Types of people at holiday parties

Types of people at holiday parties

holiday season has rolled around once more, which means that it’s time for twinkly lights, buying every single holiday themed snack that the Trader Joe’s elves produce, and lots of visiting family members- which also means that you’re bound to have lots of holiday parties. While these parties may seem like a fun way for family members to get reacquainted with each other, most of us see these dreaded family gatherings as a dystopian hellscape, and only the strongest survive spending four hours with our extended families. These parties certainly vary from family to family but there are a few constants in every one.

First, there’s that one uncle who isn’t really related to anyone. This relative shows up to every family gathering, even though everyone knows that he’s not a blood relative of anyone at the party- they just let him in out of pity, because he probably has nowhere else to go. At potlucks, you can count on him to bring the most disgusting food you have ever tasted in your life- unless you happen to really love the rancid aftertaste of unrefrigerated potato salad.

Next, there’s the overly gossipy grandmother: She knows everything about everyone and isn’t shy about it. Through the entire year, she soaks up every bit of family gossip she can get her hands on like a sponge, probably by way of drones and secret cameras. The holiday season is when she can finally squeeze it all out. While the rest of the family actively tries to avoid aggravating each other(by avoiding hot button words like “impeach” and “debate” and “plastic surgery”) so as to not cause an all-out war, she thrives on the drama that comes with spilling the family secrets. She’s probably the one who told your republican uncle that your sister interned at NPR- resulting in a very messy kitchen and several angry calls towards the NPR studio. 

And then you have your “Above-It-All” aunt- she probably lives in New York or Chicago or some other expensive, glamorous city far away from your pathetic little family and their trivial problems. Once a year, she comes back for Christmas and Thanksgiving (since she’s swamped with official business most days) and spends the entire party working on very complicated looking things(everyone thinks she’s a stockbroker, but they’re not really sure, and they’re too afraid to ask her). She’s a high-key workaholic, and she gets angrier easier than your aforementioned republican uncle whenever someone brought up stonewall. However, she also has no concept of money and probably spends twice your parents’ yearly income on presents. Just use your brand new airpods to block out her screaming on the phone at her employees.

And finally, there’s the runt of the pack- the spoiled cousins. They have gotten every single thing they have ever wanted ever, because nobody has the courage to say no to them, both because of their parents and their own horrendous behaviors.. This doesn’t bode well for you when you are inevitably forced to entertain your younger cousins while your parents talk(scream about politics). If they want ice cream and you don’t have any in the house, you better steal someone’s car to drive to Safeway and buy some. If they want to play temple run on your phone, you let them play temple run on your phone, even if your battery is on two percent and you’re waiting for a call from your QUEST advisor. If not, they will start screaming like you’ve just murdered their entire family in front of them, and everyone will inevitably blame you for not being responsible enough, and then you’ll try to explain what happened, and they’ll yell aat you some more for back talking, and the conversation will turn into a family wide feud with everyone screaming about how your aunt only got her fancy job because she slept with the boss and and how your republican uncle would never stand for such insolent behavior but “we just had to drive him away, didn’t we?” And it all devolves from there.

With all the insanity of our families, it may seem like we should dread the holidays as a reminder of how our family is full of lowkey sociopaths- but we spend eleven out of twelve months eagerly awaiting Christmas season. Maybe it’s because, deep down, we might actually kind of care a little bit about our families, and look forward to seeing them again. Maybe we don’t hate our families as much as we’d like to, because they are the only people that will definitely stick with us for our entire lives.

Or maybe it’s just all those presents from your rich aunt.