Top Ten: Families you wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with
I found this one quite hard actually! My mind went blank when I had to think of literary families I don’t find too pleasant, so I’d be happy to read any suggestions.
Why? Vain, superficial and don’t give a damn about the people they hurt. The very opposite of what Christmas is about!
9. Who? THE DURSLEYS (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling).
Why? They lock Harry in a cupboard under the stairs- what is to stop them from making us eat our Christmas dinner in there too?! And who would want to spend their Christmas with spoilt Dudley?
8. Who? THE GRADGRINDS (Hard Times by Charles Dickens).
Why? For the Gradgrinds it’s work hard,
play work hard. The Gradgrind children are not even allowed access to their own imaginations, so Christmas would hardly be fun, would it?
Why? A scheming father, unsympathetic Uncle, lies and deception everywhere you turn as this family plot and strive to get to the top. Unable to trust anyone, I will pass on spending Christmas with the Boleyns.
6. Who? HEATHCLIFF AND THE EARNSHAWS (Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte).
Why? Hindley is a bully, Catherine doesn’t know what she wants and Heathcliff is on a rampage on the moors hellbent on revenge. Could not see Christmas being a quiet one.
5. Who? THE KATCHADOURIAN FAMILY (We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver).
Why? A disturbed child who hates and resents everyone around him, his actions eventually culminate in a tragic and catastrophic event. Would I like to spend
one minute in the same room Christmas with the unhinged Kevin? No thanks.
4. Who? OTHELLO AND DESDEMONA (Othello by Shakspeare).
Why? As the protagonist in a Greek Tragedy, Othello’s downfall is his jealousy- and if you haven’t studied the play, wow is he hugely jealous of his own wife. Utterly convinced that she hasn’t been faithful to him (even though she has) and seeing motifs, signs and messages in every object while trapped in his own paranoia, I would not want to spend Christmas day with a man becomes so ensnared by his own jealousy. And don’t get me started on the rude metaphors and puns in his language.
Why? Because of the snow you are trapped in an isolated, haunted hotel with a kid who sees disturbing visions and a father who is influenced by an evil presence-who eventually goes completely over to the dark side and chases his family through the cold, dark, empty hotel with an axe. Happy Christmas.
2. Who? THE KENTS (The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale, a true story).
Why? Undoubtedly one of the most chilling, true stories I have ever read. A child’s body has been found at the home of the Kent family in terrible conditions. Detective Inspector Jack Whicher is on the case and he finds that three year old Saville Kent was savagely murdered. At the time of the murder, all the family and servants were locked inside the house with no way of escape and no person from outside the estate had a chance of getting inside. The problem is that this means that a member of Saville’s own family must have murdered the infant. With a murderer on the loose, I would not spend Christmas with the Kents in Road House.
Why? Let’s face it, none of the families in Game of Thrones wpuld be much fun to spend Christmas with. Most of the Starks are dead, the Lannisters are a crafty, untrustworthy lot (Tyrion would be great to have at the dinner table though) and Daenerys is too busy trying to solve the ecnomic problems she created in the east. The mother of all families you would not want to be within a mile of. Every reader worth his/her salt must have read know the Freys are not to be trusted; with no conscience surrounding their actions, the Red Wedding serves as a deafening reminder that lies, savagery and betrayal comes easy to this family.