compiled by Kym Byrnes

A Field Guide to Festive Family Types

Ah, Thanksgiving is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: family gatherings. For some, it’s a heartwarming time of togetherness and gratitude. For others, it’s a comedy of characters that could rival any sitcom. So grab your sense of humor and brace yourself for the annual performance of “The Hilarious Holiday Circus.”

Now, mix these characters together, and you’ve got yourself a holiday sitcom that practically writes itself. Picture Uncle Chuckles trying to impress the Mother-in-Law with his puns, while the Unengaged Adult Children take bets on how quickly the “10-Minutes-to-Drunk” Sister will topple the Christmas tree that the Dad has just spent hours adjusting and rewiring.

In the end, though, it’s these quirks and eccentricities that make our holiday gatherings uniquely memorable. So embrace the chaos, savor the laughter, and remember that, no matter how wacky your family may be, they’re yours, and they’re the greatest gift of all (next to that turkey, of course). Happy Holidays, and may your festive season be filled with love, laughter, and just the right amount of family-inspired madness!


1. The Unengaged Adult Children

Every family has them. They’ve reached that age where they’re just there for the free food, Wi-Fi, and a comfortable couch to crash on. They’ll sit in the corner, buried in their smartphones, occasionally grunting in response to questions like, “How’s work?” or “Are you seeing anyone special?” You might have better luck getting a coherent response from that turkey on the table.

2. The Uncle Who Thinks He’s a Stand-Up Comedian

Meet Uncle Chuckles, the king of one-liners. From the moment he walks in the door, it’s a nonstop barrage of jokes and puns. You’ll laugh at his jokes not because they’re funny, but because you’re secretly impressed by his unwavering commitment to comedy, no matter how cringe-worthy. You’ve come to realize that you’ll miss him when he’s gone.

3. The Mother-in-Law, AKA The Food & Decor Critic

She arrives wearing an invisible inspector’s hat, armed with a clipboard of judgments. “Oh dear, you’re using canned cranberry sauce? How quaint.” She’ll dissect the table settings, the choice of wines, and the cooking techniques like a seasoned food critic, all while wearing a smile. You’ll desperately try to avoid her gaze when she asks, “Is this from a box?”

4. The Sister Who’s a “10-Minutes-to-Drunk” Wonder

She stumbles in, with a drink already in hand, mistaking the coat rack for a person and hugs it warmly. Within moments, she’s slurring her words, hugging everyone (and everything), and declaring her undying love for the family dog. The only sobering thought is wondering how
she’ll feel tomorrow when the hangover
hits like a freight train.

5. Ah, Aunt Leftovers Linda

Our Thanksgiving foodie escape artist! She swoops into the family gathering like a food-loving ninja, her Tupperware containers at the ready. With the grace of a culinary commando, she navigates the buffet table with lightning speed, ensuring that her plate is piled high with all the delectable food. As soon as the last fork-full enters her mouth, she begins explaining that it’s time for her to depart. But she’s sure to load her Tupperware full of food before exiting.

6. The Dad on a Mission

This holiday hero isn’t content with mere relaxation. Nope, he’s on a quest to find “projects” that need to be done around the house. “Honey, I noticed your porch light flickers. I’ll just grab my tool belt.” Suddenly, he’s dismantling the entire light fixture while you desperately try to remind him that the day is about family and not renovations.

7. “I’m not sure how he’s related” Football Frank

We all know when “I’m not sure how he’s related” Football Frank shows up — as soon as he crosses the threshold, his trusty remote control clutched like a pigskin, he executes a flawless touchdown dance to the TV. From that moment onward, Frank’s dedication to the game is unwavering, and the volume deafening. Conversation attempts are met with a mere grunt or a distracted nod, as his eyes remain locked on the screen, his cheers and jeers harmonizing with the turkey-induced snores from the couch. Frank may be missing out on family gossip, but he’s our living, breathing, and occasionally snoring embodiment of Thanksgiving’s most sacred tradition — football and feasting!