SNL Nails The Cringey Holiday COVID Talks We're Having With Our Moms This Year

by Julie Scagell

The mom guilt is real this year

The pandemic has taken a lot from everyone in 2020. As the second and third waves rage on, the holidays are just the latest experience that will look different this year. Though we are all feeling sad and lonely, leave it to Saturday Night Live to hilariously nail a conversation many of us have had with our mothers. You know, the “I won’t be coming home for Christmas this year” one?

In the skit, three girls (Lauren Holt, Ego Nwodim, and Chloe Fineman) call their moms (Heidi Garner, Punkie Johnson, and Kate McKinnon) to tell them they aren’t coming home for Christmas this year. As you can imagine, there is a healthy dose of guilt-tripping that happens as the moms try to come to grips with the reality that is 2020.

After the women get their “I miss yous” out of the way, they tell their moms they don’t feel they can safely come home for the holiday due to the pandemic. The moms passive-aggressively lay the hammer down — each in a way that only moms can do.

“Oh, honey, you do not need to come home for Christmas. I just want you to be safe,” Gardner tells Holt. “And I guess since you won’t be coming, I’ll just throw your stocking in the fire.” There it is.

McKinnon casually tells her daughter (Fineman) in the most mom way ever: “If you don’t love me, Marie, just say so.” We then get even more guilt from Fineman’s dad played by the great Jason Bateman who pipes in to say: “Is your heart not working, baby? This is your mother here.”

When Johnson, who is cooking gumbo and wielding a large knife, hears the news from her daughter (Nwodim), she yells: “Let’s talk about this later — when you’ve changed your damn mind.” She’s also quarantining from her husband, Nwodim’s father (played by Kenan Thompson), who has been banished to a small room in the house “for safety” who also chimes in. First, he says he just wants his daughter to be safe then quickly changes his tune when he realizes his wife doesn’t share that opinion.

The skit is perfect because it nails the family dynamic so many of us are dealing with right now. Of course, we all want to be together for the holidays. Even though our families drive us nuts sometimes, the thought of not being with them really puts everything into perspective. But as millions choose to fly home and risk the lives of others, some of us are trying to listen to expert guidelines and stay put. The longer we don’t, the longer this entire thing is going to last and the more people will die. It’s that simple.

The sketch ended with some wise words that we all need to hear: “Someday soon we will all be together. Stay safe.”