend (she’s the reason my dad left my mom) but I don’t want to cause drama so I am always civil. I didn’t like that none of my aunts or uncles were there (save the one), but I sucked it up and made nice with the girlfriend and her kids/grandkids.

Then my dad has the nerve to tell me that I was making the day awkward! Because, in his words, “You never come visit anymore so none of girlfriend’s family knows you and it’s awkward.” Excuse me??? HER family, who aren’t even our relatives, come to Thanksgiving dinner, thus driving away our ACTUAL family, and *I’m* the one making things awkward?! The funniest part of that is, he’s the one who begged me to come in the first place, because, in his words, “You never come visit anymore, we’d love to see you.”

Just… GAH. Talk about dysfunctional family dynamics.

Post # 7
1598 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Luckily, my Thanksgiving dinner this year included myself, my sister, and my parents. Probably the tiniest, most low-key Thanksgiving we’ve ever had, but I’m thankful.

A few years ago, we had about 8 people over (aunts, uncles, cousins), and my one uncle, whose political views are WAAAAAAAAAY different from the rest of the family, just HAD to bring up politics! He does this at every family gathering, though. I mean, we could be talking about a TV show or my cousin’s dance recital and he’ll be like, “so who are YOU voting for?”


We usually give non-commital grunts in answer, but he pokes and prods and insists until a full blown discussion/argument ensues. Then he chuckles and shakes his head and says, “I wasn’t trying to start an argument.”











Post # 8
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I was going to start a thread like this yesterday lol.

This is the first get together we’ve had since my grandpa passed in July (actually, Fiance and I normally head to his grandma’s house, but chose to stay here this year). Lots of funny stuff always happens with my family, like my 5′ tall aunt picking on her 6′ tall brother and one of them getting hurt. My other aunt likes to talk politics, which led to her cousin asking if she voted for Romney (cousin did), to which she replied that that’s kind of a dumb question because, as a lesbian, she would probably never vote for a Republican. The aunts started in on which ones of the four kids were “surprises,” which led to my grandma basically admitting that she was totally already pregnant when she and grandpa got married (HAHA I KNEW ITTTTTT). My great aunt (grandma’s sister) said to call her if I needed any wedding or marriage advice because she’s an expert (she’s been married FOUR times, the most recent back in June…she’s in her 80s). 

I also mentioned to my great aunt that my cousin, one of my BMs, said that she’d be up here the whole week before my wedding. She said that was great, and she hopes that’s true. Apparently, she’s worried that my cousin is too much (or influenced too heavily) by her mom. They were supposed to be here for great aunt’s wedding after they held a small memorial service for the mom’s parents (grandma/great aunt’s sister and BIL) over the summer and instead left to go back home (to another state) the morning of the wedding. :

Post # 9
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

@DrTeeth:  My family’s much like yours. Last year at christmas, my uncle said something horrifically sexist and I told him I didn’t appreciate it which turned into a full out divided family argument that went into the wee hours of the morning.

The real show, however, is my grandmother. My grandfather passed away about 5 years ago but both my grandma and my grandpa really liked their wine. And all other booze. My grandfather’s ashes were put into a martini shaker, just to put it in perspective. So anyway, my grams always hosts but she starts drinking soon after the gifts are opened up and doesn’t stop until we’re all in bed. By 4 pm, she is just having the best time ever. Well, one of her bridge ladies bought her a nut holder that is shaped like a wooden, intricately carved, erect, 8″ penis. Seriously. You place the nuts in the hollowed out scrotum. So my grandma just loves this thing so her friend buys her another and she lovingly makes a banner that say “Welcome to the Two Dick Inn”. We have a large family and we can get quite loud and during dinner, my grandma wants us to go around the table and say what our best memory is from the year. She decides to use the wooden penis as a talking stick but refuses to allow anyone else have a turn. So she’s drunkenly swinging this penis around, monologuing about how she mostly loves us even though we’re assholes and suddenly my poor aunt leans in to take a bite of food and my grandma accidentally clocks her in the face with the dick and gives her a black eye. 

Post # 10
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

This happened over 25 years ago but it’s still one of my fondest Thanksgiving stories:


My aunt was an RN at a state hospital (i.e., nut house).  One Thanksgiving she and my uncle came to my grandparents’ toting this little old lady with them.  She looked like she was about 80, had a blonde wig precariously perched on top of her head, and walked around telling everyone that she was once married to the owner of Pepsi Cola. 

Who was this mysterious woman?  Turns out she was a long lost 2nd or 3rd cousin on my grandfather’s side of the family that used to have a house of ill repute with her sister and was a bit “off” from a case of late stage syphillis that she probably contracted in the 40s or 50s.  I AM NOT KIDDING.  My aunt figured there was no reason for her to be alone in the hospital when she could spend it with family.

My grandmother was livid at my aunt for bringing her because she was always a high and mighty, holier-than-thou woman but I count it as one of the best Thanksgivings ever.  For once a boring family holiday had a bit of spice added to it thanks to a long lost hooker cousin who was a tad insane. 

