Sisterly Advice: Christmas Edition

Sharon, Karen, and Carol

Hey guys! I have a lot of family members and I really want to get them nice gifts, but I’m pretty much broke. Any ideas? Thanks! — Marvelous Marsha

Sharon: Dear Marvelous Marsha, One thing people seem to love are souvenirs from far away places. For example, shells from a beach you visited or foreign candy. Your cheapest option would be to go outside, collect some rocks, dirt, or whatever you can find, and tell them that it’s from somewhere else. For example, a mere rock from the backyard could turn into a moonrock from when you visited the moon two months ago! They’ll never know how little it costs, and it shows you thought of them while you were away!

Karen: Marsha, a nice gift doesn’t mean an expensive gift! You can make an amazing gift on a budget. I suggest making a collage if you have a lot of pictures with the person, and then printing it out and putting it in a nice (but cheap) frame. This is a thoughtful and sentimental gift that the person can treasure forever! 

Carol: Dear Marvelous Marsha, Try making some homemade gifts. They are super special to family and you can make them personal. Also, a nice gift doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. Find small, meaningful gifts to give and I’m sure your family will be happy. 

 

If I know I will be seeing my crush/a big group of us are hanging out, any conversation starters that won’t be weird? — Fiesty Felicia 

Sharon: Dear Feisty Felicia, In my experience, no one ever takes a hint! You need to be very straightforward. Assert your dominance. You got this. Maybe look up one of those mating dances that birds do on YouTube. 

Karen: Felicia, ask if they are a dog or cat person, if they play sports (if so, what sport, etc.), if they like to travel (if so, where?), or something that everyone has an opinion on or experience with. Maybe start off with talking about something you like doing (such as, I go to Ocean City every summer) and then asking the person if they do any of those things. The hardest part is finding common ground. Once you find it, the conversation will easily flow from there!  

Carol: Dear Feisty Felicia, If you are in a big group, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a conversation started between everyone. If you are wanting more of a one-on-one conversation with your crush, then maybe try asking about school, favorite classes, or plans for Christmas break. Just keep asking them questions like this because most people love to talk about themselves and it should keep the conversation going and won’t be weird at all.  

 

My little brother still believes in Santa…at least he did until I spilled the beans! My mother is super mad at me for letting it slip and my brother is so upset he won’t even help hang ornaments on the tree. What should I do? — Blabbermouth Blaire 

Sharon: Dear Blabbermouth Blaire, I’m really sorry, but I’m not sure I know how to answer your question. Santa is definitely real and I’m not sure where you’re getting your information but definitely not a primary or reliable source! 

Karen: RIP 

Carol: Dear Blabbermouth Blaire, This is a tough situation. You could have your mom tell your brother that he is real, but you just don’t believe anymore. Then you could pretend to change your mind after watching a movie or seeing something. You could tell your brother that you were wrong and now you see that there really is a Santa. You might just have to give your brother some time and maybe apologize for what you said.  

 

So I was looking for a picture on my mom’s phone because I wanted to send it to myself, but while I was looking my dad sent her a text message, and I couldn’t help but read it, and when I did I couldn’t stop myself from clicking and reading the whole conversation. I found out they’re getting me a car for Christmas! At first I was super excited, but then I realized that I’m going to have to act all surprised on Christmas morning, and I’m a terrible liar. For my entire life, people have always been able to tell when I don’t like a gift or when I’m hiding a secret. There’s no way I’ll be able to act ignorant and top it off with a genuine looking reaction this month. What should I do? — Peeping Penelope 

Sharon: Dear Peeping Penelope, This is a classic situation in which I’ve been stuck many times before. Here’s what you do: find some onions or jalapenos. Rub your fingers on them for a few minutes before you know they’re going to show you the car. When the big reveal happens, touch your eyes, and all you’ll be able to do is cry, making everyone think you’re overwhelmed with joy and appreciation, masking that you aren’t surprised. I use this hack in a pinch all the time!

Karen: Penelope, if you know your reaction to the car won’t be convincing, I would be honest and just tell your parents that you know. Still express that you are extremely grateful and excited, and hopefully they will be understanding.  

Carol: Dear Peeping Penelope, First, you still don’t know 100% that you’re getting a car. Something might happen that inhibits your parents from making the final purchase and you might not end up with a car on Christmas morning. So, just because you saw some texts, it gives you suspicions but not certainty. I know it’s hard but try to put it out of your mind. Don’t think about cars, driving, and don’t talk about car-related things with your parents. As for Christmas morning, try to channel all of your excitement that comes with having a car into surprise. If you have a car, you can drive yourself anywhere, go shopping whenever you want, or go get lunch with your friends on the weekend. It shouldn’t be hard for that excitement to come out on Christmas morning. Make sure you are super grateful to your parents no matter what happens because that was awesome of them to even consider getting you a car!

 

I know it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but I’m currently in a fight with my best friend. I haven’t felt happy in weeks and I don’t think a resolution is coming any time soon. Is there any way I can still enjoy Christmas? Super Sad Savannah 

Sharon: Dear Super Sad Savannah, I’m sorry to hear this. Friend fights are no fun. Maybe some time away will help and you’ll come back from break with a fresh perspective. In the meantime, I recommend watching “The Office.” It always puts a smile on my face. 

Karen: Savannah, I agree with Sharon. Don’t let this one friend ruin Christmas! In my opinion, holidays are a time to spend with family! Maybe ask your mom to go Christmas shopping, go see Christmas lights with one of your siblings (if you have one), or try to meet up with your favorite cousin! I find that time with family is the best remedy. Focus on living in the moment, and being present with the people you have a good relationship now. As for your friend, focus on her or him after the holidays. 

Carol: Dear Super Sad Savannah, The best way to get into the Christmas spirit would be to resolve your conflict with your friend. It will probably be really hard, but try to be the bigger person and apologize first. Put your friendship before your anger or pride. Talking it out and/or apologizing will get any guilt or hurt off your chest. Chances are, your friend will be happy you made the first move and will want to work things out too. No matter who caused the fight or who hurt who, she is still your best friend and really cares about you. This is just a small bump in the road in your friendship and you deserve to have a happy Christmas season! 

 

How do I handle the stress of picking out which reindeer is my favorite? — Santa’s Elf 

Sharon: Dear Santa’s Elf, Try doing one of those online compatibility tests. What’s on the Internet is always true. 

Karen: Santa’s Elf, according to a Buzzfeed list I came across, Santa ranked Comet as the best reindeer, so I would trust him and go with Comet. Problem solved. 

Carol: Dear Santa’s Elf, If it’s really that much of a problem, don’t choose a favorite. It’ll save your stress level and the other reindeer’s feelings.  

 

If two people I‘m good friends with had a falling out, is it all right to still be friends with both? I keep getting blamed for picking sides. Worried Wilma 

Sharon: Dear Worried Wilma, You must have them battle for your affection and respect the results. This is how it has been done since ancient times.

Karen: Wilma, YES. It is absolutely okay to be friends with both. Hang out with them separately, and build an individual relationship with each.  

Carol: Dear Worried Wilma, Yes, it is fine to still be friends with both. However, you might want to explain to both of them that you respect their decisions not to be friends with one another, but they need to understand that you still value being friends with both of them and are not picking sides. Try not to talk about one friend to the other when you’re hanging out. If their conflict becomes too much of a problem for you, either talk to them or hang out with other people so you don’t feel so trapped in the middle.  

 

Sharon, Karen, and Carol wish all of their readers a very Merry Christmas! 

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