Holiday Self-Gifting

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Dear Edda,

My wife and I usually spend Christmas with her family.  Every year at Christmas time, my wife buys herself a very expensive gift and has it gift wrapped.  Then she writes a card from me and says that this is the best way for me to get her what she wants.  I think she is actually trying to show off for her family, but I would never say that. Most of the time I don’t even know what it is beforehand.

I have told her that it really hurts my feelings. I am a thoughtful person and would like the opportunity to give her the present I have picked out, but I generally end up just returning it without even giving it to her.  Any advice?



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Dear Un,

Oh jeez, that must really hurt. I would normally suggest that you sit down and explain how it makes you feel.  But it sounds like you’ve done that. Or get her something really special from your heart, but I guess you’ve tried that too.

So maybe this year (can I assume you’re not spending it with her family?) you can point out that the holiday is not about a really expensive gift, wrapped by a store employee.  Suggest that she give you a chance, and that if you blow it, she can buy her own gift at the after-Christmas sales.

Either that, or buy yourself that really cool E-bike you’ve been thinking about and tell her, “Thanks, Honey!”


Edda is not a medical professional but a local lady who loves to give out advice, even when it's not asked of her. Submit your question to for Edda to answer.

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a-1608446894 Dec 19, 2020 10:48 PM
Holiday Self-Gifting

Yeah -- that yawning pit of loneliness and miscommunication probably won't change. Better to be alone while single than with someone. G'luck. :-)

Getoffmylawn Dec 19, 2020 11:16 PM
Holiday Self-Gifting

I would get a divorce. She seems selfish.
My wife and I choose not to get each other gifts.
Sounds like she is trying to keep up with the jones's.
I have 2 newer nice cars and one total ugly older car. I choose to drive my older junk. Let there be judgment.

Ahchooo Dec 20, 2020 07:59 AM
Holiday Self-Gifting

No law says she can’t have two gifts. Give her yours anyway. If she doesn’t at least feign gratitude, you have a serious problem and need counseling.

oceandrew Dec 20, 2020 12:11 PM
Holiday Self-Gifting

I don't get what the problem is. She is showing her family that he gets her great gifts and it makes him look good in their eyes. Back home he can give her what he picked out. If she doesn't like his gifts it's not really her fault, as Edda implies, is it? At least he's not embarrassed in public for being a lousy gifter.

a-1608495315 Dec 20, 2020 12:15 PM
Holiday Self-Gifting

These always give me a good laugh, thanks Edda! Agree with some of the other comments, have a talk with your wife and then give her a gift anyway and treat yourself to one too!

sbpaddy Dec 20, 2020 11:49 PM
Holiday Self-Gifting

How sad and selfish. I always seem to find something that makes Christmas happy while I am shopping but I would never have someone else wrap it and write a note to myself. How about counseling?

LCP112233 Dec 21, 2020 12:14 PM
Holiday Self-Gifting

Buy yourself something nice. Don't get her anything. Good luck with your marriage.

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