It can be tough for me to spend time with my family during the holidays. At present count, they’re living on three different continents, and the cost and time involved with travelling makes communal gatherings pretty much impossible (except on Skype.) In my fantasy world, we would all be able to get together for Christmas this year, whether it was in Toronto, Budapest, or Wellington, but it’s just not possible. So I’m taking solace in a different kind of fantasy – the fantasy where, if my own clan is unavailable, I can just latch onto another family. A fictional TV family. Here are my top picks of TV families I’d love to spend the holidays with.
The Flanders Family, The Simpsons
The Simpsons may be on your list, but I’ll stick with the Flanders. I appreciate a wholesome, traditional holiday celebration every once in a while. There would be a tree, and presents (if Homer didn’t steal them), and candles, and a massive turkey, and some lovely carols (which we could obnoxiously share with the neighbourhood). Don’t get me wrong – I could never stand living with Ned, Rod, and Todd permanently, but a quiet, peaceful Christmas could be a welcome period of rest after a busy year.
The Bluth Family, Arrested Development
This would be an adventuresome holiday rather than a restful and restorative one, but I’m down just because it would be hilarious. Everyone would end up drunk, wearing wigs and crying into the piano, but Franklin would keep me company. I could make mayonneggs with George Michael, stick candy to the back of GOB’s expensive suits, and joy-ride a Segway around a construction site. I’d just have to beware the many pointed insults coming from Lindsay and Lucille. Just in case this fantasy holiday becomes a reality, I’ve been practising my chicken dance.
The Montenegro-Hodgins Family, Bones
I picture Hodgins’ house being filled with complicated lab equipment, shelves of soil samples, and tanks of weird bugs. I bet he’d cook Christmas dinner through some sort of convoluted, gastro-entero-macro-molecular-radiation-laser technology. Or he’d cook cricket tacos, which would be pretty neat, too. And Angela is just so irresistibly cool! She and I could paint together, and then her dad would come over and lay down some wicked guitar solos and teach my husband how to grow a beard. Oh, and their kid is pretty cute, too.
The Costanza Family, Seinfeld
Can you blame me for wanting to celebrate a traditional Festivus with the holiday’s founding father? Frank Costanza terrifies me, so of course I’m drawn to him and his traditions like a moth to a flame, and I’ve always been similarly drawn to George’s repellingly pathetic nature. I grew up in a generally loving, gentle, and supportive family, so there’s something so exotic about The Airing of Grievances and The Feats of Strength. I can’t help but want to participate! But I would really need to get into fighting shape first.
The Miller-Clark Family, 90210
I know this marriage didn’t last in the end, but it was as wonderful as it was brief. And to be frank, I would be just as willing to spend the holidays alone with Naomi Miller as I would with the intact couple. Because everyone knows Naomi’s the most amazing person alive – especially Naomi. She’s creative, she’s sharply witty, she’s no-holds-barred, she’s rich as all get out, and she throws a party like nobody else. Remember how she got Max a car for Christmas? That’s how I know she wouldn’t be gifting me any dollar store stuff. I’d ask for a pony. Or skydiving lessons.
The Dunphy-Pritchett Family, Modern Family
There are a lot of reasons to want to spend the holidays with this blended bunch – Mitch and Cam are hilarious; Gloria and Claire are loving; Alex has perfected sarcasm; Phil and Luke are always getting up to some sort of hijinks; there are so many people running around that there would never be a dull moment; and they’re kind of rich, so the food and presents would be good. But my absolute number one reason for their place on this list? Manny Delgado. That kid! He’s got pizazz and charm and I would love to spend the day with him. Plus, he’s got great taste, so I bet he would gift me something classy like a cashmere scarf or a salt cellar. I would get him a set of monogrammed silk pocket squares.
Is your family geographically divided, too? What TV family would you like to spend the holidays with?
Hannah McIlveen is a freelance graphic designer and TV-obsessed writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. She grew up riding horses and reading Roald Dahl books, got an art degree, and then spent the next several years moving around the country and watching television. Her greatest goals in life are to write good stuff, produce a web series, build a house with her husband, and have six cats at once. Hannah has contributed to BitchMagazine.org and is a staff blogger for the soon-to-launch TeenSized.com. She also writes her own daily blog, Click Watch Write. Hannah can be accosted on Twitter @ClickWatchWrite.