A Dear Snarky Holiday Buffet

So many Christmas conundrums. So little time. In an attempt to help spread some holiday happiness I bring you a trio of letters. Let’s hope my answers deliver a soupçon of seasonal sanity to your family gatherings.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 10.12.49 AMDear Snarky,

My mother-in-law spoils my children and goes overboard with presents. I’ve told her to stop but she won’t listen to me. I don’t think I can handle another Christmas where she’s trying to one up my husband and I in the gift department.

 Signed, Present Overkill

Dear Overkill,

Calm yourself and count your blessings. It’s a grandmother’s prerogative and great joy to spoil her grandchildren. If your kids are drowning in presents, I suggest discreetly donating some of the goodies to charity after the first of the year. P.S. Quit looking so hard for something to get your nose out of joint about. There are parents out there that would be THRILLED for their kids’ grandparents to so much as send a card.

Dear Snarky,

My weirdo and single sister actually expects us to buy a gift for her dog. She says her dog is like her child and since she buys presents for my four kids all the time, we can get her dog something.

Signed, No Way

Dear No Way,

Umm, no way, I say, yes way. Drag yourself off of your high horse and go get your sister’s dog a $10 chew toy and get over yourself. Also, being a pet lover and a single doesn’t make you a weirdo. It probably makes you very happy.

Dear Snarky,

My in-laws make the whole family go to Midnight Mass and I think it ruins Christmas morning for my kids (ages 8 and 10) because they’re so tired the next day. How do I get this tradition to stop?

 Signed, Not a Fan 

Dear Not a Fan,

Grab some caffeine and accept this hard truth. Midnight Mass isn’t going anywhere, and you know where you’re going – uh huh, that’s right to Midnight Mass. So, suck it up, have your kids take a nap and deal with traditions that are older than you are.

*I hope your holidays are drama free BUT if they’re not you know where to send your letter. snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com 😉

7 thoughts on “A Dear Snarky Holiday Buffet

  1. Katie P. says:

    Great advice about Mass. My in laws did the same thing and we all bitched about how the kids were exhausted and super bratty the next day because they would go to sleep at 1:30 a.m. and then wake up at 6 a.m. Christmas morning. It sucked but it literally took my in-laws passing (God rest their souls) for the Midnight Mass tradition to change.

  2. L says:

    Thanks for a few reality check responses. Sometimes it takes someone else telling us to put on our big girl panties and deal with it. We should be grateful for the grandparents that are interested in helping but that certainly doesn’t make the annoying stuff (censoring myself) any less irritating! 😂

  3. Meg says:

    Dear Not a Fan
    Put on your big girl panties and tell your in-laws “No”. You’re an adult. They can’t MAKE you do anything.
    If mass/service is important to tell and you’re interested in continuing that “tradition” look for an earlier, family friendly version. Lots of churches have options.
    If mass isn’t your thing, stay home and go to bed early. Problem solved.

    • snarkyinthesuburbs says:

      Yeah, I don’t think the “problem is solved.” What you’ve done is created a whole other set of problems. The top 2 being 1) Awkward Christmas with your in-laws and extended family since you bailed on a decades old tradition. 2) Your husband gets spend his Christmas playing the role of peace maker with his parents. So, you might have put on your big girl panties and asserted yourself but when it comes to family sometimes you have to play the long game. Families are like dominoes sometimes one move can bring the whole thing down.

      • Meg says:

        I disagree. They don’t have to be rude about it but they definitely don’t have to continue a tradition they don’t like. They are allowed to make whatever traditions they want for their family without permission from the in laws.

        Ideally they will sit down with their inlaws and tell them they have decided to start their own tradition. They are not responsible for how their inlaws react but, any deficient and kind person, would respect their adult childs decision to make family memories how they feel is best.
        Of course, Not a Fan and their partner disagrees on keeping up that tradition, then Not a Fan needs to start at home because they need to be a united front.

  4. Meg says:

    Present Overkill
    You can’t control what others do but you can control how you respond.
    You could cut back on the number of presents you give. You could make a 1 toy in/1 toy out rule (for every new toy, you donate a used toy). Or donate the some of the brand new toys they receive. There are always local organizations around that help the less fortunate all year round.
    Maybe suggest to the grandparents they could make some of the gifts “experience” gifts instead of toys (ie zoo memberships, water park GCs, amusement park passes, tickets to family-friendly shows).

  5. Rachel M. says:

    Present Overkill.
    My in-laws did the same thing. They purposely found the noisiest toy to get the kids each year. That toy was the first to be forgotten about. Now that they are older, I wish they had taken half the money they wasted and put it into a college fund for them.

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