I’m dread­ing Christ­mas

The Oldie - - ASK VIRGINIA -

I’m very anx­ious about Christ­mas be­cause last year, much to my em­bar­rass­ment, I was show­ered with ex­pen­sive presents by both my daugh­ter and son-in-law. (In­ci­den­tally, my grand­son had a pil­low­case full of presents some of which were worth over £20 each!) I did find the ma­te­rial con­sump­tion nau­se­at­ing. I found it hard thank­ing them and gave a cou­ple of my presents to Ox­fam. How can I stop this hap­pen­ing again this year?

M New­man, Chelms­ford Hon­esty is of­ten the best op­tion. Say you feel em­bar­rassed since, after last year, you re­alise you can’t match them as far as presents go and what about hav­ing a pol­icy that you don’t give any­thing over £25 to each other this year? Hav­ing said that, they’ve ob­vi­ously got the money; and do re­mem­ber how much plea­sure they must get from think­ing they’re giv­ing you plea­sure. They may have al­ready bought you presents any­way. Might it not just be best to choke back your hor­ror and next year ask for some­thing spe­cific that doesn’t cost too much and that you re­ally want, so you don’t feel tempted to palm it off at a char­ity shop.

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