“Jaw With John” – Ah, Adults Acting Like Children — It Must Be Christmas

I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year. We feel like we are very serious about one another. His older siblings and their spouses do a long-distance gift exchange each year. It originally started out at $50, but last year it increased to $100. Each person sends his/her gift requests to everyone in the group and names are pulled at random and secretly assigned by one sibling’s secretary.

These gifts are then purchased and sent to the respective recipient and then we Skype one another on a certain date/time and open the gifts “together.” It seems foolish and materialistic to me.

My boyfriend included me in his family’s gift exchange plans without consulting me first. I reluctantly agreed to it. I tried asking my boyfriend to negotiate a better price point, but he said if I didn’t want to participate I could back out.

I have only met these family members once. Part of me wants to suggest nonprofit organizations they could donate to on my behalf, but I don’t want to make any enemies

How do I walk this line? — Tightrope Walker

Dear Walker:

Your boyfriend’s family needs to rethink this whole “Secret Santa” deal. What’s the point in giving a list to people with things that you want and then getting them those gifts? This sounds very needy of them. They send a list of things they want and then someone is tasked with going out and getting said things??? I don’t like it. It sounds very childish.

You don’t want to make enemies, but you clearly don’t like anything that this gift group – that you were roped into – is doing. As I’ve done Secret Santa, you are assigned a person and then you buy them a gift or gifts, all the while staying under a dollar amount. Suggest this and if they balk send them your charity list. Or just get out entirely.

I don’t care for the Skype date for opening presents. If you’re not there to see them open it in person, they can call you and tell you about it after. This too, seems childish and fosters a “look at me” attitude which, as adults, shouldn’t exist.

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