Man buys entire family DNA tests for Christmas and there are some shocking results

A man has revealed how he almost ruined his family Christmas (stock image) (Image: Getty Images)

By: Courtney Pochin/UK Mirror

There’s always one family member who turns up at Christmas with a rather bizarre present.


From homemade items that didn’t quite go to plan, to last minute gifts purchased on the way over, we thought we’d seen it all.

But one man has raised the bar for unusual presents by purchasing DNA testing kits for his entire family – and the bemusing item almost ruined Christmas for everyone.

The unnamed son revealed all in a post online, which has had thousands of views.

He bought the same gift for everyone (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images)

Taking to Reddit, the man starts his story by revealing that earlier in the year AncestryDNA had a sale on their kit and for some reason he thought it would be a great gift, so he bought six of them – one for himself, his mum, his dad, brother and two sisters.

However when it came time to open presents on December 25, the kits didn’t exactly garner the reaction he’d been hoping for.

He wrote: “As soon as everyone opened their gift, my mom started freaking out. She told us she didn’t want us taking them because they had unsafe chemicals. We explained to her how there were actually no chemicals, but we could tell she was still flustered.

“Later she started trying to convince us that only one of us kids need to take it since we will all have the same results and to resell extra kits to save money.”

The man bought DNA tests for his whole family – and almost ruined Christmas (Image: Getty)

The children were still keen to give the tests a go which caused an argument to break out between the parents.

According to the post, the pair went upstairs and argued for about an hour, leaving the four kids to wonder what exactly was going on.

At this point, the man truly thought he’d “f***** up” and ruined the family Christmas.

But then things took a surprising turn.

TIFU by buying everyone an AncestryDNA kit and ruining Christmas

Earlier this year, AncestryDNA had a sale on their kit. I thought it would be a great gift idea so I bought 6 of them for Christmas presents. Today my family got together to exchange presents for our Christmas Eve tradition, and I gave my mom, dad, brother, and 2 sisters each a kit.

As soon as everyone opened their gift at the same time, my mom started freaking out. She told us how she didn’t want us taking them because they had unsafe chemicals. We explained to her how there were actually no chemicals, but we could tell she was still flustered. Later she started trying to convince us that only one of us kids need to take it since we will all have the same results and to resell extra kits to save money.

Fast forward: Our parents have been fighting upstairs for the past hour, and we are downstairs trying to figure out who has a different dad.

TL;DR I bought everyone in my family AncestryDNA kit for Christmas. My mom started freaking. Now our parents are fighting and my dad might not be my dad.

Update: Thank you so much for all the love and support. My sisters, brother and I have not yet decided yet if we are going to take the test. No matter what the results are, we will still love each other, and our parents no matter what.

Update 2: CHRISTMAS ISN’T RUINED! My FU actually turned into a Christmas miracle. Turns out my sisters father passed away shortly after she was born. A good friend of my moms was able to help her through the darkest time in her life, and they went on to fall in love and create the rest of our family. They never told us because of how hard it was for my mom. Last night she was strong enough to share stories and photos with us for the first time, and it truly brought us even closer together as a family. This is a Christmas we will never forget. And yes, we are all excited to get our test results. Merry Christmas everyone!

P.S. Sorry my mom isn’t a whore. No you’re not my daddy.


His parents eventually came back down and shared some shocking news with them all – one of them had a different dad.

He explained: “Turns out my sister’s father passed away shortly after she was born. A good friend of my mom’s was able to help her through the darkest time in her life, and they went on to fall in love and create the rest of our family.

“They never told us because of how hard it was for my mom.”

The parents went on to share stories and photos for the first time and the son claims the experience brought them “even closer together as a family”.

The situation ended up bringing them closer together (stock photo) (Image: Getty)

He added: “This is a Christmas we will never forget. And yes, we are all excited to get out test results. Merry Christmas everyone!”

More than 9,000 people have taken the time to comment on his post, with many sharing their own unusual family stories.

One person wrote: “I was adopted by my grandparents and didn’t know until I was older. The person I grew up with as an older sister was actually my biological mother.”

Another said: “My friend discovered through AncestryDNA that her grandpa wasn’t actually her grandpa. Her actual grandpa was one of her grandparents’ neighbors.”

A third added: “I work at AncestryDNA. This actually happens all the time.”


merry STUPID christmas (self inflected wounds)


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Its 2018, another year filled with stupid adults who shouldn’t leave their homes without professional supervision.



