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Enforced Family Fun


By Celia in UnderlandPublished 5 months ago Updated 4 months ago 1 min read

For Real Poetic's Christmas Challenge...You can find it here if you would like to join in the jamboreeing

“Dear God,” Julia thought as she caught the first glimpse of Uncle Terry in a ludicrous light-up Christmas tree sweater, “enforced family festivities –fucking marvellous,” she muttered, bracing herself to descend the stairs and into the waiting arms of her overzealous extended family. This was going to be hell.

The sweater wasn't the only horror awaiting her. Aunt Marge, notorious for her "unique" perfume, more eau du mothball than Chanel no 5, was the first to suffocate her. Julia gasped for breath as she removed herself from the weighty boobs engulfing her.

In the living room she navigated through the field of baubled relatives, each more fake excited than the last. Cousin Larry, apparently now a ventriloquist, insisted on introducing his freaky penguin puppet. Julia smiled politely as he showed her how (not) to throw her voice. “It’s an art”, he said. One he hadn’t quite grasped, she reflected wryly.

There was of course worse to come. Gift giving. How many ridiculous pairs of socks would she have to open this year? She endured the sock exchange with as much enthusiasm as she could muster. Uncle Tony’s zeal over Grandma Betty’s handmade bedazzled jingling reindeer pair was actually quite impressive, she thought.

As if things couldn’t get any worse. Dinner. Uncle Terry's infamous "turducken" – a questionable endeavour that had no hope of disappearing anytime soon. Some traditions should be scrapped, she reasoned; biting into some bizarrely glazed vegetable –she couldn’t quite fathom whether it was a carrot or a parsnip.

As the evening traipsed on, stuffed with off-key carolling and an improvised talent-less show instigated by the ‘wannabe a popstar’ younger cousins, Julia found herself relaxing into the spirit of it all. Not that she would admit it. She was 16 afterall. And fun at family gatherings would be an absurdity.


About the Creator

Celia in Underland

Just a voice finding its echo. Teacher - reader-writer-cat lover. Wanderer. Weirder than a koala in The Arctic. Magpie for shiny words and stuff. Taking the scenic route home.

Admin @ FB VoIces in Minor

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (17)

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  • JBaz4 months ago

    Congratulations on the win

  • Cute... does it get better or worse with age??

  • Rene Peters4 months ago

    This is so relatable and I'm not even a teenager anymore 😅 Congrats on winning the challenge!

  • Daphsam4 months ago

    This is such a funny Christmas short story! Well deserved win!!

  • Lamar Wiggins4 months ago

    eau du mothball 😂. Loved your story and congrats on the win from RP.

  • Ha! My oldest daughter is now 30, and she still views holiday gatherings through the same lens as Julia -- an absurdity. Great story, Celia!

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    Ah, the miserable teenager stage. Nicely done.

  • Kenny Penn4 months ago

    This piece is so relatable to those of us with teenage children! I got a good laugh from this when I got to the end and realized this negative person was a teen! I thought, this makes total sense! lol great job

  • Karissa E.L. Cuff4 months ago

    i love the dry humour of this, such a fun read

  • Ah, at the age of sixteen I had yet to come to appreciate the annual gift of a winter sweater. By eighteen, those had become some of my favorite & most-looked-forward-to gifts. Not so much at sixteen. In a few more years perhaps she will arrive at the place where she thinks, "Ah, family: so nice to see them, so nice to return to my own home without them."

  • This was so nostalgic. Lol, the things that we would have to endure. Loved your story!

  • Hannah Moore5 months ago

    Ha ha! Oh so painfully cool.

  • JBaz5 months ago

    lol . Oh those delightful teenage years. We’ve all been there a remember those same days with fondness later in life.

  • Caroline Jane5 months ago

    Ahhhhh. The memories. ❤️

  • Real Poetic5 months ago

    "turducken" – a questionable endeavour 😂 it really is !!

  • Dana Crandell5 months ago

    Ah, this brought back some memories! And it closes with the perfect thoughts from a 16-year-old. Well done, Celia!

  • Mother Combs5 months ago

    Great story. Love it

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