RELATIONSHIPS & HOLIDAYS

Dear Santa: Please Give These People Coal for Christmas

These four kinds of people don’t deserve me, much-less gifts this Christmas.

Elisabeth Ovesen
Dec 10, 2020 · 4 min read
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“Hands up!” Photomechanical Print Showing a Santa Claus Pointing a Handgun (1912) by Will Crawford.

t’s been a while since I've written. What can I say; I’ve been busy being gone. It’s easy work being missing. Since leaving Los Angeles for parts unknown, I have spent my time settling into my new space, getting to know the town I now call home, half-assing my workout routine, trying new recipes, and eating pies –– lots and lots o’ pies.

For the first time since I was a girl, I am looking forward to and preparing to celebrate Christmas, and that means I am also curating my first Christmas gifting list! It’s all very exciting, really. But while in the process of gathering the names of all the people to whom I’d like to send a special gift this holiday season, I couldn’t help but think about the people who can suck it this Christmas.

The Person Who Always Takes and Never Gives

I’ve grown weary of being in relationships with people who are always asking for something, who are always in need but are too self-centered to hear or recognize my needs. I have tired of being available for and giving to those who, when given an opportunity to hold space for me, never do. This year, I have ended relationships with people who are always in need, always falling short, always asking for help and getting it from me and others, but can never give of themselves. These people are always too busy, too tired, too something and not enough of something else to drop by with fresh orange juice when I’ve got a cold, help me unpack when I move into a new place, or just stop by with a bottle of wine to say hello –– pre-Covid, ofcourse.

The Person Who Criticizes Others’ Work

One’s work and life’s work (these can be two different things) are usually the lifeblood of the individual. This is true not just for the monetary implications, but also for the mental health, well-being, and overall happiness and sense of purpose of the person doing the work. This year, I have rid myself of so-called friends who criticize my work and the work of others while refusing to find a passion, job, or career of their own. It has been infuriating listening to people who aren’t even trying, tell me how to do what I’ve been doing successfully for over fifteen years. It has been equally as frustrating listening to them speak on what others should be doing in their businesses and crafts while having none of their own. So, I’m done.

Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those doing it. — Chinese Proverb

The Person Who Weaponizes Their Mental Health Struggles

Here’s something people don’t talk enough about: people who struggle with mental health issues, like bipolar depression, for instance, can also be narcissistic assholes. Some such people sometimes weaponize threats of hurting themselves or breaking down in order to manipulate others into giving them what they want. Then, as soon as this person gets what they want, their emotional breakdown is magically cured! Wow! Does modern-day science know about this? *Insert eye-roll here.* This year, I have resisted being manipulated by people who use their struggles in this way, calling out the behavior when it shows us, declaring I will not give in to their demands and that what they decide to do with their lives is their responsibility and not mine. I refuse to be held accountable for the life or death of others and to live my life being held captive by the threat of harm or implosion. It’s exhausting.

The Person Who Never Takes Responsibility

I am so fucking sick of this person. No matter what happens in their lives, no matter the decisions they have made, everything is always everyone else’s fault. The issue with this sort of thinking is that by blaming others for everything, this person has given their power away, and in doing so, has also relinquished (in their minds) their ability to resolve their issues. They become trapped in the perpetual cycle of blaming everyone else for what has gone wrong and then waiting for others to fix their lives, which will never happen. So, they complain and cry year-after-year without ever changing their lives. It’s like a year-round dumpster fire but on a merry-go-round. Good god, let me off this ride!

We are all free to make our own decisions, but none of us are free from the consequences of those decisions. -Me

By deleting these four categories of people from my life and my shopping list, I am saving myself time, energy, and money this year. I have also saved myself from the disappointment, grief, anger, and frustration that accompanies such relationships and have since replaced these feelings with peace and joy –– two moods we tout this time of year but fake for the sake of the season and The Gram.

But, I refuse to fake it.

I am serious about my peace of mind and mental health. I am sick and tired of putting the well-being of others before mine and not feeling supported by those I have held up over the years. This holiday season, with the world on fire, I say fuck ’em all…and to all a good night.

By Elisabeth

3x New York Times bestselling author. Pen name Karrine Steffans. Psych major. Life Mastery Coach.

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Elisabeth Ovesen

Written by

3x NYT bestselling author. Pen name Karrine Steffans. Psych Major. Performance + Life Mastery Coach. lilibetovesen.com

By Elisabeth

Random musings and wisdom from a New York Times bestselling author with more time on her hands than words.

Elisabeth Ovesen

Written by

3x NYT bestselling author. Pen name Karrine Steffans. Psych Major. Performance + Life Mastery Coach. lilibetovesen.com

By Elisabeth

Random musings and wisdom from a New York Times bestselling author with more time on her hands than words.