Merriment and Mayhem

Kathleen Pfohl

The beginning of the holiday
season means a number of things:
decorations, food, and countless family
members packed into one house.
The initial idea of more than seven
days off of school seems grand, until
Christmas morning when 10 people
are crammed into one room exchanging
gifts while the other half of the
family is running around the kitchen
arguing over what type of glaze goes
best with ham.
Having a large family is great: it
means more presents on Christmas
day, but during the holidays this
blessing may seem more like a curse
as personal space starts disappearing
by the second and scenes from the
movie “Home Alone” start becoming
more realistic. One uncle arguing
with another, one cousin fighting
over a toy with her sibling, and
two aunts yelling from one side
of the house to the other, it all
contributes to the infamous
chaos of the holiday season.
All disagreements, conflicts,
and family members must
be dealt with one step at
a time to ensure that the
only meltdowns occurring
are ones of the chocolate-
y cookie kind.
Christmas is the time when
all the crazy relatives and younger
siblings bring out their “best” sides,
often making them very difficult to
tolerate, and larger families are lucky
enough to be double the people and
double the chaos.
“There are 16 people at our house
and they’re all screaming. Six of
the people are in elementary school
and opening up presents and they
are always jealous of each other so
they start fighting,” junior Hannah
Thompson said.
Even though this is often the
negative side of Thompson’s holiday
break, having a large family can be a
good thing if you look on the bright
side of the situation.
“The best part is having so many
people to spend it with: you’re never
bored over winter break, there are always
people home,” Thompson said.
Although having a large family can
be chaotic, it does not mean Christmas
has to be miserable. Taking time
off to play in the snow, going to coffee
shops for some hot chocolate or
peppermint flavored coffee, and ice
skating on outdoor rinks are all ways
to keep Christmas cheery and bright.
Every holiday get-together is
bound to have its own mishaps. Occasionally
the oven will stop working,
meaning constant trips back
and forth from the neighbor’s house,
someone forgets the main dish for
Christmas dinner, presents are left at
home, the cat runs up the Christmas
tree again, or snow keeps you lodged
in the house for a couple of days
(which, based on the past Christmases
in Virginia, doesn’t seem very
likely). Once the confusion and anger
from these mishaps subside, they
make the celebrations memorable,
and if lucky, laughable three years
down the road.
Amid the chaos of the holiday season,
do not forget that these family
members have traveled ‘over the river
and through the woods’ just to enjoy
Christmas with loved ones, so if
life gets too hectic, take a deep breath
and remember, it isn’t forever, so
the Christmas decorating and tacky
lights can be thoroughly enjoyed before
winter break is over and a whole
three months have to go by until the
next school break.

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