About This Book


Family. It's a cast of characters with whom we walk through life — complicated, crazy, annoying and sometimes embarrasing characters who we can't help but love. In these 101 stories, you'll read about those characters, the moments they've shared and the memories they've made. You'll nod in recognition, laugh out loud, and maybe even tear up a little as you see yourself and your own family in these stories of sometimes dysfunctional, but always loving, families.

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Five ways we appreciate our wacky, lovable relatives.

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Crazy Family by Amy Newmark

Everyone thinks they have a crazy family, but most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. We tell stories about our bizarre family traditions, our eccentric relatives, and our favorite disastrous vacations or weird holiday gatherings. The 101 stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Crazy Family cover the gamut of quirky family members. Here are five ways that our writers appreciate the wacky, lovable people in their lives:

  1. You can’t help but admire their creativity. Barbara Walker’s Aunt Dorothy was famous for her thriftiness, but despite that she figured out ways to indulge her love for music. She joined various arts organizations that offered concerts to their members, she attended free dress rehearsals, and she even volunteered at a nursing home where the mother of a local symphony violinist lived. Her best move was when the local Mercedes-Benz dealer offered free symphony tickets if you test-drove a vehicle. When octogenarian Aunt Dorothy showed up and offered to test-drive a car, they just handed the tickets over — no driving required.
  2. You enjoy helping them when they’re in a predicament. "I’m going to drive for youber!" exclaimed Bronwyn McIntyre’s middle-aged mother, and thus began her career as an Uber driver who didn’t know how to use the app or the GPS. Bronwyn ended up going along for the first ride, when even the nice young man who became Mom’s first passenger became her coach, including calling to tell her that she had already passed him and was driving in the wrong direction, which he could see by watching her car on the app. All ended well, with five stars for driver and passenger.
  3. You brag about their spunkiness. When Kristi Adams heard that her grandmother was on the news, she never imagined that Granny had made headlines as a local hero. But sure enough, Granny had resisted a carjacking attempt. First, she had told the would-be carjacker that she didn’t actually believe he had a gun, because he would have shown it to her instead of keeping his hand in his pocket. Then she started kicking the man while he tried to pull her from the car, and then she held him in place, enlisting the help of a group of strangers to pin him down on the sidewalk. Granny then made a citizen’s arrest and turned him over to the police.
  4. You want to be just like them. Shannon Stocker’s mother-in-law is crazy in the best way, always up for outrageous fun. When Shannon’s husband was growing up, he could count on his mother to do the extraordinary, even if it got her in trouble, as it did the time she took a bunch of boys trick-or-treating, in costume, in May. Little did they know that their teacher had been receiving crank calls and had the police on alert. When the boys tried to scare her with their out-of-season antics, they barely escaped, along with Shannon’s mother-in-law, before the police arrived. Shannon resolved that she would be the same kind of mom, one who celebrated Halloween whenever she wanted.
  5. You realize how much they care. When Sarah Foster was getting divorced, both her grandmothers wanted to help her. The only problem was they hated each other — as they had both been married to the same man. The first one — "Grandma-by-blood" — had divorced Sarah’s grandfather decades earlier, but still claimed she was more the real grandmother than "Grandma-by-marriage" even though the second grandmother had married Grandpa before Sarah was born. In the end the two women decided to make peace with each other so they could jointly help their granddaughter through her divorce. And they became great friends as a result! Sarah says, "Most of the time, when a couple gets divorced, it tears apart a family. But my divorce brought together two of the most amazing women I’ve ever known.
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