Coming home for the holidays is supposed to be a joyous and family-friendly experience. But that is not the case for everybody. But why? Here are the best stories from the AskReddit community of why they don’t come home for the holidays.
Comments have been edited for clarity. The source can be found the end of the article.
I don’t spend Christmas with my mother anymore because when I was between the ages of 15-17 my parents were in the process of a nasty divorce and so I spent Christmas eve and morning with my father and then went to my mums side of the family for Christmas dinner. She was so upset that I had spent half my time on Christmas with my dad that during dinner she didn’t sit or speak to me.
Later that night as we’re getting ready for bed in a room we shared, she was typing on her computer still not having said a word to me up to this point. I asked her to be a little quieter because I was trying to sleep, and then she blew up at me with no warning. Ended with her telling me I ruined Christmas, and my grandpa driving me out to meet my dad at 1am that night. I am forever grateful to my grandfather for taking me out of that horrible situation.
For some reason my brother and his wife and super unfriendly towards us and my extended family including my parents. Just for example my parents drove 8 hours to come see them and they ended up sitting in their hotel room all weekend because he would never make plans or would cancel at the last second. Note my parents supported him financially well into his 30’s.
So basically every family function consists of my folks coddling to my brother and having him either blow them off or showing up briefly and being a complete ass the whole time.
Plus I have a psycho aunt who attacks me at every moment she gets. I think my family has a lot of mental problems….
Simply put, my family is full of grudges and alcohol. Holidays are supposed to be full of good feelings but every time one comes around someone mysteriously pulls up drama from 1992 and just ruins everything. So I’m just going to work.
My immediate family is fine…. but my dad’s side…. oh dear sweet Jesus.
My cousin was abused between the age of 3 and 12 by one of my uncles…. he lived next door to her and was babysitting her so it happened God knows how many times.
Once she got older, she started talking about the abuse events. The dude was arrested, tried. My dad and other uncles testified but he only got 3 years of probation because my cousin (who was completely fucked by then) changed small details in her testimony, which made the accusations worthless.
Fast forward now: My grandmother/aunts (including the mother of the girl who got abused) have decided that since Jesus wants us to be forgiving, this piece of sh** who always refused to seek treatment can attend all the family reunions.
So basically next Christmas on my dad’s side, the victim and the abused will be sitting at the same table.
My family and I have never been that close. We feel more like a loose collection of people than an actual family.
Once Id been out on my own for a while there just didnt seem like much reason to go visit strangers I dont connect with.
My family is a bucket of crabs. I couldn’t get away on my own and had to get outside help. My siblings tried getting out and I watched them get pulled down into the black hole of Suck, over and over. As far as I can tell, even the ones living on their own are still hauled back into the bucket on a regular basis.
I can engage with them from a distance; if I get too close, they will try to re-infect me with their stupid, petty, needy, passive-aggressive squalor.
My parents are not bad people, just incompetent at a lot of important life skills. They are mediocre as parents (obvious favoritism, inconsistent rule enforcement), bad with money, and irresponsible in lots of small ways that left me with all sorts of weird baggage.
My brother and I are really close, but he doesn’t want to be home because of the “Did you find a nice girl to settle with yet?” type of questions, the dude is always flying and traveling, he won’t rest and settle, and they don’t want to understand that.
I was kicked out at 15, and so refuse to go back.
I realized the comments of my extended family resulted in the eating disorder I had in high school.
Despite knowing I was sick due to being hospitalized, when I started eating a healthy amount again they would pick on me and tell me it will all catch up to my figure one day.
My grandfather molested my mother as a child, and then proceeded to molest my sister and me when we were younger. My husband and I had our first child a year ago, and it was a knee jerk reaction to kick them out completely. I wish I had been stronger earlier, but I refuse to introduce my new baby daughter to a pedophile, and I am no longer willing to stay polite and quiet.
I want to enjoy the holidays, not spend the entire time listening to the passive aggressiveness of my extended family.
My aunt verbally abused my father then clawed my mother’s face, so I beat the sh** out of my aunt. Aunt was mad my mother married a white man (we’re Italian?) and has been with him for 30 years whereas my aunt hasn’t had a stable relationship that lasted longer than 4 years. Her children hate her and she is the bully of the family. My grandmother, who was in the room, refused to acknowledge what she had done but had no problem laying into me for fighting her.
Being verbally abused while I was digging a grave for my dog on Thanksgiving morning was the last straw I’m pretty sure.
Both parents have psychological issues. I spent my childhood taking care of the family. Now that I’m an adult and moved away it’s time to take care for myself.
Family is mostly dead (I’m in my 20’s). No parents no brothers/sisters/uncles/aunts that live in the area. No reason to visit my hometown other than my in-laws live there. Going back gives me panic attacks.
I don’t really have a home to go back to. My dad died when I was eleven, my mom when I was fourteen. I was living on my own before I’d even turned sixteen.
There’s my grandparents who took me in for a year until I got my own place, but they’re both 85+ and have countless other grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so it sometimes feels like I’m just another grain of sand in the desert.
My dads family and my step family yeah I will go see.
My Mom and her family. I haven’t spoken to in years. They’re a bunch of miserable people who want to make you just as miserable as they are. They blow everything out of proportion and if they do something for you they expect something in return.
My mother was a narcissist. She got remarried when I was 10 or so and her new man was everything. She had always been abusive, but it was always of the emotional, mental variety. After his unwavering acquiescence of the abuse, he came to agree with it wholeheartedly. He would eventually step up to physical abuse, which, in turn, my mother decided to emulate.
When I was eleven, his three boys came to stay with us over Christmas break from school. They were showered with gifts. I received none. Their explanation being that I was not a good child like his three. The eldest of his children, who was around twelve at the time, took pity on me and gave me an RC car that had been gifted to him.
When I was caught playing with it, it was taken from me. When the eldest explained he had given it to me for Christmas my stepdou*** lightly reprimanded him and then took me outside while beating me in the head. I was told to stand still and watch as he ran the RC toy over with his big truck.
I then had to sleep on the cold cement basement floor for ”taking” presents from his children.
I’ve never celebrated Christmas since. The whole holiday season makes me very emotionally wrecked with bitter intermittent flashbacks of the way I grew up.
My parents are hoarders so while I do still see them I refuse to be in their house for more than a minute or two.
My husband’s family is just far better at making reliable plans than my family so they usually win out. I can’t travel all the way across the country to try and see my sister and brother when they refuse to nail down plans more than a day or two in advance. “Oh you’re coming into town. Cool, text us when you get here and we’ll try and meet up.” When I arrive they forgot they had some other obligation half the time. You’re almost 50 years-old. Buy a calendar.
Most of my immediate family is dead. My father is still recovering from destroying his life with drugs and alcohol when his parents died in 2005. He’s in his 50s and well below the poverty line. He hasn’t talked to me in 5 Months now. (Longest was 4 years)
Mother, stepfather, all grandparents are dead.
Instead my friend who took me in when I was gonna end up homeless, his family has had me over for the holidays the last 3-4 years.
My older half-brother and I would go to our moms for Thanksgiving and all that jazz even though she didnt raise us, our dads or grandparents did. Thanksgiving of 2000 when I was fourteen, our stepfather made the mistake of hitting me in front of my brother. My brother nearly killed the man, and we didnt go back for the next holiday.
My wife’s family is all deceased. The only one left alive on my side is my mother. Whenever we see her, she decides it’s time to meddle like heck in our marriage. Last Christmas, after she left, we went to a marriage counselor because things got so bad. Counselor said we are both more than fine and to limit contact with nightmare mother/mother-in-law. We no longer see/hear from her anymore.
Moved 1000 miles away from hometown to go to college. Mom told me before I even graduated from high school that I’d better make some friends my first semester, because a round trip flight at Thanksgiving wasn’t in the budget.
My mom spends most of her time in the heart of the city, scoping out drugs. My dad spends most of his time looking for ways to make money or rip people off to buy drugs. My brother is usually depressed with a needle in his arm. My aunt lives out of town, my uncle is usually beating up his girlfriend or intoxicated or trying to score someone else’s drugs.
With my well paying job, my cozy apartment, my sanity and peace of mind, I just avoid anything with family altogether. Holidays or not.
The last time I tried to see my biological dad he:
Threatened to beat my mom to death, got a DUI for drunk driving home from the bar with me in the car, tried to sell me to someone at the bar drunk, tried to tell everyone I wasn’t really his kid he was just humoring me, tried to emotionally manipulate me against my adoptive father (the person I consider my dad), tried to buy my love with electronics, tried to put me on his phone plan so he could track me down anywhere, etc.
This was all in a week or less ten years-ago. Since then he has had multiple random children with random women and jail a few times. He hacked my Facebook account to stalk me and try to get my friends against me so I’d want to move to where he was (we hadn’t spoken in 5 years at that point) to the point I had to open a new Facebook account.
I wasn’t invited because my brother, who strangled me in my sleep in my mid 30’s, would be there and my mother did not want him to feel uncomfortable.
Last trip home found out my mother had been indoctrinated into an Islamic based sect (read cult) who’s all knowledgeable and benevolent leader advised (forbid) her not to associate with her agnostic child and grandchild. So yahh anyway lots of free time and excess cash this December which is nice.
Step-dad has anger issues, and mom is an enabler type (“Oh, that’s just who he is! you know! Just don’t make him upset!”)
Literally (not figuratively) every Christmas, stepdad causes a fight. I’ve learned to think it’s funny, and just laugh at his 5 year-old tantrums now (since I no longer depend on them whatsoever), and just leave if he gets pissy.
His antics are usually because someone wrapped presents wrong, or opened a present in the wrong order (this was literally the cause of his tantrum once). His tantrums consist of throwing things, breaking things, slamming doors, peeling out the in the driveway, and veins exploding from his forehead.
Was scary to watch when I was 10, but now it’s just comical.
He’s in his late 50s now.
My cousin’s boyfriend just got named to the “30 under 30” list for education. I got a call the list it came out from grandma asking “what I was up to” then an hour of what I could be doing with my life. I am still in undergrad and he has a PHD. I don’t know if I am going home for the holidays yet.
Super religious parents, brother is a once pastor, now atheist in a polyamorous. Not worth the drama.
As a North Indian, the Diwali holiday is our most important one. Everyone is supposed to be together at home and celebrate/worship and stuff. It’s also the festival when the goddess of wealth(Lakshmi) is worshipped. My joint family has screwed up Diwali, for all us cousins majorly because it’s a constant tussle of brothers with respect to power over the family business and the wealth it has collected over the years. It has gone from the celebration/worshipping of wealth to the day of fighting for said wealth.
Have stopped being home during Diwali to just dodge this scene.
Because everyone is now spread out over a massive state that gets insanely cold during the holidays. They can come see me where it’s still 70 this time of year. That or they can wait till I visit in the summer.