The holidays are about spending time with your family. They’re also about drinking more wine than usual and stuffing your face with stuffing, various types of brittle, and all-of-the-cheese-there-is in a bid to keep you from throttling said family within an inch of their lives. That’s what family is: food and resisting the urge to sucker punch your brother for asking you why your new haircut makes you look like George C. Scott. Instead of adding another mountain of calories that no holiday sweater (no matter how ugly) could hide, why not spend this holiday season with some of fiction’s most interesting families? From kindly to eccentric, feuding to nerdy, each family listed below has one splendid thing in common: They aren’t yours.
The Cratchit Family
To be clear, I don’t want to bro down with the Cratchit family in that one scenario where Tiny Tim has been killed due to Scrooge’s lack of altruism. That would be one epic bummer of a holiday fete. But the Cratchit family throwing down and giggling over a Christmas goose? Bring. It. On. That said, I don’t think I’d want to be there the day Scrooge invites himself over for Christmas dinner, because yes, brilliantly kind gesture dude, but also dining with one’s boss is almost always ten shades of awkward.
The March Family
Spending the holidays with Jo, Laurie, Beth, Amy, Meg, and Marmie would be the greatest. Sure, you’d have to stomach a lot of religious instruction and hear lectures about kindness, but you know that nine times out ten their family meals end with them braiding each other’s hair in front of a fire while Jo wears a top hat and practices her gentleman walk.
The Weasley Family
Reason number one I’d kill to spend the holidays with the Weasleys: Magic. Powers. Reason number two: Gingers are the best and greatest breed of people who exist currently on our planet. Reason number three: You know they’ve got dirt on Potter. Reason four: At least three of the foods served will probably involve magical properties, and there is nothing un-awesome about that.
The Quimby Family
If you’re at a meal with Ramona Quimby and her parents and her sister Beezus, you don’t need to worry about being the center of attention or putting on a good performance as a host, because everyone will be in a tizzy about Ramona cutting her hair with pinking sheers or dying her entire body with bluing. As different folks yell and Beezus glowers, you can get blitzed on rosé and be all, “Ramona you lovable buffoon!” and then eat all the rolls free of fear of censure.
Admittedly, this dual-family affair would be mad tense, but that’s only until ale has been quaffed and swords draw—then the drama kicks in! If you like reality TV, than dinner with Shakespeare’s dueling families should be right up your alley. Just avoid that Mercutio character: he talks, like, a lot.
The Murry Family
When I was a kid I wanted the Murrys to adopt me. Admittedly, I would not have done well in this math- and science-loving clan, but I get the feeling they would at least have been kind about it. Though frankly, if grasping math meant I got to travel through time and the universe, I’d probably be down. I like the idea of eating a big meal with the Murrys, because you know it would be served at least partially out of beakers and test tubes.
The Cuthbert Family
Being a part of the Cuthbert family means you’re probably getting blitzed on elderberry cordial and attempting (and failing) to color your hair for the big party. That said, while I wouldn’t necessarily want to be Anne of Avonlea, living on Prince Edward Island and hanging out with two dope as hecks old folks eager to impart wisdom and love sounds like the perfect way to spend the holidays.
If I had to pick any family with whom to dwell during the holidays in an apocalyptic version of earth, it would have to be the Everdeens. That’s mainly because if I overindulge in my food rations, Prim or Mama Everdeen would be able to brew up some sort of herbal tincture to treat my indigestion. That being said, the “cornucopia” utilized in the Games themselves is a cruel mockery of the symbol of a day when the only battle to the death should be over the last piece of pumpkin pie.
The Bennet Family
You know what? I’d like to have my holidays with the Bennets because I think poor, homely Mary gets a raw deal! I’d go hang out with them, wear a dress that makes me look pregnant and a severe center-parted hairstyle, and listen attentively while she played the piano for hours and hours and hours. I’d also wisely impart to Kitty and Lydia the virtues of the single life, all the while being thankful for the opportunity to ogle Mr. Darcy to my heart’s delight.
The Sedaris Family
Anyone familiar with David Sedaris’s writing knows that holiday dinners are when his eccentric family comes most colorfully to life. Remember when Amy wore just the bottom half of a fat suit, sending her dad into a veritable fit? The idea of breaking bread with David Sedaris and his entire clan sounds unmissable. Though there’s always the chance you’d make it into one of his essay—a thought that does not rest easy in my mind.
The Mortmain Family
A family cool enough to move into an abandoned castle, ruled over by a writer-father and an artist stepmother: how can their parties not be epic?! Cassandra and her sister, Rose, are forever weary of their family’s artistic inclinations and bohemian life, but I’d gladly trade with them, especially on the holidays. You know Topaz makes excellent crafts.
What fictional family would you love to visit this holiday season?