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Despite all the warnings, every year shoppers fill the cars with gifts and return to the mall to shop.  Once their shopping is completed they return to an empty car with a broken window.   At an Sacramento area mall yesterday.  The victim thought the security camera would protect their belongings.  His wife, wants the mall to replace the items since the crime happen on their property.   Many of the victims will not take responsibility for their stupidly. These crimes will happen in all the best neighborhoods, shopping malls, hotels, parking garages and airports this weekend. With Common Sense missing in action.

Stupid on Parade 

Why brave the crowds at the malls, when people make it so easy for thieves to simply break a window. Everyone at their (the thieves) home will be genuinely surprised at Christmas.

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They broke into my car?  I was just gone a minute!  Yes, I left my purse on the front seat, but I locked the door.  I’m not totally stupid! 

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I think we packed everything, my Camera his meds.  Were so excited we haven’t seen our children in months.   Everything is packed and on the porch so we’ll be ready in the morning.

Stock Photo - Suitcase and satchel on porch. Fotosearch - Search Stock Images, Mural Photographs, Pictures, and Clipart Photos

I left my car running, I always do  I was just running into the store for some cigs.  Someone just took my car!!!   Its Fucking Christmas, who does that? 

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“This is Ridiculous” (all these people)

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We missed out flight. It wasn’t my fault, NOT ONE PERSON would let our family go ahead of them! 

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We told the hotel,we would arrive at 8:07 where are they?

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Do you mind, if I go in front of you?

I only have two items…….

My family are on their way and I have no food at home….

I have a fear of crowds……

My elderly parents are in the car…………

I just can’t wait in this crazy ass long line….

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There is room over there, to the right, My RIGHT DAMMIT!!!  

This is Crazy, all these people!  

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Be smart this Christmas


These Are the Books We’re Giving Our Friends This Year

Every year, Mother Jones receives hundreds of worthy books, but there are always a handful that truly stand out, the ones we end up foisting on friends and family. Well, friends and family, here you go, in no particular order. Also, be sure and check out the Best Cookbooks post by food and ag writer Tom Philpott, and stay tuned for photo book picks from photo editor Mark Murrmann and the year’s best music from critic Jon Young (on Sunday).

The Hopefuls, by Jennifer Close. Beth, the twentysomething protagonist of Jennifer Close’s wryly observed new novel, is an aspiring journalist loving life in New York City. But when her husband, Matt, gets a job in the Obama administration, Beth reluctantly agrees to follow him to DC. Thanks to Close’s eye for detail, The Hopefuls is like a still life of Washington in 2008. She masterfully captures both the contagious enthusiasm and wonky snobbery of DC’s rising political stars and their hangers-on. One character is forever telling anecdotes about senior Obama adviser David Axelrod, pretentiously referring to him as “Ax.” Another refers to Obama as “the senator”—a subtle humble brag that he’s worked for the president since way back when. Beth is miserable in this dreary social circle—until she and her husband click with a charismatic couple from Texas. And before she knows it, Beth herself is swept into this world of political strivers. Ultimately, The Hopefuls is as much about friendship as it is about politics—and about what happens when the two collide. —Kiera Butler, senior editor

My Father, the Pornographer, by Chris Offutt. This memoir is not a salacious romp, as the cover might suggest, but a slow-burning examination of Chris Offutt’s strained relationship with his late dad, a prolific author of smut and sci-fi. Offutt focuses less on the giant pile of kinky material he inherited than how it affected his childhood, his family, and his sense of self. His final plunge into his father’s most secret, and shameful, obsessions is worth the wait. —Dave Gilson, senior editor

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, by Mary Roach.This latest book from the perpetually curious Mary Roach looks at the weird yet deadly serious science of keeping soldiers alive. In a globe-trotting tour of labs, training grounds, and a nuclear sub, Roach explores how fighting men and women sweat, sleep, and poop. “No one wins a medal” for this obscure, often gross, survival research, Roach writes. “And maybe someone should.” Like her previous books Gulp and Stiff, Grunt oozes bodily fluids, flippant footnotes, and weapons-grade wordplay. —D.G.

The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985, by Riad Sattouf & Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, by Marcelino Truong. Two of the most affecting memoirs of the year are graphic novels by French cartoonists who grew up astride two cultures. The Arab of the Future 2picks up where its predecessor left off: Riad Sattouf, the adorable six-year-old son of a Syrian father and a French mother, is adjusting to his new life in his father’s village outside Homs in the mid-1980s. Sattouf’s bubbly illustrations belie the bleakness of his surroundings, and the violence and misogyny he witnesses.

