BONUS! Happy Holidays from TL & TJ!

Tina-Louise and Tara Jean wanted to send a special holiday shout out to our listeners by recounting some of our more traumatizing holiday moments. We hope you listen while trying to tune out your family this holiday season! Thanks for listening and please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. And also, like and subscribe on your favorite podcast provider!


Single VS. Married 0:10
We wish you horrible Christmas We wish you a horrible Christmas. We wish you a horrible Christmas

Tara Jean O’Brien 0:19
and a depressing New Year.

Tina Louise Eckert 0:21
I’m single alone.

Tara Jean O’Brien 0:24
I’m married and sad.

I don’t think we wanted to start it like this

Tina Louise Eckert 0:32
It was so organic.

This is our little mini episode for you guys.

Welcome to single versus married podcast

Tara Jean O’Brien 0:41
The Christmas edition. Well, the Holiday Edition. I’m so sorry.

Tina Louise Eckert 0:45
Here comes the hate mail.

Tara Jean O’Brien 0:46
Okay, wait, hold on. Let’s start. Here we go. There’s my best friend Tina Louise Eckert.

Tina Louise Eckert 0:49
And this is my best friend Tara Jean O’Brien

Tara Jean O’Brien 0:51
and this is the holiday episode.

Tina Louise Eckert 0:56
We just wanted to check in I know you got to listen to a few real episodes and you got to hear some heavy subjects and some light hearted subjects.

Tara Jean O’Brien 1:03
We’re just so glad that you’ve been here with us. We’ve had such a good time doing it.

Tina Louise Eckert 1:07
Loving it so far. But we really want to bring down this really festivus mood and talk about some really traumatic Christmases that we’ve both had

Tara Jean O’Brien 1:15
Oh man, traumatic Christmas. I know. We’re not alone and having traumatic Christmas,

Tina Louise Eckert 1:20
Families are difficult.

Tara Jean O’Brien 1:21
They are I mean, there’s the joy, but there’s also like the reality.

Tina Louise Eckert 1:25

Tara Jean O’Brien 1:25
like getting everybody together in one room for long periods of time. Good. God.

Tina Louise Eckert 1:30
I mean, I come from a very large family of six kids, but then you have boyfriends and husbands and kids and all the extra and then baggage and anger

Tara Jean O’Brien 1:39
and then people not getting you the right present.

Tina Louise Eckert 1:41
I feel like I was about to say different dietary restrictions. All of a sudden someone’s on keto now like it’s

Tara Jean O’Brien 1:47
like someone’s vegan or both your brother and his girlfriend

Tina Louise Eckert 1:52
it’s like it’s like extra now like people are people would be like, oh, you’ll soon so it was gay now be like, Okay, well, we accept him in the family now like oh, there Vegan were like

Tara Jean O’Brien 2:01
That means I have to buy different food.

And my house when I was growing up for Christmas, we were pretty isolated. Like in terms of Christmas day, it was just me, my mom, my dad and my brother when my parents were still married, and we just spent quiet Christmas morning we’d open the presents. We’d open the stockings have like a like, elaborate brunch breakfast.

Tina Louise Eckert 2:20
You stockings first, like right when you woke up?

Tara Jean O’Brien 2:22
Yeah. So when we were so when I was a kid, the rule was were like, if you woke up first early, you were allowed to open your stocking, but not anything else until everybody in the house was awake. That’s a pretty solid.

Tina Louise Eckert 2:32
I think it’s a thing. It’s good to see kids quiet for a while

Tara Jean O’Brien 2:34
it does. And like when I was younger, and my brother was like a baby, I’d be like, we come up, I don’t care. He doesn’t care. He’s maybe he doesn’t know. But the other tradition was when we lived in the same city. My grandparents would come over my mom’s parents and they were big gamblers, in Reno and Vegas, and they loved her it’s in it’s an air it was in but they fed us. So anyways, their favorite game to play with spades. raids is a four player game you can’t really play with More than four players and my grandmother was very specific about the rules that she would play by So, in the afternoon, they would come over we’d open the couple presents that they would bring us and then we’d have our dinner and I do eat dinner at noon or one

Tina Louise Eckert 3:13
That sounds more traumatic than the story’s going right now.

