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View Poll Results: When it comes to being with family during the holidays I...
Love it and can't get enough of all of them 5 8.93%
Avoid a small percentage of them 5 8.93%
Am seperated from them, but wish we could be together 7 12.50%
Am not broken up that distance keeps us apart 10 17.86%
Love that we get together, but they all drive me crazy 3 5.36%
We get together, but a few of them drive me crazy 10 17.86%
Can deal with it all, but only in small doses 11 19.64%
Have no problems because I have no family 5 8.93%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
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Family and Holidays

My first poll.

DW - The Princess - finds herself in the middle of a holiday feud with her family. Long story, but it came down to the fact that getting together as a group had become less a joy and more a chore for many people because there was a small minority whose behavior was less than socially acceptable. Nobody has the courage to tell the oldest sister the truth ("Your boyfriend is a jerk who drinks too much and makes incredibly offensive comments."), or address a couple of similar, but less troublesome behavior issues that were a pain to live with. So, the majority found excuses/schedule conflicts that mean they all will not be together in one group at the same place/time. The minority is ticked off and communications are strained or broken.

The Princess is upset that relationships are strained, and she turned to her girlfriends to talk about it. Turns out that almost all of them are either feuding with some member of their family, avoiding some gatherings, or are dreading the holiday togetherness because of similar crap. One GF told her, "I wish we could get together with the people we love - our friends - rather than be stuck with family that drives us crazy."

It got me to thinking about this phenomena and wondering how prevalent it is.

Most of my surviving family are either very distant relatives, live too far away, not talking to me again this year, or acknowledging that we do best with short, non-holiday visits, which means holiday togetherness with family I don't always get along with is not something I have a lot of experience with. But I remember working Christmases years ago as a patrol cop, and recall that while it was generally a very slow night, family disturbance calls were to be avoided like the plague. It was known as the holiday when people who can't stand each other the rest of the year get together in one place and then start drinking during the most emotional times of the year. Oh, and there's always at least one really big carving knife just laying around in the open. Any disturbance call at a residence after 6 PM on Christmas always meant a fight - a bitter and ugly fight with everyone taking sides and ancient and fresh grievances alike being aired in nasty ways. That kind of thing was rare, but it certainly happened enough that every veteran of at least one Christmas had a nightmare of a story to tell.

So, what's it like with you and your extended family during the holidays? Is it all Currier & Ives scenery, would Norman Rockwell have wanted to paint you and all the cousins, brother-& sisters-in-law opening presents and singing carols? Or, do you silently nurse your cocktail after dinner wondering why your sibling married that person? Do you prefer Christmas with just you and the immediate family, or does everybody get together in a big group. Have the cops ever showed up to keep Aunt Lou from carving Uncle Fred because of some long past slight?

Oh, and Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and a Joyous Kwanza to everyone.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 01:56 PM   #2
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Re: Family and Holidays

Three days is the magic number. Never exceed three days with family.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 02:04 PM   #3
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Re: Family and Holidays

We do the extended family visits and get togethers and traveling out of town over thanksgiving now. Christmas is at home with immediate family (mom, dad, MIL, FIL, brother, siblings-in-law, etc). Very low stress overall. Although we do seem to host my family's christmas at my house the last few years for some reason. But I don't make a huge fuss of it and actually enjoy playing host for my family and it isn't a stressful event. It's a rather simple affair.

Not traveling and not spending time with family that you aren't so fond of is a big factor in our Christmas enjoyment.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 02:15 PM   #4
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Re: Family and Holidays

Heh, you forgot Festivus: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061221/...festivus_poles

We mostly get along with our families, with DW's older sister and Oaf-in-law the exception. My family mostly lives nearby and we are all getting together on Xmas Eve at my house, with most of us convening at my parents' the next day. We used to do one Xmas locally with my family and one with DW's family 1800 miles away, even-odd. But after the last holiday flight with a small child, we all decided taht we would visit at other times.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 02:21 PM   #5
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Re: Family and Holidays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
My first poll.
Gosh, then congratulations and we have the usual noodgy questions:
Can we choose multiple answers, like "Love that we get together, but they all drive me crazy" and "Can deal with it all, but only in small doses"? Or break it down by family lines & co-workers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
But I remember working Christmases years ago as a patrol cop, and recall that while it was generally a very slow night, family disturbance calls were to be avoided like the plague.
Do patrol cops have access to tear gas & other regurgitants, or did you have to wait for the SWAT team to show up with their mobile armory & reserve ammo? Just idle curiosity, you understand, not that I have any personal family plans or anything like that...

