the end of ‘forced family fun’

Crazy Aunt Karen. Everyone has one, right? That one odd-ball relative that every family member has collectively decided is a bit, you know… off. Her hair looks like she stuck a fork into an electrical socket. Her clothes are fresh out of the 90’s. And, even though you’re well into your twenties, her Christmas gifts consist of Winnie the Pooh t-shirts and watermelon Lipsmackers. She means well, though, and damn… she is entertaining to talk to. Bless her heart. I’d rather hang out with my crazy aunt over my judgmental one any day. Don’t those ones blow? They always make the holidays cringe-worthy. (I’m sure y’all have those relatives, too. Family members can be too critical sometimes.)


For someone who is a Christmas fanatic, I’m happy for it to be over. I’ve been drowning in a pool of family members, fattening food, and forced social gatherings for too many days straight. My mind is over stimulated and I’d be lying if I said Christmas being over was anything but a relief. A sweet one. Bring on the fleece pants, hoodies, and fuzzy slippers… I’m overdue and ready to hide out in my house for a few days with no one but Alex and the cats.

How did your Christmas go? Did you get anything exciting? Anything you’ve been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for? My favorite gift on Christmas was running shoes. I know, boring and practical. They are expensive, though, and I never would have paid for them on my own. It’s tough being a cheapskate, guys.

We’ve also decided on a name for our kitten. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Alex and I religiously combed over them, and got excited over every new name that was brought up. We really appreciate y’all for taking the time to leave us ideas. We have gone with the name Tora. Which is Japanese for ‘tiger.’ Under her dark patches, she has orange and cream colored stripes, so we thought it was fitting. The name was suggested by ‘New Bloggy Cat.’ Thanks, NBC!  I owe you a forced awkward hug or something.

77 thoughts on “the end of ‘forced family fun’

  1. cherished79 says:

    I sigh a huge relief not to hear: holiday tunes on the radio starting in October, in the malls and in stores (especially Alvin & the Chipmunks – 12 Days of Christmas ~ instant migraine trigger in a clothing store) also starting in October, TV commercials, movie repeats every day, everyone asking “are you all ready for Christmas, especially clerks in stores that are expected to and don’t really want to”. I sound cranky don’t I? I’ve calmed down now. Christmas is for kids!

    I’m not always this way! but you have to admit…..:)

  2. Dr Meg Sorick says:

    Ha! I am the crazy relative! You know the one that donates a goat to a third world family and gives a photo of the family as a gift? 😂 This is what happens when you don’t have kids of your own!

  3. wanderwolf says:

    Ah! Tora is such a great name! And I know the kind of cool aunt you mean. That will be me, one day.
    Also, yes please. Bring on the relaxation and avoiding people for a while. Hope it’s a good week!

  4. Jessica Adam says:

    The crazy aunt thing made me laugh, haven’t thought about lip smackers in years! I got a set of dishes I’ve been drooling over for months, the “they look antique-y, but they’re new” type. Love the name you picked and that you took suggestions for it. Pretty darn cool. 🙂

  5. carlalouise89 says:

    I like the name Tora! How cute! And I’m glad you got awesome shoes (sometimes it’s so nice when someone gets you something you wouldn’t normally buy yourself).
    I had an amazing Christmas – no crazy aunts or anything 😉 My husband’s family came to stay with us for a few days, and it really was the best few days. Just food, and wine, and talking, and fun.

  6. Midnight Knitter says:

    I actually said to my son (as we poured the cheesecake batter into it’s baking pan), “it is too stressful to have a fault-finding hyper-critical person with OCD come for Christmas dinner!” What can you do when it’s family? I always go through a grief and resignation process as I accept that this is my family and I will have a good Christmas anyway. My best gift? A little space heater! I am over the moon with how well it works.

    A tortoise shell kitten named for a tiger! I love it!

  7. wonderland says:

    I got a new bed pillow– an eddie bauer and yes I asked for it– it is WONDERFUL. a pillow is a great gift for anyone cuz we all gotta sleep, right?

  8. Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet says:

    LOVE crazy relatives. My Grandma was as mad as a box of frogs and kept my brother and I entertained for hours just “doing her thing!”
    I’m with you on comfy clothes. We have been working on the dreaded house yet still I find things to do when I return home so not much slowing has been achieved. I think soon I shall give myself a good two day shut off and wear my joggers as I indulge in a TV marathon…..
    I also love the name Tora, as you know I am not much of a cat fan but I like that and I did like the look of the kitty in question.

  9. toutparmoi says:

    Wash your mouth out! I’m working hard at being a crazy Aunty. Aunties have very High Status here in New Zealand. The moment parents start mouthing off at their kids (of any age), all an Aunty has to do is yell, “Don’t you speak to my Niece/Nephew like that,” and said parents shut up. That’s the way it is. Especially during the time of peace and goodwill when families are most likely to start fighting.

  10. fenotgris says:

    Tora is a good name – it’s strong sounding, yet classy. Not enough humans put enough thought into their cat’s name, take it from me.

  11. jdou says:

    You are too funny! My goal in life at this point is to be the crazy aunt, Aunt Julie. Generous, and doesn’t give a f^%* about your earthly success. That’s what I learned from watching an uptight, worry-wart of a mom frazzle her life away.
    Keep on writing; I like your humor. And this is the first time I have ever left a message–well maybe the fourth–on a blog in my life.

    • Blair (The Shameful Sheep) says:

      Thank you. That makes me feel special lol. Being crazy is a lot better than being high strung and judgmental. I had a lot of family members that were too critical, and don’t give a crap about them being in my life now. Everybody loves their crazy aunt!

  12. carolynswriting says:

    Tora is perfect & I can see the world is never going to run out of crazy aunts – there must be a few musty weird old uncles out there too 😉 It’s good to relax & recover from the family onslaught!

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