Tara Jean O’Brien 3:16
You know art had this like a lot of people had that reaction I’m like that’s Is that weird? Because I it’s only thing I ever knew like you never ate late on Christmas like you would eat at barely one o’clock

Tina Louise Eckert 3:27
to try to get a family dinner ready in my house? We started making a rule that we had to start eating before nine o’clock pm

Tara Jean O’Brien 3:34

Tina Louise Eckert 3:34
Yeah, because it just wouldn’t be finished like it was just so many things to make and then likewe have to wake up people to eat a lot

Tara Jean O’Brien 3:42
that’s so well that’s just like my militant house. My mother’s like everything’s ready we will eat right now. And then we will clean it up and everything will be done by two and then we can go to bed at 4.

Tina Louise Eckert 3:50
Very Willy Wonka on the same bed.

Tara Jean O’Brien 3:54
No, but so in the afternoon, you know, my brother and I would play with our toys or do whatever and they would play spades and they would drink obviously But also they just played and my grandmother surprisingly was loud, weird, where I might get it from maybe, and they would play and they would play and they would start screaming each other like every year, it would devolve into some sort of stupid fight. My grandma would be like, that’s not a trick. You can’t play trick like that. Or my mom would be like, Oh, Mom, yeah, now what you do, and it would literally every year, one family or one member would get so mad that the game was over, and then they would just March out and leave. And I’d be like, I guess Christmas is over, like,

Tina Louise Eckert 4:28
a real unraveling of family

Tara Jean O’Brien 4:30
every year. And it was like I laugh about it now because it was never weird to me. But whenever I tell anybody that story, they’re like, that’s so sad. And I’m like, No, it was just that was the traditional.

Tina Louise Eckert 4:39
I could just picture you and little baby Rory just sitting there like, what?

Tara Jean O’Brien 4:44
The first two years but then I’m like, and then I’m like, let me watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 12 more times.

Tina Louise Eckert 4:49
Right this this game is really dragging on. I hope someone picks a fight soon.

Tara Jean O’Brien 4:53
Like I’ve gone through almost all the toys I got.

Tina Louise Eckert 4:56
Well that sounds like your normal

Tara Jean O’Brien 4:59
Should give a lot of insight into

Tina Louise Eckert 5:01
my Fun fact, sad fact. Christmas story would be when I moved out of my parents house with my mom, my stepfather, and my three younger sisters lived there. I moved real far away.

Tara Jean O’Brien 5:15
Well, how far?

Tina Louise Eckert 5:15
four houses down.

Tara Jean O’Brien 5:19
You really, you really got out of that nest. I didn’t spread your wings.

Tina Louise Eckert 5:23
But a lot of knowing me, like I needed out of the house, I needed to build my own life. I wanted to kind of keep my sisters and

Tara Jean O’Brien 5:30
You needed more than like four square inches of your own space.

Tina Louise Eckert 5:32
Yeah, but I want to care about them. But also I couldn’t live there anymore.

But I was going to junior college and concurrently to USC at the same time and I was working at a restaurant and I had zero money. And I didn’t even think about asking for help. Like it never even dawned on me that even no one even asked me if I ever ate so that always worked at a restaurant. I felt like I always got one big meal a day. Sure. So then in the morning, like I’m just buy a pack of English muffins and like that with jelly on it was like breakfast when I time got to work like Five o’clock in the evening, then I would have dinner. Yeah. And then maybe eat again at work but like, so I never really thought to buy food. But I was always starving apparently. And so we the similar with us that we got a stocking before we could open gifts. Yeah. And I asked my mom once, if she could stop putting chocolate was always like chocolate and gummy bears. And I go because since I don’t have food, like sometimes I’ll just eat the chocolate. Like for like a meal. And then she’s like, Oh, no, no, of course. And then she started putting like string cheese in there and like, multivitamin and things I really want to like

Tara Jean O’Brien 6:31

Tina Louise Eckert 6:32
Yeah, like, like face lotion. I was like, Yes, you know. So by time I would come over and we’re my sisters were there and we’re all opening our stockings. moms like you’re stuck into the refrigerator. So I go

Tara Jean O’Brien 6:44
you know, that’s where Santa put your stocking.

