Ask Auntyji: Do I have to visit my in-laws for Christmas?

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Dear Auntyji,

Let me tell you the tale of my Christmas woes. My husband is fifth generation white Australian, while I am first generation Australian of Indian origin. For the past 15 years, we have celebrated Christmas at Andy’s parents’ place, where all his uncles, aunts, cousins, long lost relatives all get together. But Auntyji, instead of families getting together and having fun, at this Christmas event, every single year for the past 15 years, it all becomes a shambles. At the end of the day, there are tears, tantrums, tormented tussles and even one torrid affair.

Auntyji, what is this nonsense? When I talk to people at work, it occurs to me that everyone seems to have tales of woe – and no family is immune from these holiday horrors. So, now that I am older and have kids, I really don’t want them to see this type of behaviour. I am planning on boycotting the party entirely and spending the day at home self-medicating with eggnog generously spiked with vodka. I know, I know, this is not how to make egg nog, but the idea is what matters. What should I do, Auntyji – can I safely get out of this event?

Auntyji says

Oh, what marvellous tales of mean-spiritedness come to the fore at Christmas gatherings! What delicious stories of the worst of human behaviour on display for all to laugh at. So my dear little bauble, now that you have survived the Christmas carnage that is good tidings at Andy’s parents’ place, why would you stop now?

Imagine, you have so many tales of Christmas woe that you will be the life of every dinner conversation. All you have to do is tell all the tawdry tales of Christmases past, and you will have everyone hanging on your every word. Besides, now that you have kids, and they have seen the worst of their relatives, why would you stop them from acquiring stories that they could tell their own kids of the ghosts of Christmases past? I say you continue to go to all the Christmas events, and watch everything that goes down, and then retell them to friends over the New Year all the way through to Australia Day. How interesting it is to be part of such a loud, rumbustious, crazy, wild, weird family. You really are lucky to be surrounded by such characters.

Christmas is a time for family and togetherness and many are not fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who love them in spite of their outbursts. Most people’s relatives and Christmas events are fairly sedate, dull affairs. Not yours, my dear, so enjoy it. And if I were you, I would look for opportunities to create a tamasha of your own. Try playing the racism card by reminding everyone that the British stole the Koh-i-noor and they should give it back. Merry Christmas!

READ ALSO: ‘Receive the newness’: Christmas message from Rev. Radhika

The original Australian sub-continental agony aunt. Email: info@indianlink.com.au

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