Scout and Jem have "mixed feelings" about Christmas. What are these feelings and why?
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Unfortunately for Jem and Scout, a Finch Christmas in To Kill a Mockingbird means travelling to Finch Landing and spending the night with Atticus' sister's family.
No amount of sighing could induce Atticus to spend Christmas Day at home.
They enjoyed the annual visit from their Uncle Jack, who met them every Christmas Eve at Maycomb Junction and stayed for a week. It was the other side of the family--their Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Alexandra--that neither of the kids cared for. Aunt Alexandra, despite being a good cook, reminded Scout of "Mount Everest... (she) was cold and there." Scout particularly hates Alexandra's grandson, Francis, who is a year older than Scout. After Francis calls Atticus a "nigger lover," she "split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth," and their relationship became even colder.
This is mostly due to the contrasting feelings they have for the family members they spend Christmas with. They spend a week with Uncle Jack and they spend Christmas Day itself with Aunt Alexandra.
Scout and Jem adore Uncle Jack. He is fun, he is eccentric, he tells them stories they love to hear, and he is loving. They look forward to any visit with him and so seeing him for a full week at Christmas is something they really look forward to.
Conversely, Aunt Alexandra is one relative that Scout in particular cannot stand in large doses. Aunt Alexandra herself is very cold, proper, and determined to do things her way and make sure everyone else who does not do them her way knows they are doing whatever it is improperly. Her son is a bit of a bully and Scout does not get along with him either.
Because they celebrate Christmas the exact same way every year, the kids continue to have conflicted feeling about the holiday and how it is celebrated because their relationships with these relatives have remained fairly static over the years.
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