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Hockey Infractions Committed by Relatives at Holiday Functions

A man by the name of Les Dawson once said, “Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.” A few nuts? Seems like an awfully generous word choice, doesn’t it? Although they mean well, relatives are typically quite the wacky bunch. In honour of the holiday season and the always eventful family gatherings that accompany it, I’ve compiled a list of the various types of relatives you’re bound to encounter, along with the hockey infractions they so blindly commit.

Disclaimer: To any of my family members reading, this article is not about you. Ok, maybe it features some of you. Kidding! Y’all are great.

Without further ado, let’s meet the relatives, shall we?


The one who walks in shouting for no apparent reason. Typically also the one who shows up doused in perfume/cologne. Don’t even bother trying to escape to another room; the scent settles into the depths of your nostrils instantly. Learn to enjoy the smell because it’s bound to linger for at least a month.
Penalty: 2 minutes for charging (in – ever so unpleasantly).

The one who gives you bone-crushing hugs and without invitation, reintroduces their hand to your scalp every time they see you. You’re convinced they’re scheming to slowly kill you and damage your award-winning hair.
Penalty: 2 minutes for holding + an additional 2 for roughing.

The one who arrives highly underdressed.
Penalty: 2 minutes for illegal equipment. If you insisted on wearing informal clothing, you should have just busted out the ugly holiday sweater.
The one who arrives highly underdressedIn the legendary words of sportscasters Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, YA BLEW IT.

The one who arrives prepared to drink away the pain of the family gathering.
Penalty: 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. The rest of us are sober and are not interested in dealing with your drunken shenanigans.

The one who insists on taking a large family photo for social media posting purposes. Also known as the one who has a knack for capturing you in your most unflattering of moments, namely mid-sentence or even worse, mid-chew. This person even goes above and beyond, taking it upon themselves to tag you in these lovely photos for everyone to see.
Penalty: 2 minutes for holding the (selfie) stick.

The one who’s basically a walking “ping” machine. Setting their cell phone on silent? Pffft not a chance. If this relative goes longer than 5 minutes without pulling out their phone, someone is bound to faint of shock.
Penalty: 5 minutes for stabbing (my eardrums repeatedly for hours).

walking ping

The one who brings presents. Hi, you can stay.
Wait a second… are those… selfie sticks?! Get out.
Penalty: 2 minutes for (failing to give yourself a) fighting (chance).

The one who literally cannot stop saying: “Oh my goodness! I remember you when you were yay high!” *emphatically lowers hand to waist height*
It’s called growing. It’s that thing that happens over time.
Penalty: 2 minutes for (not familiarizing yourself with the act of) biting (your tongue).

The one that drowns you in unsolicited advice.
Penalty: 2 minutes for tripping. Contrary to what you assumed, my 3-word response to “how are you?” was
not in fact a masked cry for your wisdom.

The one who hogs the homemade potato latkes/grandma’s specialty Christmas mashed potatoes. You’re the worst.
Penalty: 2 minutes for interfering (with my holiday fun).

the hogger

The eye candy. You know the one.
Penalty: Game misconduct for interfering with an official (relative) in the performance of their duties. Cannot. Stop. Staring. Send help.

The one who
sees the meal as the perfect time to initiate a conversation about surgery. Do you mind? The specifics of the quadruple bypass surgery your friend recently underwent is the last thing I want to hear when attempting to keep my food down. You should be issued a restraining order from the table.
Penalty: 2 minutes for (asking for a healthy) kicking (in the behind).

convo at the table

The one with all the incredible stories. You know, they’ve been travelling the world and attended a party with the president of the United States and had high tea in the middle of the Sahara Desert alongside a family of monkeys featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Penalty: 2 minutes for slashing (my self-esteem in half).

The one who cannot, for the life of them, remember what school you’re at or where you work. No big deal, I mean they’ve only been told at least a dozen times.

Penalty: 2 minutes for clipping (away at my patience).

The one who seemingly has a 5-minute internal timer on loop that signals the need to crack another lame joke.
Penalty: 2 minutes for delay of game. You’re stalling the conversation, man.

lame joker

The one who’s always the source of that 20 minute mind-numbing discussion about politics. Just kill me now.
Penalty: 2 minutes for (inducing) eye-gouging (boredom).

The energetic kids who just want to play. They give me a reason to excuse myself from stretches of mundane adult talk; they’re the real MVPs.

lets play already
Penalty: 2 minutes for hair pulling (during an intense game of Go Fish).

The one who sees you like once a year yet for some inexplicable reason feels entitled to ask a handful of personal questions. The worst part? This person expects you to willingly spill all the juicy details. The following questions account for this relative’s favourites: “Do you have any plans for the summer?”, “Are you seeing anyone?”, and polite variations of “Do you know what you want to do with your life yet?” Excuse me, who are you again?
Penalty: 2 minutes for instigating. We both know I didn’t voluntarily engage in that conversation.

The one who just wants to watch the World Junior hockey game. Have I told you yet that I love you?

lets hangout more
Penalty: Not applicable, obviously.

The one who says: “Hey, we should get together more often!” As soon as these words escape this relative’s mouth, they dissipate into thin air, never to be revisited until the next family gathering. I mean, why even bother planting the seed if you have no intention of watering the flower, am I right?
Penalty: 2 minutes for high-tricking.

No matter how
nutty they are, family members are irreplaceable. Happy holidays and let the hilarity ensue!

Vanessa Kezwer

Vanessa Kezwer

My name is Vanessa... and I'm a hockeyaholic. I'm a Sport Media student at Ryerson University who simply loves sports. I've played hockey for 12 years but now prefer to assume spectating responsibilities as a loyal fan of the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Thus, witnessing historic collapses is sadly nothing new to me. Fun fact: I've had a slight obsession with ex-NHLer Bryan McCabe ever since I was 7.
Vanessa Kezwer

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