34 Comments

  1. Haha- this was hilarious! I avoided most awkward holiday conversation save for a few family members who had no idea we moved back and asked how long we were in town for (to be fair, we live 2.5 hours away, rarely see this side of the family and I’m not on Facebook). For me, I think I got a lot of “sooo, what are you getting your son?” before Christmas. We only bought him 2 things so I think people were a bit miffed at the low gift quantity (don’t worry, grandparents more than made up for it…). Happy New Year!

  2. This year was pretty devoid of awkward money talk for my Christmas. I fully anticipate some “That’s awfully practical” comments with the baby next year, though, for sure. I think people are used to my wife and I doing low key and practical things at this point, so it doesn’t raise eyebrows. Everyone expects babies to be spoiled, though, so we’ll see how that goes.

  3. Ouchh. I’m steadily becoming more anti-present for these reasons. It’s just become so awkward and weird, especially when you’re surrounded by people who take gift-giving to the extreme. You handled the awkward well! 🙂

    • Thanks! I think it’s sweet that people want to spoil my son. I’m not keen on finding a place for all of the stuff, but I appreciate the kindness. I guess I just don’t get too excited about swapping gifts with my husband. It’s really a matter of are we going to spend our own money this month or another one 😉

  4. I have to admit: historically I am the awkward “WHAT DID YOU GET FOR CHRISTMAS?!?!?!” asker. I can say that I would be as genuinely excited for you if you got something practical (like the pizza cutter I got from my mom this year) as something not–I’m mostly just nosy and think it’s fun.

    In recent years I have dialed it back, though, because, well, it’s a really consumer-oriented question. I’m trying to retrain myself to ask something better, like, “What was the best part of your Christmas?”

  5. Funny stuff! The holidays are ripe for awkward. Gather a bunch of people who know each other fairly well (meaning they can say things your friends might not), get a little nog flowing and voila, hilarity ensues.

    The Oldsters are fairly straight forward at gift giving times. One or two gifts per person, or so. My mother-in-law however, believes that quantity trumps quality and that does create some awkward moments like when she wrapped up tampons for my daughter who had just started, well, you know . . . She will bring 3 or 4 garbage bags (the big ones) with gifts. We save the bags to haul most of it to the Humane Society Thrift Store. We’ve tried and tried to get her to change her methods, but to no avail. Sigh.

      • My Mom used to be like that. She would put together huge stockings of totally useless stuff for everyone, and then she would be upset when we would donate it to the thrift store/take it back/regift it. In the past few years, we’ve finally convinced her to scale back a lot, and it makes Christmas much more enjoyable. Although she did still get me a gift card to a store that I hate this year.

  6. My holidays never seem to get too awkward (at least not yet!) but I did have an awkward pause when being asked from a friend what I got.

    I went to work and everyone was around the normal spot where people chill and relax, so when I walked in one of my close co-workers asked me what I got. I answered books….They literally had no idea what to say, so I quickly jumped in and told them “it’s okay, it’s what I asked for!”

    I have developed a book worm mentality over the past year with finance and it is still going strong!

    • I love it! Books are my favorite, too. One year, I made a grab bag list but because I didn’t really want anything, I put a bunch of titles that I’d use in my classroom library. But I forgot to mention that’s what I was doing. I had some really confused relatives wanting to know why I wanted the Diary of a Wimpy Kid box set.

  7. My gift exchange wish list was SO practical that someone made comments about it later when we opened gifts. Remind me to tell you privately what they were since I don’t want to leave enough informational bread crumbs to be identified. 😀

    To avoid much further awkward, I kept my mouth shut for most of the holidays that involved family but they shared a LOT of weird and bizarre advice with me. See Monday’s December NW post for some examples.

  8. We splurged this year for a Christmas cruise, because it was also my & my husbands’ 30th birthday in the same week! We had been planning it for over a year. It was super wonderful and totally worth it, but a few people both before and afterwards asked “so, what did you guys get each other for Christmas?” or “did you do a birthday gift exchange?” We got each other a cruise, for Christmas and Birthday, and if $2200 isn’t enough for gifts then YOU ARE INSANE. I just stare at them until they go “or… did you just get each other the cruise?” Yes. Yes we did.

  9. Awww Penny, you always have the best awkward moments. Plus there’s always so much awkward involved when talking gifts. I wish Christmas were more like Thanksgiving where everyone just gets together and is grateful for what they already have. Luckily I’ve managed to reduce my gift giving and receiving down to a minimum, but it does make it awkward when people ask what my wife and I gave each other (we’re going to go out to an event sometime in January as our “gifts”).

    • Yes! I love that about Thanksgiving. Everyone is all about coming together to celebrate over good food…and that’s it! I hope you have fun at the January event 🙂 Sounds like a winner of a gift to me!

  10. Julie

    My sweet 5-year-old keeps getting asked what santa brought him. He says it’s a secret. We don’t know why. But it does stop judgment.

    Honestly, how many eyebrows would you raise if you were asked about your gift to your husband, and you said, “I can’t tell you.” If you have the right look on your face, they will be scared to ask. 😁

    • We were and are happy, Vickie! You’re right that is something that people (including me!) struggle with. We want lots of stuff = happiness. Glad you stopped by!

  11. My most awkward Christmas moment was hands down the time my mother called me “a f&%king asshole” while me and my family were all seated at the Christmas table. I won’t go into the details other than to say I was riling up grandpa (her dad) and I deserved it. I was mortified at the time but now I laugh about with the entire family, including mom. Glad you survived your awkward Christmas this year. And best of luck in 2018. Cheers.

  12. Mine would have been at a Secret Santa exchange. I put Dogs as one of my interests thinking someone could easily get me a cheesy canine themed mug or something for cheap! Instead I got … ingredients for mulled wine and a note saying though she couldn’t find a dog for $10 I could make wine and drown my sorrows about not having a dog. WTF?

  13. I had an awkward coworker who would not stop inquiring about my holiday plans. (Pro-tip, leave folks alone and take a hint) Eventually I had to remind him that my dad had just died and I don’t have a mother and thus have no “home” to go to. If he had taken a hint that I didn’t want to discuss my plans the whole room could have been less awkward. For them, not me. I don’t go “home” for Christmas and never have. Those are not my people.

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