My Christmas “Do Not Want” List

I have no idea what I want for Christmas besides the mom trifecta of world peace, love and the eradication of disease and famine from our planet. I do thodfb611ed1d99e87277defbdda9836e41--birthday-cards-happy-birthdayugh know what I don’t want and what I will be ticked off if I get.

It’s not that I’m picky. In fact, I consider myself a low maintenance human (currently open to debate by my family) who has no need for anything flashy. No jewels or designer apparel appeals to me. The only exception I’ll make is designer cleaning appliances. Because without a doubt, one of my best Christmas presents in the history of me breathing has been my Dyson with some super over-the-top pet hair attachments.

It’s my chore bestie and I can’t imagine my life without it. Go ahead and make fun, but I’m telling you my vacuum has life changing properties. You don’t know true joy until you see its suction prowess in regard to kitty litter eradication.

In terms of what I don’t want, well I’ll stick to my top three staring with one of those DNA family tree deep probes. I just read that these kits are predicted to be one of the top gifts for Christmas. Ugh.

I get people wanting to find out that they’re half Scottish, so they can use that as an excuse to stuff themselves with Walker’s shortbread cookies to make up for lost time, but what I don’t want during the holiday is discovering I have a gene pool floating with every worst-case medical diagnosis known to 21stcentury medicine. And as a proud hypochondriac all that information would be like throwing lighter fluid on my already extensive list of ailments, I’m positive I have.

Another gift that I don’t want, or need is new freaking phone. I’ve tried in earnest to explain to my children that perhaps one shouldn’t get a new phone until the one you have is worn out or no longer compatible with current technology. I don’t think my iPhone 6 is obsolete. It’s not cracked, still holds a charge and I can text with wild abandon so why do I need an iPhone 10 that will up by cell phone bill by at least $25 a month? I’m still miffed I was shamed into parting with by precious iPhone 3 G.

But what will really trigger a conniption fit is if I, or anyone that resides in my home, gets another Alexa, Echo or other subversive spying device. I hate those things and know they’re ground zero for world-wide robot domination.

The other night I was home all alone, my husband was a thousand miles away in Washington D.C., and as I’m drifting off to sleep, I hear what sounds like a demented serial killer singing “Good night, Sherry” over and over.

At first, I thought maybe I was hearing something or one of my dogs had mastered the English language. But then I heard it again and again. I was now knocking at the Defcon 1 door of hysteria. My fist through was to flee the premises. But where was the killer? Was he or she waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs? I called my son for help who informed that was “probably Dad because he’s hooked up all the Echoes, so he can communicate remotely from his phone.” Are. You. Kidding. Me?

Yes, it was indeed my husband. Who, “didn’t mean to scare me” and “just wanted to say goodnight.” Whatever, because you not what I said goodnight and goodbye to – ever single Alexa/Echo in our home. Those spying robot overloads will no longer rule my domain and I’ll consider that the perfect Christmas present.

My Mother-in-Law Gives Horrible Gifts

Dear Snarky,dear_snarky_logo-1

I don’t mean to be ungracious but every year my mother-in-law gets me the worst gifts. It’s like she goes out of her way to hurt my feelings. From a Cooking for Dummies book (p.s. I went to culinary school) to clothes that are at least two sizes too big. Every present is a slap in the face.

Any advice how to get her to stop or how I should react on Christmas morning when I open an insult disguised as a gift.

Signed, Dreading Christmas morning

Dear Dreading,

Right off the bat, many people would tell you that your husband should put his big boy pants on and tell his mother to stop with the hateful gifts or that you need to have it out with your MIL.
To that I say wrong and wrong. First, men just plain ole stink at telling their mothers off (I have first hand knowledge of this) and second no good ever comes from a holiday screaming match with a relative.
The key here is to not let your mother-in-law get the upper hand and by that I mean you don’t want to give her and her mean-spirited gifts any kind of attention whatsoever.
File this away – if she gets attention she wins. You also don’t want to give her the pleasure of seeing that she’s hurt your feelings. This means when you open these so-called presents you must smile like you’re trying to win Miss Congeniality in a beauty pageant and sell it, really sell it that you LOVE the gift.
For example, if she gives you fat clothes again just say, “Wow, this is great. I love the fabric and the color will look sooo good on me! It’s perfect. Thank you.”  
This reaction is a twofer.  One, you squash your mother in law’s hope that she’s hurt your feelings and two everyone else thinks you are the most gracious person on the face of the earth. You know what that makes you? A much better person and there’s a gift that keeps on giving.
*If you need advice from Dear Snarky email her at