The Five Things We Hate About Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa) Dinner

As a general rule, we're big fans of the holidays. Why? Because they involve eating gut-busting quantities of homemade food, scoring paid time off from work and drinking what would generally be unacceptable amounts of booze.

But let's be honest - there are certain things about the holiday season that suck, most of which are common to all of our dysfunctional family gatherings. If that weren't the case, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation wouldn't inspire so many LOLs.

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So in the spirit of commiseration, we thought we'd compile a list of the five things we all hate about Christmas (or your holiday of choice) dinner.

5. Your baby-hungry grandma.

You're 35, single and childless. And dammit, you like your uninterrupted sleep and buckets of disposable income. But your grandma, stuck in the days of Leave it to Beaver, has other ideas. And she's not afraid to share them. If you hear, "When are you going to settle down and make me a grandbaby?" one more time you might vomit creamed corn all over her china.

4. Your brother's raw food-only, gluten-free, vegan girlfriend.

We're all for animal rights and healthy eating, but around the holidays, the uber-picky, random invitees who bitch incessantly about the dangers of wheat are the WORST. It's one thing to stick solely to salad - it's another thing to ruin everyone else's dinner with your self-righteous whining. Put a lid on it, at least during Christmas dinner.

3. Your spoiled five-year-old cousin who won't eat anything but mashed potatoes.

Little kids are annoying. At least when it comes to food. And your sister's spoiled rotten five-year-old is a menace at the dinner table. No one wants to sit anywhere near him, and his insistence on screaming like a banshee when his parents try to feed him vegetables is enough to spoil anyone's evening. Eat your broccoli and put a lid on it, brat.

2. Your drunk, lecherous uncle.

Everyone's got one. A drunk uncle (or otherwise semi-removed relative) whose slurred come-ons and embarrassing antics ruin every family gathering. While perpetual drunkenness might be ok at a Friendsgiving or Santa pub crawl, it's *slightly* awkward when Jack Daniels is your uncle's only dinner companion. Leering suggestively at your 13-year-old cousin = not ok.

1. Your (insert relative's name here)'s prized recipe for (insert disgusting foodstuff here).

Despite the proclivity of Americans to dine on Taco Bell and Cracker Barrel, a lot of self-taught cooks are still convinced they're the next Daniel Bouloud or Julia Child. And it all comes to a head during the holidays, when they're inspired to trot out their latest culinary "achievement." As a dinner guest, you're forced to choke down their attempt at croquembouche or truffle-infused, foie gras stuffed cake pops.

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