Marcelino Truong’s beautifully illustrated tale follows him and his two siblings in their move to Saigon as the Vietnam War heats up. While the kids are enthralled by the war and oblivious to its horrors, their French-born mother breaks down as she sees just how quickly things are falling apart. The two authors’ artistic and narrative sensibilities differ, but their work is united by common themes: surreal childhoods amid geopolitical conflict (Sattouf and his playmates battle the Israeli Army; Truong and his cousins pretend to fight the Viet Cong) and idealistic fathers (Sattouf’s dad is a Qaddafi- and Saddam-admiring pan-Arabist, while Truong’s is an official in the US-backed South Vietnamese government) who are blind to the strife afflicting their countries—and families. Read together or separately, these comics pack a surprising punch. —D.G.

Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File, by John Edgar Wideman. In his first book in more than a decade, the acclaimed African American author and Brown University professor John Edgar Wideman explores the saga of Emmett Till’s father, who was court-martialed and hanged by the United States military well before the notorious lynching of his son by white racists in Mississippi. Via a Freedom of Information Act request, Wideman obtains records from Louis Till’s military trial and interrogates the file from every angle—filling in the gaps with his own vivid imagination and recollections. Part history, part memoir, part mystery, part fiction, this insightful book reveals as much about the author as it does about his subject. As Wideman put it to me in a recent interview, “To write a story about Louis Till puts me on trial.” —Michael Mechanic, senior editor

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. You’ve probably heard plenty about 2016’s National Book Award winner for fiction, but I’ll pile on anyway. Whitehead’s riveting slavery saga reimagines the underground railroad as a literal thing, but he doesn’t dwell too heavily on that plot device. The story follows a pair of escapees from a Georgia plantation as they move north along the railroad, pursued by a determined slave catcher. Among other things, they stumble across a bizarre eugenics experiment in South Carolina and a vile campaign of ethnic cleansing in North Carolina. Whitehead’s character-driven tale brings into visceral relief the horrors, the cruelty, the stark inhumanity of an economy based on captive black labor. And he reminds us, too, of the grim fate that awaited Southern whites brave enough to oppose the system. —M.M.

The Fortunes, by Peter Ho Davies. Given the extraordinary success of Chinese Americans today, it’s easy to forget how tough white society made things for their forebears who flocked here during the Gold Rush or who were imported as cheap labor for railroad companies—only to later be scapegoated and officially excluded by an act of Congress that would remain in force until 1943 (just in time for the interning of Japanese Americans). Davies’ outstanding new novel reminds us how things were (and still are, if the 2016 election is any indication). The experiences of Davies’ characters—a poor laundry boy hired on as a railroad magnate’s valet, an ambitious Chinese American starlet—highlight the tightrope walk of maintaining one’s culture while striving for acceptance in a resentful society. The Fortunes feels particularly timely now that we’ve handed the White House keys to a man who threatens to register and exclude Muslim immigrants, and to deport Americans (for really, what else can we honestly call them?) brought here without papers as toddlers. —M.M.

While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent Into Madness, by Eli Sanders. One night in 2009, a disturbed young man named Isaiah Kalebu entered a Seattle home through an open window and raped and stabbed two women, killing one. He was sentenced to life in prison, but local journalist Eli Sanders, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the case, kept digging. While the City Slept, his compassionate examination of the lives that collided that night, relates how a bright but abused boy grew into a violent criminal and, as one psychiatrist put it, “became his illness.” The book plays double duty as tribute to those whose lives were upended and a meticulous indictment of the way we fail fellow citizens with serious mental disorders. —Madison Pauly, assistant editor

Pumpkinflowers, by Matti Friedman. This is a 21st-century war story, with all of the IEDs, propaganda videos, jihadi groups we’re accustomed to—but one told in the restrained, introspective style of the World War I writers Friedman turned to for inspiration. It’s partly an engrossing personal story, partly a history of a forgotten chapter in Middle East conflict, and one of the best-written books I’ve read in years. —Max J. Rosenthal, reporter

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. This ambitious debut novel sparked a bidding war and landed Gyasi a seven-figure contract just one year after she graduated from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Following seven generations across two continents, Gyasi manages to fit the many stages of slavery’s plunder into a relatively slim volume, to dazzling and often devastating effect. Though some of the storylines unravel a bit toward the novel’s end, the emphasis on global slavery’s ramifications in West Africa, told with rich and lively characters and language that hums, makes this well worth the commitment. —Maddie Oatman, story editor

Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It, by Larry Olmsted. We’ve all been told to steer clear of artificial ingredients, but how much do you know about fake—meaning fraudulent—food? Turns out, it’s everywhere, including in your kitchen right now. Olive oil, parmesan cheese, fish fillets, red wine; it would seem the more scrumptious the victual, the more likely it is to be a sham. Olmsted gives us the lay of this seedy landscape with momentum and aplomb. He demystifies the process by which fake ingredients end up in your shopping cart, explains why some of these deceitful foods could be a real threat to your health, and sheds a light on the government policies and shortsighted commercialism that landed them there. —M.O.

Swing Time, by Zadie Smith. Award-winning author Zadie Smith’s fifth novel interweaves two narratives. One involves the unnamed narrator’s childhood friendship, wrought by a shared passion for dance. The other one revolves around the narrator’s adult travels to Africa in the employ of a pop star as she grapples with her own biracial identity. Penned in Smith’s inimitable, winding style, Swing Time looks unflinchingly at race, gender, parenting, love, and friendship. In places, I found the book an unnerving reminder of my own childhood, of parents who seemed invincible and maddeningly certain about the course of their offspring’s future. —Becca Andrews, assistant editor

March: Book Three, by Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illustrated by Nate Powell. Police brutality, segregation, voting rights: Many of the big issues of the 1960s are alive and well today. The March graphic-history trilogy tells the story of the civil rights movement through the eyes of Rep. John Lewis, onetime chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—a group at the center of the struggle. In poignant detail, the March books, totally 600 pages, put us at the heart of the battles over desegregation and black suffrage. We meet the movement’s leaders and witness the ugly local clashes leading up to the March on Washington. In the third installment, which earned a 2016 National Book Award, the beatings and defiance of “Bloody Sunday” stand in sharp contrast to Lewis’ pride on President Barack Obama’s inauguration day. The book, and the trilogy, offer lessons for modern strivers on how far we’ve come—while serving as a reminder of how far we have yet to go. —Edwin Rios, reporter

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond. In a tome filled with heartbreak, Desmond, a sociologist who teaches at Harvard, embeds with eight families who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads in the segregated city of Milwaukee. Rich in history and bolstered by engrossing research, Evicted vividly captures with empathy the lives of those caught up in deep poverty as they reel from the consequences of losing their homes. In doing so, it elevates the importance of affordable housing in today’s society. “Housing is deeply implicated in causing poverty in America today,” Desmond told me in March, “and we have to do something.” —E.R.

A Rage for Order: The Middle East in turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS, by Robert F. Worth. This is not your typical Middle East manuscript—no bird’s eye view of battlefield advancements or policy analysis on the region in collapse. Rather, Robert F. Worth, the longtime correspondent for the New York Times, managed to be on the ground seemingly everywhere that mattered during the zenith of the Arab Spring, and takes us a journey inside the lives of those whose hopes rode on the Arab Spring’s promise and whose lives changed—or ended—forever once the popular uprisings collapsed into insurgencies and civil war. It’s a beautifully written, moving account that brings humanity and heart to a region typically only considered in terms of conflict and chaos. —Bryan Schatz, reporter

God Save Sex Pistols, by Johan Kugelberg, with Jon Savage and Glenn Terry. Curator, author, and all-around underground know-it-all Johan Kugelberg released the end-all Sex Pistols ephemera collection earlier this year, and just in time; soon after, Joe Corre, son of punk impressarios Malcolm McClaren and Dame Vivien Westwood, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistol’s first single by burning more than $6 million worth of rare, original Sex Pistols and UK punk memorabilia. Though the original artifacts were lost to Corre’s piqued sense of anti-nostalgia, God Save Sex Pistols lovingly showcases photos, letters, flyers, records, posters, shirts—everything related to the band that once terrified parents and politicians. The book also serves as a more focused compendium to Kugelberg & Savages’ excellent 2012 book, Punk: An Aesthethic. —Mark Murrmann, photo editor

