Bundoo’s Twelve Days of Christmas: How being terrified of my mother-in-law turned into a Christmas movie tradition

Before I met my mother-in-law, I’d heard horror stories about her.

I heard about how she disliked my husband’s last girlfriend so much that she called her Cincinnati* (the city she was from) and refused to call her Catherine.* I’d heard she judged old girlfriends on the way they dressed, their small talk, their accents (and I have a Southern one!). I’d heard that she warned her son about “how awful it would be if he married her” the last time he brought a girl home. I also heard she was beautiful, smart, and a powerhouse at work.

I’m rarely unsure of myself, but I was terrified. It didn’t help that my then-boyfriend/now-husband was nervous for me and kept warning me not to feel bad if she didn’t warm up/was unkind/ate me for breakfast.

So how did it go when we met? The unthinkable happened. We clicked…And nine years later, I still feel like I dodged a bullet.

Flash forward a few years. A movie called The Family Stone came out. With a Christmas theme and star-studded cast that includes Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson, and Diane Keaton, it is about a man who brings his girlfriend home to meet his family only to have his mother and sister despise her. The movie is hilarious, and hits home for our family because it’s exactly what I worried would happen when I met my mother-in-law for the first time!

We watch The Family Stone every Christmas now and laugh. It’s funny now to think that I could have been called Mobile (the city where I’m from), she could have made fun of my accent (I’m fixin’ to do that), or rolled her eyes at my small talk (So where are y’all from?).

How did your Christmas traditions start? Share your stories in the comments below.

*Changed to protect the disliked/made fun of/eaten for breakfast. 

About Stephanie Winans, President, Pregnancy and Pediatrics

Stephanie Winans is the Bundoo Vice President of Operations


  1. Hahaha! My MIL has an inappropriate-for-public-use nickname for one of my husband’s ex-girlfriends. And once upon a time (before we actually got married), my MIL told me that if anything ever happened between us, my husband was out and I was in! Haha! I’m not sure if that would have actually been true, but it made me happy and still does! Our Christmas tradition with my husband’s family is that we make a memory. We took a limo to fancy restaurant one year, exchanged names and purchased hilarious Goodwill outfits for each other another year, and 2 years ago my husband and I had my FIL read a Night Before Christmas parody poem to announce that we were pregnant! That was the biggest “memory” probably…everyone was so shocked that we took shots of tequila (or water in my case since I was knocked up) to loosen up after the big announcement! Haha! It will probably always be one of my favorite Christmas memories ever! And tied for my favorite would be when we made the same announcement to my family on Christmas Eve…we actually got my mom’s reaction on video, and it still makes me cry like a baby to watch it! 🙂

    1. Wow! Sounds like your family’s idea is a hit- you make BIG memories. Love it!

  2. Such a great story! Mother-in-laws can be very scary. And mothers can be very overprotective of their boys! It sounds like it all worked out for everyone involved!


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