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The 5 Types of Relatives You’ll Encounter During the Holidays

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.

As we gear up for the holiday season, we’re pretty much guaranteed to run into these family members at our celebrations. Best of luck, dealing with all that love! 

The Over-Affectionate Hugger

You know this one! They come over to you, nuzzle your face, and coo over how much you’ve grown. They’ll poke and prod at you and just marvel at how much you’ve grown before proceeding to squeeze the life out of you. They give you way too many kisses and might even pinch your cheek. If you’re lucky you’ll avoid the dreaded hair ruffle. This person loves you a lot and isn’t afraid to express just how much they love you.


The Photographer

This family member is always taking pictures of everything—of you, of the dog, of the cat, of your aunt’s baby, and even the holiday dinner. They insist on everyone cramming into a family photo and take forever to actually get a photo they like. Even though they take a million pictures on their tablet or smartphone, you never actually get to see any of the photos they take.


The Drunk

This family member is consistently loud, constantly arguing with someone and was already drunk before you got there. No matter what holiday it is, it’s always an excuse for this family member to drink! They overshare everything, usually ask invasive questions, and end up giving a form of a slurred speech at some point in the evening. Bonus points if they try to give you “college advice.” They will generally argue with another drunk family member.

The Questionnaire

This family member wants to know EVERYTHING going on. How’s college? How’s your GPA? How were classes? How are your friends? When are you getting married? How’s that friend of yours? Are you eating enough? Why don’t you have a job?


I can barely handle the questions on my finals, there’s no way I’m going to have the answers to any of those questions. Some relatives genuinely want to know how you’re doing, but some just ask questions to be nosy. I don’t know when I’m getting married, okay?

The Sports Fan

This person came just for the football…or basketball. They pop open a beer, sit down on the couch, and turn the TV on to whatever is on ESPN. They generally hoot and holler throughout the game, encouraging other sports fans in the family to also join in on the game. This will eventually turn into a family event, where everyone is in the family room and just cheers when The Sports Fan cheers if they’re not sure exactly what’s happening on the screen. They keep their eyes on the screen and one hand firmly on the plate of food in front of them.