Tina Louise Eckert 6:47
also used to it also excited. I remember once I got string cheese and those little mini blocks of cheese like Oh, yeah,yeah. Not like the baby bells.

Tara Jean O’Brien 6:55
No, no, you the one there in foil.

Tina Louise Eckert 6:56
Yeah. So my sister’s going through it. I’m watching all the candy. They And like not jealous because I don’t even eat sweets and then I have lunch for a week. I have three sisters. So the oldest one I see you’re pulling out like a big wad of cash. Cash, like, what? And then I think and then I’m like okay maybe because she didn’t get what she really wanted. So like Santa just put cash in anything that I see my middle sister of the three younger ones take out cash too. Score! Mind you there seven years younger than me, right? You know, seven into 10 years younger than me in that span. And they’re like score! And then the baby I’m like, No, no, no, no way. She’s like ga ga goo goo. Like, oh, I’m like. Oh, it’s my stepfather feeling guilty putting money and I was talking. I was just so excited. I go and I pull out the gummy bear. You know, the gummy vitamins in the face lotion and the cheese and I’m like, will even be like shake it upside down like,

Tara Jean O’Brien 7:54
this is broken!

Tina Louise Eckert 7:54
Yeah. So I asked my stepfather very nicely. I go I think someone took the money out of my stocking. And very calmly over his shoulder he said you didn’t get any. I was so poor. I didn’t have anything. I remember sitting there watching my sisters with like chocolate all other lips just counting those filthy money

Tara Jean O’Brien 8:20
this is the best Christmas ever!

Tina Louise Eckert 8:30
so that was my

Tara Jean O’Brien 8:31

Tina Louise Eckert 8:33
Fun Christmas. To kind of make light of things like I know these are trauma center those Christmases but then we have good stories too

Well, we have pretty great story

yeah. so last year I came over to Tara jeans house and we went with a big group of friends and her dad to go see a Christmas show.

Tara Jean O’Brien 8:52
But just to back up from that my good friend from San Diego, my one of my best high school friends. He is he was raised Muslim right so he’s really like doesn’t do a lot of Christmas but once in a while he does and so that year he called me up. He’s like, what do you guys want for like Christmas Eve and Christmas? come spend it with you. I was like, Oh my god, best idea ever. Like, I love that idea. So he and his wife came up and they were going to stay with us for Christmas Eve Christmas Day.

Tina Louise Eckert 9:14
Moreover, I came

Tara Jean O’Brien 9:18
like some of the most important people in my life.

Tina Louise Eckert 9:21
Yeah, they were here along with their husband, our brother Rory. Yes, yeah, yes. We just had a really loving group. We went and had dinner when saw a comedy show. Yeah, stayed up way too late.

Tara Jean O’Brien 9:36
Drank alot. Yes, guys. I don’t have a big house in any capacity. This was far too many people to sleep under one roof. Hi, that was wonderful. It was great. It was great.

Tina Louise Eckert 9:46
Yeah. And then to wake up with just knowing that these lovely people are going to be here knowing that everyone wanted each other to be here. This is not like sometimes when you go to your spouse’s house for you know family functions, or big Come to yours like, you know, someone doesn’t like somebody. This was handpicked like this was like a VIP table

Yeah, selected

VIP table Christmas.And my favorite Tara Jean Is that fun fact

Tara Jean O’Brien 10:13
Fun fact

Tina Louise Eckert 10:14
she has so many like a huge collection of robes you like flannel robes and then she would just pass them out and without even thinking you’ll just put one on

Tara Jean O’Brien 10:25
well like To me it’s like one of the most comforting things that makes me feel like I’m at home and for some reason I have I literally do have like six and every time I go to like goodwill I’m like should I take one I’m like no, I need them once a year. They’re like everybody’s coming to my house. But like dude are the robes not so nice?