I Contain MultitudesThe Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong. Few writers know how to explain science clearly, and even fewer science writers compose genuinely gorgeous prose. Ed Yong is that unicorn. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us is the most elegant guide I’ve seen to our still-primitive understanding of the microbiome—the gazillions of tiny critters living within us. Like Nietzsche peering into a microscope, Yong urges us to think beyond “good” and “bad” microbes: “These terms belong in children’s stories. They are ill-suited for describing the messy, fractious, contextual relationships of the natural world.” Context is everything. “The same microbes could be good in the gut, but dangerous in the blood,” Yong writes. One of the many functions of mother’s milk, one scientist informs him, may be to “provide babies with a starter’s pack of symbiotic viruses”—and that’s a good thing. “Every one of us is a zoo in our own right—a colony enclosed within a single body,” he writes. “A multi-species collection. An entire world.” —Tom Philpott, food and ag correspondent

Listen, LiberalOr, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?by Thomas Frank. His forward-looking autopsy may seem like a contradiction in terms, but Thomas Frank had the dirge of the Democratic Party cued up before primary season. Still, the shock of November 8 catapulted the virtuosic Listen, Liberal from insightful to downright prophetic. Frank meticulously charts the Democrats’ suicidal slide from a party of the factory floor to one of late-summer galas on Martha’s Vineyard. He hits on all the major missteps—the decline of middle-class wages, the bank bailouts, the trade deals, the technocracy (oh, the technocracy!)—all of which were later parceled out by the flabbergasted into grasping post-election think pieces. Frank’s book is lacerating and urgent, but also titillating, witty, and downright fun to read. It will no doubt give some establishment Dems the strong urge to throw the book into the ocean—indeed, their proximity to the coast and ability to conceivably do just that is part of the problem. This, for my money, is the best nonfiction of 2016. —Alex Sammon, editorial fellow

Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays, by Cynthia Ozick. Narratives of decline seem to be particularly in, but no one can render this notion quite as beautifully as Ozick. At 88, she’s been around the literary block, and she can’t help but lament the state of the American traditions of reading and writing. “What’s impossible not to notice,” as she put it to me earlier this year, “is the diminution of American prose.” To read Ozick is enriching for her startling vocabulary alone, though her intellectual force is also something to behold. This essay collection stakes out the critical cultural importance of literary criticism, and does so with the linguistic expertise of a poet—peaking with a vivid disemboweling of the term “Kafkaesque,” for all its faux-literary worth. One thing, for Ozick, is certain: The road to cultural aridity is paved with 3.5-star Amazon reviews. —A.S.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance. If you want to understand how Donald Trump took over the GOP, and how he won so many Rust Belt counties that voted for Barack Obama, this is a good place to start. Vance uses the story of his childhood in a dying steel town to highlight what he sees as cultural shortcomings and political delusions among the region’s white working class. “We talk about the value of hard work,” he writes, “but tell ourselves that the reason we’re not working is some perceived unfairness: Obama shut down the coal mines, or all the jobs went to the Chinese.” There’s plenty to disagree with in Vance’s analysis—his insistence on blaming “welfare queens” for their financial problems, for example. Still, for all of us asking, “What just happened to my country?” Hillbilly Elegy provides some invaluable clues. —Jeremy Schulman, senior project manager, Climate Desk

British Mom on welfare borrows nearly 5K for Christmas from Pay Day Loan Outlets

Katie McGill has hit out at payday loan firms for failing to carry out checks and leaving her in a ‘vicious circle’ of loans and debts

Debt: Katie McGill
Debt: Katie McGill
By:Tom McTague/UK Mirror

A hard-up single mum on benefits has hit out at payday loan firms for failing to carry out checks and letting her get into £3,000(4900.US) of debt.

Katie McGill, 28, has funded her Christmas by taking out eight loans with controversial payday lenders, including Wonga, to treat her two kids.

She borrowed around 2800.00 in order to buy them dream gifts as well as food for the big day.

Mya-Renee, three, and Calvin, eight, yesterday unwrapped new bikes, a new TV and DVD player each, as well as numerous computer games.

But now the festivities are over, the unemployed mother is faced with more than 4900.00 of debt – with only her benefits to pay it back.

Katie, of Devizes, Wiltshire, said: “It’s stupid because I’m on benefit and there’s no way I can afford to pay it all back.

“When I first started taking out loans I was in a stable relationship and me and my partner both had jobs, meaning when it came to pay day we could pay back what we owed.

“But now I am on my own and unemployed. Wonga haven’t looked into my change of circumstances though and they’re still allowing me to borrow.”

Katie started borrowing money in the months building up to Christmas.

But the family is facing a bleak New Year. Katie says the only way she will be able to pay back the loans is by using the $230 a fortnight(two weeks) of benefits left after direct debit cash leaves her account.

She added: “Each time I’ve borrowed money I’ve started borrowing more and more and now I have ended up with 4900.00 worth of debt.

“I started thinking about Christmas a couple of months ago and thought the only way I’d be able to get my kids the presents they wanted was by borrowing.

“They got loads of games for their Xbox, a new TV and DVD player each, new bikes and loads more – there were hundreds of presents under the tree.

“Their Gran passed away this year so it was nice to be able to treat them.”

Katie has taken out loans ranging from $131 – $624 and will need to start paying back the money on January 2.

But the young mum says that because she won’t be able to afford it, she will be stuck in a vicious circle.

She added: “When I start paying back the loans I won’t be able to pay the bills or buy food and drink and basic necessities. Then I’ll take out more loans and it will be one big, messy, circle.”

A spokesman for Wonga said it is not possible to take out multiple Wonga loans at once – you have to pay off a Wonga loan in full before being eligible to take out another.

Labour MP Grahame Morris said: “It is an appalling situation that is storing up further misery for low income families in the New Year.

“And there is a cast iron case for stronger regulation of these high cost payday lenders.

“Questions need to be asked as to why the government are unwilling to take effective action. Is it because many of these loan companies are major donors to the Tory Party?”

SUCKING it up for the HOLIDAYS

From the Butterball ads, to the movies and TV specials.  Tis the season to be Jolly, fa,la,la,la,la,la la la.    Where everyone makes it on time to cut the perfect Turkey.   We are sucked in by perfect images of  flawless food and the perfect families. Its all kisses and hugs…Ahhhh, what  a crock!

Thanksgiving and Christmas  with the family is the most joyous time of the year and for most families it is. However for other families what starts out as joyous become out and out warfare  with pre-heated words and fists, leaving some members to question why they came.

Christmas is the most seductive holiday of the year.   The lights, the music, the joy many people believe in the power of Christmas,on this day everything will be better.  It a day of peace, men and women ,boys and girls  will set aside their differences and there will be love,love,


If this is your family,you should stop reading here.

This is for the rest of us, the people who want to believe in power of  Christmas but have families who make us crazy.

During  my freshmen year in college  I heard great stories from other students going home for Christmas.  The talk  of food and love and traditions, I was swept away.  I saved all my coins to insure everyone received a gift.   I begged a friend to get me to Greyhound so I could catch an early bus to the bay.   I couldn’t wait to see my mom, nephew and nieces.

45 minutes after getting off the bus, I wanted to return to school.   It seems I had created a new family in my mind.  I had created a black version of  ” The Walton”s  a popular television program at the time.   That fantasy crashed and burned, there was a breech in the family,a lot of people were angry and to make matter worse, there wasn’t a plan B . Being away in college my friends had made other plans.  No caroling, no midnight gift openings.   After the Christmas meal some members of my family started to turn on me.   My weight, my hair, my speech.

Holiday Amnesia 

The Christmas/Thanksgiving tradition repeated itself for many years.   For the most part it’s great, seeing members of the family-meeting new members.  However lurking in the shadows are individuals who use THE HOLIDAYS as a platform to  remind you of  what THEY believe is your shortcomings .

Take a Breath

This action is usually  pre-planned  and often quietly supported by other family members who simply want to know why you haven’t married?  Why you should go on a diet like your sister. ( I have this cookbook!) Or go back to school.

Family members who used the happy,happy, holidays, to revisit events that happened decades ago and share those events with new members of the family and visitors.      These and other holiday rituals that creep under our skin and make us crazy, is often forgotten until the next holiday.

A Family Theme Song:  

( Ain’t no drama like family drama ,cause family drama don’t stop!)

For years, I often wondered  why my family made me so crazy.  After all I am a professional, I’ve successfully worked directly with the public for decades.  So why do these people reduce a 6 foot 4 baby boomer into a screaming ten year old?


Do People React (or Overreact) to your Questions or Comments?

If so? Click the Link Below

13 Questions You should never ask…


History and expectations  Unlike strangers, we have history with family and with that comes certain expectations. It’s an  understanding, and sensitivity that generally doesn’t exist with persons outside of family. Unfortunately  that understanding and sensitivity isn’t guaranteed within the family.