By The Way…I am in no way making fun of those with mental illness and with to offend no one.   

Post # 11
1890 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

This Thanksgiving was pretty much drama-free, except my mom found out that I sold my wedding dress… Oops, forgot to tell her.  Her friend who was having dinner with us  asked me out of the blue, “So, what are you doing with your dress now?  Is it just hanging in a closet?”  and I had to say, “Well, actually, I sold it.”  My mom was a little surprised, and said how she had been thinking she was going to have the lace from the dress made into a christening gown for my first child (DH and I are not religious, but I guess my mom had just been planning on our future, unborn child to be Catholic?).  I told her that dresses usually just sit around collecting dust and the material gets worse over time, and it’s not like I purposefully went out seeking a buyer– someone here on the Bee who loved my dress and wanted to buy it from me had sent me a private message, and I figured it was a good thing for me to help out another bride who loved the dress.  I think my mom understood, but it was definitely an awkward moment.

Post # 12
1890 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@Jellybones:  HAHAHAHAHA that is hilarious!  Your grandma and her friends sound like some fun old ladies!

Post # 13
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@DrTeeth:  This brings to mind a really bizarre Christmas we had several years back. I believe my dad had fairly recently left and we spent Xmas with my “aunt” (family friend). We didn’t expect that she’d be inviting some people we didn’t know, and it was really awkward. She makes friends with some strange people.

One lady was trying to immigrate into the country around that time and brought her two sons. My sister and I tried to be friendly but they wouldn’t even talk to us. They did manage to demand that we bring them something (I think it was a drink, not sure now). They were pretty mysogenistic. Not sure if it was their culture or what, but we certainly weren’t impressed. There was a completely unrelated old lady there that got pretty drunk and was acting loopy.

My mom and aunt started drinking too, and got into one of their usual arguments. I was really upset so started drinking too (I’m a lightweight) and I kid you not, after half a glass of champagne I was pretty plastered. My aunt informed me that I would not be sitting by my sister at the dinner table, and I just lost it. I think I locked myself in the bathroom for two hours, sobbing. I still get made fun for that to this day lol.

Good times…

Post # 14
5544 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

Oh I have one now. My in laws are okay. But not really at all like my family. My family are tuber nerds and intellectual and enjoy a good rousing chorus of any number of.musicals while doing basically anything. ILs are perfectly intelligent but not the same way.mine are and there is no such thing as stimulating conversation. And now Darling Husband left me at their house while I was in the shower. 

Post # 15
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

These are great 🙂  They make me glad that I live in NYC, far from family, and usually spend Thanksgiving with friends.  My mom is German, and thinks of Thanksgiving as an American holiday that wasn’t a big deal (she had no other family locally, and she doesn’t like turkey), so when we were geographically close I rarely spent Thanksgiving with her.  So I’d end up with my dad at his wife’s side of the family, where I was treated as the red headed step child (which is technically true).  I was a vegitarian for a very long time, and thankfully at Thanksgiving there are plenty of options for meat-free sides.  But at other family meals, they wouldn’t make anything meat free.  I remember one year my dad’s wife (I don’t even want to call her my step-mom, since I don’t think it’s true anymore and don’t want that link to her now that my dad has passed away) made spaghetti.  Her “recipe” was doctored Prego, adding meat, sugar, and who knows what else.  I was invited for dinner, and all there was to eat was her meat sauce.  It never occured to anyone to just keep a little bit of Prego still in the jar, undoctored, so I could have something meat free (it’s not like I wanted her to make a separate sauce just for me, I just would have appreciated if she’d left some jarred sauce aside for me to use, which would have taken all of zero effort/work on her part).  I guess it came as a big surprise to them that I didn’t eat meat.  By that point, it had only been 10 years.  Surprise!!

I could tell a bunch more stories of how she basically gave me the finger for most of my life (like the time they planned a family trip to the waterpark, but said there wasn’t enough room in the hotel, so rather than go with them, I should stay home and watch their dog– no room for me, but my sister’s–half sister, her daughter– boyfriend was invited; or how she told the funeral home director that my dad’s veteran flag–that she tried to talk my dad out of having presented at all– should be presented to her when my dad specifically said he wanted it presented to me).  My father’s wife never congratulated me on my engagement, and just assumed that she’d be invited to my wedding (she also didn’t give me the wedding money my sister said our dad had put aside for both of us before he died– I’m just shocked that my dad thought she’d ever actually do it and didn’t have some sort of estate plan).  When she found out she wasn’t invited to my wedding, she unfriended me on FB.  I just laughed.  She’s such a child.  Ahhh, family.

Post # 16
1004 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I didn’t go home for Thanksgiving because I had to work, but it with the exception of having to sleep half the day to go in overnight, it was the best Thanksgiving in a while! My Fiance made a lovely meal, and his parents decided to make the trip down to just have dinner with us before I had to leave.

No arguing, no hurt feelings, no guilt trips, I didn’t overeat because I was avoiding talking to certain family members, and I didn’t have to hear my aunt compare me to her wonderful, perfect, talented, smart, and beautiful children.


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