We love the holidays just as much as the next person. But when it comes to getting together with relatives, things often don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes, though, everything works out just as you had hoped. Any other time of the year, things are OK when everyone’s together. Not great, sure, but definitely not stressful. So, what is it about the holidays that makes everything so different? To help make sense of it all, we thought about relatives in terms of something we understand: not sociology or economics, but beer. And like beer, not all relatives are created equal.
When you were young, you loved them. As an adult, though, things are a bit different. Now you only see them during the holidays, when it’s cold outside and the snow is falling. You try to see them during the year, but it can be hard to find (the time that is). During the holidays, you visit them more, and you don’t mind—too much anyway. It’s nice seeing them, even though your nostalgia quickly turns bitter.
The difference between your grandparents and your parents is… well, it’s complicated to say the least. Your parents will tell you they’re not at all like their parents and your grandparents will tell you that, no, they’re exactly like them. Regardless of who’s right, you know there’s a difference, however slight. On one hand, you don’t mind it. On the other, it means you have to approach things differently—and keeping track of all the slight differences can be difficult. Eventually, you’ll give up, and when presented with the opportunity, you’ll side with your grandparents because they hardly (if ever) let you down. You might regret it later, but hey, that’s the holidays! Sorry Mom and Dad!
Ah, in-laws. Just when you think you’ve met them all, there’s more—and they never seem to leave you alone, either. Some are nice, some aren’t, and some are just OK. But no matter what they’re always unique and bitter. They’re also the most expensive. Oh, and they have a nasty little habit of turning things around on you without your noticing. Before you know it, you’re the one asking yourself uncomfortable questions.
Aunts & Uncles: Wheat
Setting aside that creepy uncle of yours who isn’t related to the family and probably has a crush on your mom, aunts and uncles are—for the most part—sweet and different from everyone else in the family. Your nice aunt and your cool uncle always seem to save the holiday, don’t they? They’re consistent, and seldom do they disappoint. If they’re not keeping things fresh, they’re keeping things low-key.
Brothers & Sisters: Lager
Love them or hate them, your brothers and sisters deserve your respect. They’re “new” to this whole holiday thing even though they’ve been doing it for a while now, and they’re not exactly sure how they feel about it. They tend to be a more mellow and reserved year after year and can take a while to loosen up. Nevertheless, they always show up and put their best foot forward.
Your cousins, in any setting, always seem to be the odd one out. No one really knows whose children they are or why they’re even there in the first place—but they’re not so bad once they start talking, and the conversation is always light and refreshing.
Despite their differences, behind closed doors you’ll always love your family. It’s the same with beer, right? You might talk badly about certain beers in public (and you’d never be caught drinking so-and-so), but at the end of the day beer is beer—and whether you like what you’ve got or not, you’re thankful just to have something.