Tell Us About Your Worst Holiday Dinner Conversation

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Hanukkah begins on Sunday, Christmas hits us in the middle of next week, and Kwanzaa kicks off the following day. It’s officially the holiday season, and the holiday season often brings forced family meals with relatives you’d rather not spend considerable time near, but you must.


But it’s going to suck especially hard this year, I’m afraid, since Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and even the weird cousins you clocked as apolitical are probably going to have something to say. So, to brace for impact, let’s reflect on past terrible holiday dinner conversations. What went wrong? Who said what? How did it end? Maybe we can learn from past mistakes? Let us know in the comments below.

But before we get to that, let’s check out last week’s winners. These are the most insulting holiday gifts you’ve ever given. There were so many fun answers, but I could only select those that stayed true to the prompt. Please keep that in mind in the future.

WammerAmmer, this is the rudest shit I have ever heard:

Not given by me but by a now-ex friend (“ex” for a myriad of reasons similar to this):

Her stepson was getting married on Christmas eve...she gave him a $1000 gift certificate to a divorce lawyer, “because we can all see that coming.”

IAMRU2, this rules:

My step dad was born on Christmas day, and his 4 siblings are both a bit older than him and rude boomers. Every year at the family Christmas lunch, no one is allowed to refer to his birthday - he doesn’t get extra gifts or a cake. They also, every year, used to tell the story of how, because their mum had to go to hospital and he was born, they missed out on Christmas pudding...

So one year, an aunt is merrily recounting this story, and my step dad slams a Christmas pudding on the table, and tells them “Merry Christmas, now take your damn pudding and shut the fuck up!”

(And that’s the closest anyone in my immediate family has gotten to giving a rude gift)


The Ron Swanson of Westeros, lol:

My stepfather was an abusive brute, who loved to give “gifts” that would be “useful” rather than outright kind. Hence the wheelbarrow he gave me one year for Christmas.

He was somewhat less than thrilled with the extra-large tubes of Preparation H I got him the year after that.


rocklibster, also lol:

I was invited to a friend’s White Elephant party one year with a really big group. I thought it was for silly gag gifts but after people started opening them, I realized no, people were getting fairly nice stuff, like a small immersion blender, a set of tumblers with a bottle of wine, etc.

So there I was, pretending I hadn’t shown up with a pair of Boy Wonder underpants with a cape attached to the butt.


slowtobond, I can’t be the only one who appreciates your resourcefulness:

I was young and didn’t have money so... I gave my sister her own used nail polish that I had stolen out of her room.

At least she was surprised?

BRAvisima, I want one?:

Easy answer. A plastic donkey when you pushed a button, a cigarette came out of its butt.


anony147, was it a nice spoon?

For their wedding, I bought my friends a single serving spoon off their registry. Nothing else. Just a spoon. It was the cheapest thing I could find off their overpriced registry. I never received a thank you note.

In my defense, they were the first to get married just as we were all leaving college. I had very little money and had just started my first post-college job and hadn’t been paid yet. The wedding was also across state for me so I paid far more to join them on their “special day” (they are now divorced).


PersnicketyPants (Enemy of Trolls), I have also done something similar. Do we suck?

A book. Not that a book is a bad gift, but this particular book that I gave to my nephew was the exact same book I gave to him the year before and had forgotten about it.


flatlander2, I don’t know if this counts as “insulting” or “useful,” but I’m going to assume it is both:

My cousin’s toddler was the target of a failed kidnapping in a mall, mid 80s. That year I gave my sis-in-law a leash for her 3 yr. old daughter. In my defense, the child was the youngest of 3, with a knack for sudden disappearances. I meant no harm but Sis is still pissed, I had no kids yet and fully stepped on her maternal toes.


Now, you know what to do. It’s time to out-traumatize each other in the comments below with your tales of familial torment. Happy commenting, and happy holidays.

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.



I found out that my mother was fine about my 13yo niece getting raped as long as she had the baby.

I haven’t been back for Christmas since.