Top five people you secretly don't want at your holiday dinner that show up anyway

Written by
Jennifer Greenberg

1. Drunk Uncle

Whether you live in Brazil, England, Canada, the U.S., Israel or Antarctica, this rowdy relative is a key player in the holiday dinner party game. While they blend in more seamlessly on Passover, due to the "religious obligation" to drink four glasses of wine, Drunk Uncle raises a glass to every accomplishment, no matter how minute. "Young Benny was asked to the Prom? L'Chaim!"..."Sandy divorced husband #2? Raise a glass!"..."I didn't spill red wine on the white table cloth this ye...whoops." At least they're consistent.  

© Alena Ploski


2. The Drifter

There's something slightly "off" about the kind stranger your father picked up on his way home from Ben Gurion Airport, but you can't quite place your finger on it – despite her rough image, she's (a little too) polite, claims to be a worldwide traveler (yet has no luggage with her), and when asked where she's from, she answers "all over" in a muddled accent. Perhaps she's running away from the law, a pathological liar and/or serial killer (on the lam?), or maybe she just didn't want to spend another holiday with her own family; either way, it's best to keep your personal possessions on you at all times when the Drifter is drifting about – might we suggest a money belt?

© Alena Ploski


3. The Blind Lovers

As always, Michael bursts through the door 40 minutes late just in time for the first ladling of chicken soup. A jacket clings haphazardly to his right arm, his newest muse to his left. "Mom, dad, this is Joshua, the one-and-only love of my life," he says then shoves his tongue down Joshua's throat. They met two weeks ago at the beach (it's always the beach), and it was love (correction: time sensitive infatuation) at first site. You gag a little as the happy couple proceeds with the PDA. No use getting attached, Michael's bound to have a new "love of his life" by Yom Kippur.

© Alena Ploski


4. The vegan-kosher-gluten-free-cruelty-free-lactarded eater

No dietary trend gets past these health-nut-activists without becoming a part of their strict nutritional regiment for at least a week or two. As the vegan-kosher-gluten-free-cruelty-free-lactard's eating habits rival those of their picky toddler cousin going through their terrible twos, you start to wonder why they even showed up in the first place. "Sweetie, would you like a baked sweet potato? We know how you feel about the Kugel." "I don't eat anything with skin," she responds in disgust. "How about a mint?" That'll do donkey, that'll do.

© Alena Ploski

5. The Sassy Safta

You never ever ever upset the Sassy Safta. Whether a Brooklynite brute or Israeli powerhouse, as the matriarch of the family,  whatever the grandmother says goes. It's two hours to break-fast, but she insists you try one of her mun cookies, you swallow your pride and eat that fucking mun cookie; she doesn't like the blouse you wore to dinner, burn it immediately!; she found those earrings you wore to Shul stunning, you can never again show up to any family occasion without them. Stay on her good side and you're golden. Piss off the Sassy Safta and you can kiss your family inheritance goodbye.

By Jennifer Greenberg, who has been to her fair share of "interesting" holiday dinners.

Take a look at the top five people who visit you in Israel.

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