March 21, 2019

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Opinion

Family members stung by Christmas gift snub

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I spent three weeks away with my girlfriend on holiday this Christmas season and we skipped Christmas at home entirely. I came home after New Year’s to a surprise during lunch out with my mother and siblings. They had missed me and bought me a pile of Christmas presents.

I hadn’t bought anything for anyone. Everybody said it was OK, but I could see in their eyes it was not. I put everybody’s lunch on my credit card. We all knew it was out of guilt, but I insisted. Next year, I plan to take the same trip, as it’s the best thing for a grinch like me. But, I do love my family and need to do a better job of organizing and smoothing this over with them. Help!

— Thoughtless Grinch, Fort Rouge

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I spent three weeks away with my girlfriend on holiday this Christmas season and we skipped Christmas at home entirely. I came home after New Year’s to a surprise during lunch out with my mother and siblings. They had missed me and bought me a pile of Christmas presents.

I hadn’t bought anything for anyone. Everybody said it was OK, but I could see in their eyes it was not. I put everybody’s lunch on my credit card. We all knew it was out of guilt, but I insisted. Next year, I plan to take the same trip, as it’s the best thing for a grinch like me. But, I do love my family and need to do a better job of organizing and smoothing this over with them. Help!

— Thoughtless Grinch, Fort Rouge

 

Dear Thoughtless: Tell them you were thoughtless this year, but next year you’ll shop in Mexico and bring them Christmas presents for the little lunch exchange/reunion when you get home.

That should smooth things over and ease your guilt. Your family may still want to exchange real gifts at Christmas or they might decide they don’t want to put that much thought into gifts for you anymore, since you can’t be bothered. You might want to think about that.

 

 

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I had a bad life with my family living in downtown Winnipeg. I married a nice guy I loved, and he had money and a career and he was stable. I am a social worker and, for the last three years, a stay-at-home mom.

His family has none of the social problems that mine does, like drinking or chronic unemployment. My crew has been secretly bleeding my household budget from my sweet husband for casual labour and small loans and weekly services such as snow clearing, which usually involves staying for a meal. Frankly, I’m sick of it.

I talked this over with my understanding hubby and he suggested a move back to his hometown. I don’t want to move there, as it’s too religious for me. But, I also don’t want to be so accessible to my family. What do you suggest?

— Money Target, Riverview

 

Dear Target: Move to the edge of the city, on the opposite side from your family, where it’s a short work commute for your husband. Luckily, most people are lazy and won’t want to visit that far away very often. As for the unwanted drop-ins, start dropping in on the family yourself, so they aren’t at all hungry to come and see you to catch up.

If you really want to help your family out in a lasting way, find out now what the young people would like to do for a career and help with education funds. If they end up with good jobs, your problem is solved and you have done a great thing by helping lift your family out of poverty.

Please send your questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6.

Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts
Advice Columnist

Each year, the Free Press publishes more than 1,000 letters to Miss Lonelyhearts and her responses to the life and relationship questions that come her way.

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