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6 Cue Cards for the Holiday Gathering You’re Dreading

0xeqj06wgro-steve-halamaYou might have noticed that the movie Love Actually has made it into the Christmas television canon and, yes, it got me thinking that cue cards –as in the famous scene because “at Christmas you tell the truth”—might come in really handy. So, with a candy cane and tongue firmly in cheek, I offer the following which you are free to use any way you like. Of course, I’d encourage you to take the high road and keep them to yourself for your own amusement but the choice is up to you.

  IMG_0046          Pass the eggnog. Hold the vitriol, please.

            Yes, this one’s for that person who thinks just laying eyes on you presents the perfect moment to tell you everything you’re doing wrong or, with someone who’s known you for years, every historical moment of failure and ineptitude.

Only small people think a joke at someone’s expense is funny.

Oh yes, this is for the “kidder” in the group, the one who’s been rehearsing his zingers on the way over because making people squirm makes him or her feel oh-so-good. Sometimes, turning the tables is just enough to let a teeny bit of holiday spirit into the room.

Good to know your perfect life continues.

            This one’s handcrafted for the braggart by the bar, the one talking about her recent coup at work, the huge bonus and promotion he’s gotten, and those children who are so much better than yours and there are tons of photos on his cell to prove it. The great thing about this cue card is that’s really hard to come up with a decent riposte because the tone is so opaque. I mean, you’re being sincere, aren’t you?

Seeing you reaffirms my life choices.

This one has just enough peppermint crunch in it to make a narcissist wonder. This is the perfect cue card for the dismissive or critical person, the one whose smile contains more than a soupcon of smirk. It’s a good mantra too for unloved daughters who are performing filial duties at the holidays.

Nasty with a Christmas bow on it is still nasty.

            This one’s for the Grinch sitting across the table from you, the one determined to rain as much nastiness on as many parades as she can because she doesn’t want to be the only miserable one in the room. She’ll remark on your weight (“You have put on a bit, haven’t you?”), what you’re wearing (“I never thought of you as a pink person”), and anything else she can light on because misery loves company. But the move says you can tell the truth at Christmas and this cue is a bit more high-brow than other alternatives.

IMG_0045No. No. No.

            Sometimes, you just have to draw the line, retreat beyond a boundary composed of monosyllables, and take your leave. This cue card permits you a dignified exit, self-esteem intact.


Ho ho ho!

 Top photo by Steve Halema. Copyright Free.




6 Cue Cards for the Holiday Gathering You’re Dreading

Peg Streep

Peg Streep’s new book, DAUGHTER DETOX: RECOVERING FROM AN UNLOVING MOTHER AND RECLAIMING YOUR LIFE, can be purchased at Amazon. com. The author or co-author of twelve books, she also wrote MEAN MOTHERS: OVERCOMING THE LEGACY OF HURT (William Morrow). She lives in New York City. You can visit her on Facebook or at All posts are copyrighted by Peg Streep. You are more than welcome to share the link but do not copy and paste the text and post elsewhere.

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APA Reference
, . (2016). 6 Cue Cards for the Holiday Gathering You’re Dreading. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from


Last updated: 20 Dec 2016
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