The truth is, there are siblings and other family members who simply don’t like each other, never have and never will.   Family resentments often last a lifetime.  Siblings can often clearly remember events that go back more than seven or eight decades  and once a year those dormant events  resurface during family events. While some people  are able move on, others simmer.  So after the gifts are exchanged , after the hugs, after the second  round of dinner, simmer increases to boil and let the rumble begin.

Sucking it up for the Holidays 

First things first…We have to realize we are unable to change anyone.   If there is a change, it has to come from us. 

Who do you become at these family gatherings?

Mildly Irritated(MI)-doesn’t really get to you

Extremely Irritated(EI)– takes you days-weeks  to shake the family gathering .

A screaming banshee(BS) You lose compete control and vow never to return.

Fists of thunder(FT)-you have gotten into physical altercations with family members .

A week before the family gathering , you will need a plan of action.  

 Do not share your plans with other family members as there are moles every where!  Including  Ma, Pa and Peggy

Knowing and managing your Triggers 

When are you going to settle down and get married?

Are you still working at that job?

I expected your life to turn out differently..etc,etc, etc

(Write them down)

Every family have a natural rhythm, I could almost set my watch to certain events in my family.  They would often take place a couple of hours after dinners often accelerated with alcohol, the players are the same every year.  

Memorize the players in your family, they rarely change. Prepare yourself for the triggers,  rehearse your non combative response.

I have a friend who limits his visit with his family to two and  half hours   He calls the last half hour “The Sharpening of the Knives”.  No matter how much fun he is having,he limits his visit to two and half hours… 10 minutes longer and someone takes out a knife.

 Why don’t you have that wart removed ,once you have that ugly thing removed and get that tooth straightened out and buy some  clothes that don’t have that cheap look your’ll be better.

Remember you can’t change your family.  You  can only change  how you react to them.  

 Warning:  This isn’t easy and its very possible you may fail on the first attempt.  Just remember your changing a lifetime. 

Sharing the suffering

Here I begin with a question?  If you needed emergency therapy after spending Thanksgiving or Christmas last year with the family. (I say or because only a reality show masochist would double dip) Why would you invite a friend,girlfriend or boyfriend to accompany you this year.  The friend WHO you clearly lied to when you told them it would be NICE!


I love the stories about everyone staying in the home and experiencing holidays together.   Cooking together or opening up packages at midnight.   Its a great tradition.  But its not for everyone.   It’s very important to place your needs over the desires of the family(unless of course they agree to pay your shrink bill).  Consider getting a hotel/motel room.  I find it to be an oasis in the valley of the kray,kray.   When the volume increases, I begin make a plate and yawn several times ooh-I really must be tired and head to room 212 with a closing yawn-I’ll see you in the morning-love you.  Then you turn off your cell phone and tell the front desk to send calls to voice mail. (ooh I fell asleep) . Trust me- at least two people will rush to tell you what you’ve missed.

The room is really important for your friend.  He/she and the children don’t necessarily need to see you in super Kray form.   They don’t share your history, why put them through it.   My wife and family would get a large suite and sometimes sneak out to the movies.

Because I’ve been a victims of painful memories I am both watchful and mindful of what I say to my family and I run interference for those who want to inflect pain on others.   You have to be mindful of the painful smile.

Changing The Script (New Traditions)

We have been seduced… From movies to Commercials  that the holidays is everything and you must be with your family. This is what we are supposed to do right?   But what is your family is  less Waltons or Huxtables and more Bundy.

The harshest realty is, the realization that some of our families are toxic.  Year after year,we return because this is what we know, its how its always been.  It never occurred to us we have another option.  So we go hoping for that Brady setting and sometimes return in shambles.  Worst of all, we take OUR children to these events infecting them.

Not only do they have to bare witness to our annual dismantling. We are creating a new normal for them.

For some families, normal is screaming, fighting and manipulation. While visitors are shocked,  it’s just another family event, where someone pulls out a knife, threatening to kill another family member.  Another Christmas dinner were everyone swears. 

If these joyous family events leaves you anxious, depressed and sad. You may want to consider not attending at all.

New Traditions

Again, a lot of us attend events, because it something we’ve always done and there isn’t anything wrong with that if you enjoy that family event.   But if its painful for you and YOUR branch of the family, there aren’t rules that say you have to attend.

