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'AITA for not wanting coal for Christmas?'

'AITA for not wanting coal for Christmas?'


"AITA for not wanting coal for Christmas?"

This year I went to my fiancé’s house for Christmas. It was my first time going, as we would typically go to my family’s house instead.

I got a (rather pricey) gift for my fiancé “Dan” related to his hobbies, I got nice gifts for “Dan’s” parents based off of things I’d talked about with them before, and I got a small pack of chocolates for each of Dan’s other relatives (I didn’t know them that well).

I wasn’t expecting many gifts from Dan’s relatives because I didn’t know many of them that well, but I was certainly expecting more than I got.

At first, I was excited when I saw that there was a big pile of gifts for me. However, once I opened the first one it was just a piece of coal. Everyone laughed, and I just kind of laughed along thinking it was a gag gift and that the other gifts would be different. But every single one turned out to be coal. All 18 of them.

I started to get upset, so I cried and lashed out at Dan. But he calmly explained apparently this is a longstanding tradition in his family where they gift coal to newcomers who are celebrating Christmas with them for the first time.

He explained that it’s just easier that way since all the relatives who might not know the newcomer well don’t have to stress over finding a gift, and it’s a fun experience for the newcomer as well.

I told Dan I couldn’t believe I skipped my own family’s celebration for this and left. But now Dan and some of his family are blowing up my phone saying I embarrassed him in front of his relatives and that I made it awkward for everyone. So AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

realstareyes said:

NTA. You skipped your family‘s Christmas for this, and they shouldn’t have done this to you without a warning or your consent. Just because THEY enjoy this tradition doesn’t mean it can‘t be hurtful to you, and they clearly ruined the occassion and then gave you a stupid explanation. Especially your fiancé is inconsiderate in all of this, you deserve better! This was legit humiliation.

0biterdicta said:

NTA. "It's a long standing tradition to haze and humiliate new potential family members." Is this a family or a frat?

jupiter235 said:

NTA. One box with coal in it would have been a fun gag. Not eighteen and nothing else whatsoever, though. Then it's just cruel.

FrozenLasagna1 said:

NTA on the sheer idea that you skipped time with your family to be humiliated 18 times in a row. Families that do this sort of shit are toxic. This is literal hazing but “ok because it’s fAmIlY."

CuriousTsukihime said:

NTA - I’m so tired of seeing posts like this, where people willingly choose not to inform their partners, who they LOVE, about family traditions like this. It breaks my heart.

They don’t get to be mean to you and then judge you for your reaction. You left your family, where you’d surely be treated with love and respect, to be with his family where they gave you the complete opposite.

I’m not one to tell people to breakup, but this is a giant marinara flag. Idk how I could stay with someone who was willing to watch me cry and then excuse hurtful behavior in the name of family tradition. Double since you’re engaged. This warrants a giant pause.

Far_Anteater_256 said:

NTA. Their tradition is a hateful one, like a stupid test to see whether you're worthy of joining their family. You didn't embarrass them, they embarrassed themselves with their childish "lump of coal har har har" garbage & they're just pissed off at you for not tolerating their rudeness.

Extra asshole points to your fiancé for not having the common courtesy to explain their stupid tradition before you went there, choosing instead to let you be upset & embarrassed over & over & over until you were literally in tears. Good luck in your life together with that piece of work.

SilentCounter6750 said:

NTA. Why didn’t your fiancé warn you? Does he get a weird sense of pleasure of pulling tasteless pranks on you in your relationship? Your fiancé’s family has a twisted sense of humor.

What on earth makes them think embarrassing a prospective family member/stranger is endearing? 18 freaking pieces of coal? That had better come with a fancy Green Egg grill and an Omaha Steaks subscription.

You didn’t embarrass your fiancé, he and his family embarrassed him. You have every right to be considered and respected, they did none of that. You were right to be offended. I hope you got to salvage your holiday and visited your family.

Take all of this into sobering consideration, as their antics (what they call “traditions”) will be seen again in the future with other fiancés, and possibly children. It’s bad enough that you were on the receiving end of this asshattery, but do you really want to be a part of doling out this BS this by marriage?

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this couple?

Sources: Reddit
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