Tina Louise Eckert 10:39
It’s wonderful but like I immediately feel about 25 years older. Wearing a flannel robe.

Tara Jean O’Brien 10:46
Makes me feel younger.

Tina Louise Eckert 10:50
Our love languages are different.

Tara Jean O’Brien 10:53
See what they come together and like the robe is good. It just makes us age differently. Like you know Christmas to me, one of the things I did take from my childhood that my mom also like would allow me to do is I loved decorating and having like, we’re the house that had too many lights too much stuff. Because one of my favorite things is my mom would obviously never buy anything for price. But every year at Christmas, I would go to Target or like Walmart or whatever we were at and I would look at all the stuff and be like, okay, after Christmas, I want to buy that, that that and so we’d come the day after Christmas, and we buy all the stuff for 50% off so the next year I’d have the thing I wanted this year.

Tina Louise Eckert 11:26
See that’s that’s forward thinking it is forward thinking but I still kind of do that. Now you do know but then you even with your Christmas cookies, your homemade frosting like you I do a vegan version which by the way my vegan Christmas cookies are better than regular cookies. Sorry Everybody shout out Brita

Tara Jean O’Brien 11:41
shout out Brita. And Rory.

Tina Louise Eckert 11:46
you know it’s not a slight against my mom, but she sometimes we have very long time to buy a tree. So we wouldn’t sometimes not get the treat till like the day before Christmas Eve. So it’s like a lot like I don’t know if my stepfather’s waiting to see if they go look Our dad denial day is about to buy like $100 tree you know, whatever it is, but to me

Tara Jean O’Brien 12:06
He was hoping the world wouldn’t be there still he would have to buy it. Is this thing still on?

Tina Louise Eckert 12:12
for like now as an adult obviously I make up for it. Like I want to really have that whole like holiday season as much as I can I decorate my whole daddio I decorate half the size of my building. I feel really bad for the house next to me because I do that whole stairway worth it like I want out there. And the inside too. I love doing color schemes. I guess I little mini minisode right now is a lot about you can’t have control all the time of what brings you joy, but you can control what makes you happy.

But yeah, you can create your own happiness.

Tara Jean O’Brien 12:42
You create your own environment.

Tina Louise Eckert 12:44
It doesn’t matter if you’re single, not wanting to be single, right? If you’re married and

Tara Jean O’Brien 12:49
that’s terrible. know if you’re married and you’re wanting to share your values in your history with your partner. These are great ways to do it. Yeah. #sadfact

Tina Louise Eckert 13:03
Doing so well with the single point of view.

Once again, we want to thank you so much for subscribing. We’ve gotten such great feedback.

Tara Jean O’Brien 13:12
We’re just so thankful for you guys and we hope wherever you are, you’re not knocking back.

I eat Let’s review who eats here.

Unknown Speaker 13:23
I don’t get a stocking anymore.

Tara Jean O’Brien 13:24
I’m not giving you any chocolate and you’re not giving you a lot of cash either. That’s not good. He’s gonna say that. But what

Unknown Speaker 13:32
he was saying earlier was about sharing trauma with your significant others. Sometimes could be something that Bond’s You guys better together.

Tara Jean O’Brien 13:40
I said sharing the happiness

Unknown Speaker 13:51
is God’s

Tara Jean O’Brien 13:52
luck we just would say we love you guys. Thank you so much for listening. happiest of holidays to everybody out there. You and yours.

Tina Louise Eckert 13:58
Have a good New Year’s

Transcribed by

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: