We are family.

Camden Town, United Kingdom


Christmas time.

What would you think of if someone asked you what you thought of when they said that?

#..Christmas time, Mistletoe and wine..
Children singing Christian rhyme,
with logs on the fire and gifts on the tree.
A time to rejoice in the good that we see..#

Right?

Not in our family. More like..

#..You’re a bum!
You’re a punk!
You’re an old slut on junk!
Living there almost dead,
on a drip in that bed.
You scum bag!
You maggot!
You cheap lousy ******!
Happy Christmas your ****!
I pray God it’s our last..#

Ok, maybe that’s a lie. I’ve never actually screamed, “You’re an old slut on junk!’ to mum.. I MAY have silently thought of equally as offensive insults in my head at times, and more than often may have called Ben a ******, but that’s a different story for another time.

However, at Christmas time, in our household.. you will hear, or see these sayings..

In chronological order.. (those highlighted in bold are sayings you will hear more than a couple of times throughout the day)

“Wake up!”
“**** off! I have a headache.”
“Shut up, you alcoholic – it’s a hangover, not a headache. Self-inflicted – I have no sympathy for you. Get your fat ass out of bed.”
“By the way, I didn’t buy that for you, I won it in a raffle.” (my little brother, just after I opened my present, two years ago. What an *******)
“When is dinner?”
“I only have one pair of ******* hands. It’ll be ready when it’s ready.”
“Give me the remote.”
“Mum! They won’t give me the remote!”
“You go to the shops.”
“No, YOU go to the shops.”
“YOU’RE doing the washing up.”
“I was sitting in that chair. Move.”
“Don’t eat all the potatoes. I want some.”
“Give me the gravy.”
“What’s the magic word?”
“Give me the ******* gravy.”
“Get it yourself.”
“I want to watch this.”
“I wanted to watch that.”
“Tough ****.”
“You’re a ******.”
“You’re a *****.”
“Why can’t you behave like a normal family?”
“Now mum’s upset. Well done..” •slow clapping•
“YOU made her upset.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I love you.”
“We’ve run out of alcohol.”
“We’ve run out of cigarettes.”
“Don’t blow your smoke in my face.”
“Lets play cards.”
“No.”
“Don’t be so anti-social.”
“You’re doing my head in.”
“I win. Up yours.”
“Lets play Cluedo.”
“Every ******* year, I have to repeat this.. I ******* HATE CLUEDO!” (me.. every ******* year)
“Leave me alone.”
“Lets play Pictionary.”
“I don’t want to be partnered up with her.”
“I don’t want to be partnered with him.”
“Oh my God, you can’t ******* draw.”
“What is that?”
“You have anger issues. You need to go to anger-management classes.”
“You need to go to attitude-management classes.”
“Seriously mum, please put him up for adoption.”
“He’s 23/30yrs old (delete as applicable), I can’t put him up for adoption.”
“Girls are so much more better than boys.”
“I apologise for our family.” (to the partners)
“Who’s doing the washing up?”
Rock, paper, scissors.”
“Best out of three?”
“Best out of seven?”
“Best of nine?”
“I swear, next year, I’m not spending Christmas with you.”

Now.. the last line – I say that every year.. and every year, I still spend it with my family. Why? Because, regardless of how many insults we throw at each other. regardless of how many times we’ve wanted to kill each other (trust me, the number of times I’ve wanted to kill my brothers is slightly worrying), regardless of how many times we may not see each other.. we will ALWAYS be there for each other.

Our family isn’t perfect, we’ll be the first ones to admit that! But.. whenever one of us has needed help, we’ve never felt like there wasn’t anyone we could talk to.

I was 21 years old when my nan got cancer – I was heartbroken. Actually, heartbroken doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface – I was absolutely devastated. I went with her to every single appointment, and it killed me.. having to sit and listen to the doctors tell her the bad news, having to sometimes ask her to interpret what they said because I was crying too much to understand what they were saying and having to try and support her at the same time. I remember asking her why she liked me going with her to her appointments. I can’t remember her exact words, but it went something like this..

“You can talk the hind legs off a donkey. I can just sit there and listen you talk about absolutely everything and nothing. It takes my mind off everything I’m going through. Sometimes, I don’t even listen to what you’re saying, because sometimes you talk ****. But I like to listen to the sound of you talking.”

And just like that, I didn’t care about how much pain I had to go through, because as long as I was making her feel better, I felt better.

She kicked cancer in the nuts.

Two years ago, my mum felt faint and was taken to hospital. Further tests revealed she had cancer. Again, I was absolutely heartbroken.. but I was stronger this time around, and every day was spent with her in hospital. If you ask her, she would say the reason I came every day was because of the nurses. That’s a barefaced lie. It was the doctor and the pharmacist that I came for.
We spent everyday making ***** of ourselves. We would plank on the hospital bed, in the garden and on the stairwell. Once, we raised the bed so high, we were a foot away from the ceiling. The nurses and nan would often shout at us.

“Get down right now!”

The point is, we had fun – I didn’t want her to ever feel like she was alone.

She also kicked cancer in the nuts.

We’ve always said, no matter how hard things get, as long as we all have each other and everyone’s ok, then that’s all that matters.

This year is the first time I’ll be spending Christmas without my family, and I wish I was back at home with them.

Ironic, isn’t it?

So.. this Christmas – no matter how much they annoy you, no matter how much you want to beat them up, no matter how hard they may try to push your buttons, try to remember that if you need help, who would be there for you, no questions asked? Your family. Be grateful you have one.

Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year to you all.

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