Tag Archives: Birthday Presents

Dear John: Daughter’s Birthday Demands Kill Happy Mood

My 30-year-old daughter has extremely high expectations for her birthday. No one in the family has ever given her a gift that she liked, so now we actually have to get the gift approved by her husband first!

She doesn’t like gift cards, and our budget is small. Although she barely acknowledges anyone else’s birthday, she still expects the “perfect” present for her own. We love her and want to celebrate with her, but the expectations and confrontations make her birthdays miserable for everyone — including her. How do we stop this?


Dear Birthday,

… You stop it by not celebrating with her? Maybe?

JK, you clearly love her but now it’s at the point where it’s just inducing stress and misery.

You know, she’s acting like Dudley Dursley on his birthday. He wasn’t pleased that there weren’t more presents than the previous year which causes Vernon to say that they’ll get one at the zoo to make up for it. Needless to say, their bending to his whim and coddling of him didn’t turn Dudley into a proper human being.

Don’t be the Dursley’s.

Don’t give in to her demands of getting the “perfect present.” The very fact that you are getting her anything should be celebrated. Maybe the time has come to celebrate the day with a nice dinner out at a restaurant of her choosing and that would be it. That’s a wrap on the presents.

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“Jaw With John” – You Get What You Give

I have a large family and we celebrate family birthdays at a monthly get-together with a potluck dinner. The dinner is always held at my house and I usually furnish the entree.

One granddaughter and her husband never contribute anything and never bring birthday cards for the honored family members. I have specifically asked her to bring something, and I made it easy by suggesting something simple like a Jell-O salad — but still, they bring nothing. Others are beginning to complain. Should I tell her that others are wondering why she never contributes to the meal? These two always eat.

I don’t want to alienate them from the rest of the family, as we all love them and want them with us. — Wondering Gramma

Dear Gramma:

Large family eh? Sounds like you were busy? Wink wink nudge nudge.

Stay with me here because everything will make sense, I swear. Around Christmas time my family has a saying “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive.” Meaning, if you fail to believe in Santa, you will not receive any presents. It’s a way to keep that childlike spirit of Christmas around even as an adult when you know the truth. It’s not really enforced but it’s still around.

Tell your granddaughter that if they don’t feel the need to participate that when it comes time to celebrate their birthday then they will receive what they gave: nothing. It doesn’t take much to buy a card and sign it or, hell, even buy a gift card. They are doing the least possible and need to know that it is unacceptable. This will send the message loud and clear.

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“Jaw With John” – Color Me Stupid

I gave my girlfriend $250 for her birthday. She used it to have her hair done.

When she got home, she didn’t like the color. She is going back this weekend. It probably won’t be free, so who should pay? — Darryl

Dear Darryl:

What’s crackin’ Darryl? You gave her a gift and she spent it. If she gave you $20 and you went to a movie, but it ended up being awful would you expect her to give you another $20 so you could find a movie you did like? Hell no. It’s times like this that I remember a quote from Homer Simpson: “You chose fruit, you live with fruit.” Your girlfriend chose to have her hair done, she can live with it (or change it). Either way your wallet stays closed amigo!

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