In a more serious note, whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed by my in-laws I compare them to the fact that my mother died over 20 years ago (leaving many things unresolved between us that I wasn't mature enough to tackle) and my father has lately seemed content to stay in his one-bedroom apartment 3000 miles away, declining invitations and only responding to an annual e-mail or two. My brother is busy growing his business and leading his own life, and neither one of us tries particularly hard to stay in touch. None of my family has seen their only granddaughter/niece grow up... while my in-laws have been a constant presence in her life.

So be careful which one you wish for-- you might get it.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 02:34 PM   #6
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Re: Family and Holidays


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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: Family and Holidays

We have a large get-together on Holidays--but only for a short period. Christamas with the inlaws is an afternoon, Thanksgiving with my family is usually a day or at most two. There are strains, but everyone seems to be happy to see everyone else and so it works out just fine. I enjoy seeing people we only see once a year for maybe a few hours.

Ho, Ho, Ho.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 03:05 PM   #8
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Re: Family and Holidays

We stay home on Christmas...mostly. Siblings are 100s of miles away, and have there own lives to live....Thank God!!! One of the local fraternal organizations puts on a FREE Christmas dinner, so we go there and see & visit with friends that also attend.

Mom goes to my aunt's house afterward for visiting and a snacking.....well, normally my aunt's...this year they are getting together at one of my cousin's homes. I usually stay home after dinner, and enjoy the solitude of the season (I nap!)

I "may" go over to the cousin's this year though just to see who shows up, and who makes an *ss of themselves....never fails with my relatives!!!

The siblings will call us sometime on Christmas day....my bro usually calls early, before they go running to friend's homes....my sister usually calls later in the day after her expeditions to friends and inlaws.

We're a very close-knit family (NOT!!!). I saw my bro about 6 or 7 years ago..talked to him probably within the last 3 years or so. Saw my sister about 5 or 6 years ago....talked to her.... let's see....oh yeah, the last time I saw her.

Distance is what keeps our family together!!!
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 04:01 PM   #9
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Re: Family and Holidays

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I realized that while I was out getting a hair cut. Crazy Christmas stories were being thrown around by patrons and customers when someone said their Christmas experiences tended to turn into "an airing of the grievances", to which I said "A Festivus for the Rest of Us!", and everyone chimed in.

That must be the most remembered Seinfeld episode of all.

Quote:
And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Gosh, then congratulations and we have the usual noodgy questions:
Can we choose multiple answers, like "Love that we get together, but they all drive me crazy" and "Can deal with it all, but only in small doses"? Or break it down by family lines & co-workers?
No. It's my first poll, but not my first rodeo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Do patrol cops have access to tear gas & other regurgitants, or did you have to wait for the SWAT team to show up with their mobile armory & reserve ammo? Just idle curiosity, you understand, not that I have any personal family plans or anything like that...
My patrol experience ended during Reagan's first term in office, so I predate all of the really fun toys like OC spray and Tasers. Back in the day it was all old-school - if stern words and threats didn't work it usually went to fists, feet, teeth. If none of that worked the only option left was to shoot them. Nowadays they can Tase them, and everyone will remember "the year when the policeman made Uncle Earl light up like a Christmas Tree!". Which beats the heck out of Christmas being the time of year everybody remembers how Uncle Earl got shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
... and Oaf-in-law the...
I have found another expression that I will have to steal. Except I will modify it to fit my situation with a oafish boyfriend in law - Oaf-in-Common-Law.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 04:07 PM   #10
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Re: Family and Holidays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
I have found another expression that I will have to steal. Except I will modify it to fit my situation with a oafish boyfriend in law - Oaf-in-Common-Law.
Believe me, this is about my 82nd choice of terms for this individual, who is so absurdly self-centered and narcissistic that he makes Az look like a devoted husband and parent. The moment SIL tires of him, I will offer her the choice of an excellent divorce lawyer or a contact from Dad's days in the Fulton Fish Market.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 04:32 PM   #11
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Re: Family and Holidays

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
The moment SIL tires of him, I will offer her the choice of an excellent divorce lawyer or a contact from Dad's days in the Fulton Fish Market.
Are you shopping for price, service, or speed?
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 06:25 PM   #12
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Re: Family and Holidays

Quote:
Three days is the magic number. Never exceed three days with family.
surely you meant to write "hours".
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-21-2006, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Family and Holidays

Quote:
Have no problems because I have no family
At least none that I communicate with.

I have purposely spent Solstice Holidays alone for at least 20 years.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-22-2006, 06:41 AM   #14
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Re: Family and Holidays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Are you shopping for price, service, or speed?
None of the above. Decision to be made on certainty of getting the job DONE and discretion.
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-22-2006, 08:40 AM   #15
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Re: Family and Holidays
Old 12-22-2006, 08:57 AM   #16
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Re: Family and Holidays

Just one BIL - a control freak - the rest I could spend a week with.
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