Instead of modeling bad behavior for our children, we started our own traditions.  Cartoons, movies, a billion and one desserts.   One year our holiday meal was turkey, they next ham, one year pizza.  No one needed therapy because we didn’t have the traditional meal and it was less work .   One of our best Thanksgivings was in a Burger King.   Today our children are grown.  They didn’t share our history of family and one day they will create their own Traditions, hopefully filled with joy and laughter.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the 365  days a year.  If you choose not to share those holidays with your family and siblings, it is NOT a reflection of your love .   It means you that you’ve chosen you.  Try not to allow others to make you feel less than, because your chosen your sanity over a family event that leaves you shaken and stirred.  Be gracious, you can still share gifts.

Breaking free may not be easy.  The guilt control machine will be launched-everyone is expecting you! Especially by your siblings who feel, if they have to suffer, you must attend!   Aunt Pearl will be so hurt, you know this may be her last Christmas,she loves you so much!) and turn off all phone until the day after.  Then feel free to call.  If you get a call, take control by keeping the call short no long or extended conversations involving the past.   We or I am not going…. Love you, bye!!       They take control by keeping you one the phone.   Remember, Choose you!  Choose your family.

The Holidays like every day can be a loving joyous affair.  Take control and make it happen!!

Life ends in an instant.  Choose Joy.

Meanwhile B Safe




Sacratomatoville Post Top 10 ( Most Popular Blog in 2012)

I find it very difficult to describe Sacratomatoville Post.  Its curious, insightful,warped, sensitive and personal.  This years top ten is curious at best.  Who had the fastest phone network was very important to readers as wsd smoking marijuana.  A LOT of people were fascinated by Charles Hamilton love of teddy bears.

10. Every carrier claims they have the fastest four G Network -Last year PC World had the final word.

9. If any story had legs it was this one..readers learned why this young man was banned from Cincinnati library‘s.

8. The fastest mobile network for 2012.

7. In a silly mood, I made fun of  2012 Presidential Candidates  Newt Gingrich‘s wife’s hair and other silly observations.

6. What are the Secrets of older celebrities——money and good plastic surgeons.   This story was one of the favorites from SP’s international readers.

5. This is one of those small stories that took me by surprise. Its a work in progress and its not only popular here in the states but its popular in places like Sweden and Russia . Interacial dating.  (who knew?)  The first day it was posted it received five hits, it is the most popular blog of 2012.

4. This lady’s’ weight gain after marriage is popular.

3. I think this 23 year girl wanted attention and now she is addicted to it and we thank her.   This story is the most popular international story here at SP. We believe this year old story is largely  responsible for our growing  international audience .

2. The interest in Zsa Zsa Gabor is amazing,. The on going battle with her current husband and her only child over control of her Estate is interesting because of their past.      This two year old blog is by far the most popular blog


1. Roll the dice and take your chances.  In many hotels ,light up and they may just call the PoPo.

The Ultimate Christmas Gift: A Home

Woman receives gift of home ownership for Christmas

A Longview woman and her daughter received what she considers to be the greatest Christmas gift a little early this year — the gift of a permanent home.

Wesla Richardson and her 5-year-old daughter, Veta, moved into their new home in South Longview this past week after completing the requirements for the Habitat for Humanity housing program.

“This is the best Christmas gift,” Richardson said as she sat in the living room of her new home.

The home is an upgrade from her small apartment on Seventh Street where she shared a bedroom with her daughter, who always wanted to sleep near her mother despite having her own bed.

“She sleeps in her bed now. … She has her own room and space to play. The yard is secure, so she can go outside and play.”

Richardson’s daughter spends a lot of time in the yard, playing with their new dog — a perk of having a home of their own.

For the Richardsons, the new home is more than a structure, but a place of safety and comfort.

“It is security,” she said.

The first-time homeowner said she was hesitant about making such a commitment at first, but once she moved in, she knew it was the right decision for her family.

“Now I feel like part of the community, instead of apart from it,” she said.

It took the 33-year-old 16 months to complete all of the program requirements which include at least 350 hours of “sweat equity” or volunteer hours working on Habitat projects, Homeowner’s College, and deposit payments.

“I had a hard time getting the hours in as a single mother working two jobs,” she said.

Richardson is now seeing the results of her sacrifice and hard work as she looks about her home that she helped to fix.

She encourages others who are seeking to own a home to apply with Habitat for Humanity.

“Do the footwork and don’t give up. It may seem like you’re walking in quicksand, but don’t give up. It gets tangible one day,” she said.

For now, Richardson is focused on preparing for her first Christmas as a homeowner.

By Jessica Ferguson/Longview,Texas News Journal (Photo by Kevin Green)

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