“Jaw With John” – Let Me Call The Whambulance For Your Cousin

How do you deal with family over the holidays?

I have one out-of-state cousin who is the Grinch, and he’s going to be staying with us. He thinks, “If I buy you a $50 gift, you buy me a $50 gift.”

I think you buy what you can afford and not expect anything in return. If someone gives you a gift, then great; if not, then great!

I am only a receptionist and cannot afford lavish/expensive gifts for everyone.

I get my other cousins $2 lottery tickets and that’s it. Now I feel like if I do that for him, he will cry to our grandma or, worse, say something on Christmas morning!

We are all adults now and I feel like we are in eighth grade! Any advice for dealing with him? This is bringing unwanted dread and anxiety when I should be excited and happy during the holidays. I think he forgot the true meaning of Christmas. — HO HO NO

Dear Ho Ho No:

This guy goes and cries to your grandma? Uhhhhh, clearly this guy has issues that extend BEYOND gifting.

By his logic, if he bought you a .50¢ gift then you could give him a .50¢ gift. That’s just stupid. You afford what you can afford and if he doesn’t like the gift/approve of what you spent then take it back and get your money back. You could spend $20 on something that may be perfect for him but since it didn’t cost what he spent on you, he’d be mad. Who gives a shit? That’s not the point of giving gifts or the true meaning of Christmas.

One Christmas, I bought my mom a set of hand made glasses from Italy that she mentioned she liked. It didn’t matter how much it cost to me because I knew she would love it and that made me feel good to do so, no matter the cost. I did not expect her to get me something comparable in price. In fact, that very same Christmas she gave me an awesome Batman mug and it’s one of my favorite gifts that I’ve ever received.

Your cousin needs to learn this maxim that I’ve known since I was young:
Happiness is not getting what you want, but being content with what you have.

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