Holiday Advice From Someone Who Thinks You Suck

My sister invites our extended family over for the holidays each year, but I find her turkey dry and flavorless. This year, I was thinking that I would give her some helpful advice about how to make it better. Would that be totally awesome of me?

– Also Not Sure Why She Never Wants To Hang Out Apart From The Holidays

No, you should not do that, and actually, I would suggest that you stop talking altogether. Your petty need for control, as well as your complete and utter disregard for your sister’s generosity and hard work, suggests to me that you should move to an isolated cabin in the woods, where you can make your own stupid perfect turkey and shove it down your gullet.


I recently learned that you’re supposed to tip people like your housekeeper and mailman at the holidays, but I have really overspent on cashmere sweaters for myself this month (got some great deals!) and don’t think I should be forced to give my money away to people who are obviously inferior to myself. Do you agree that I need Veuve Clicquot more than my housekeeper needs $150?

– My Needs Matter Too

Seriously, however you are living your life, stop all of it and start doing the opposite.


My brother lives abroad and works as a doctor in a number of makeshift hospitals in impoverished countries I never learned the names of, and he always fails to send my children Christmas presents. Can I try to get in touch with him by passenger pigeon to say that I’m really hurt by his selfishness?

– Dismayed By Brother’s Out-Of-Control Self-Absorption

Yes, do that. I hope the passenger pigeon shits on your head.


I recently started seeing a wonderful man, and we have been spending a lot of time together. But although he resembles Cary Grant in both looks and sense of humor, I’m concerned that he doesn’t know my taste in jewelry and will pick out a gift that is super-horrible — like something from Zales or one of those Le Vian chocolate diamonds. Should I suggest that instead of our romantic weekend getaway to the working dairy farm in upstate New York, we should go to the mall and pick something out for me?

– My New Man Is So Lucky To Have Me

Sure. Good plan. Maybe after you have had your Hot Dog on a Stick, and before he blows a lot of money on someone so unworthy, he’ll excuse himself to go to the bathroom over by the Crabtree & Evelyn and never come back.


My family always wants to watch silly movies like The Muppet Christmas Carol and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation around the holidays, but I prefer Kurosawa, Bergman, and silent films. Is it okay for me to say that Dickens would not have approved of The Muppet Christmas Carol?

– Hoping To Add Some Culture To The Festivities

I think I knew you in grad school. Is that you, David?


Last week, I was doing some Christmas shopping when I got an important work call and knew I’d have to leave. I pushed my way to the front of the line to purchase the Disney Frozen Sing-Along Elsa doll that I had selected for my daughter (I’d like her to be a bit more feminine). I also kept talking on the phone while I made the purchase, despite the shouts of everyone behind me and the rather rude glare of the cashier, who obviously was not given a Disney Frozen Sing-Along Elsa doll when she was a child. Was I wrong to think that I’m special?

– Have Always Believed That My Needs Take Precedent

I’m not responding to this. Never write to me again.


I hate the tacky blow-up Santa that my neighbors put out on their front lawn every year. This year, they have also lined their pathway with light-up candy canes! Is there a polite way to say that their holiday spirit is an eyesore?

– A Classy Lady In A Predicament

First lesson: people who think they’re classy are not classy. Second lesson: Santa is tacky. That’s the point. I pity your neighbors, and I’m FedExing them a large, illuminated penguin in a holiday scarf immediately.


My wife and I have been friends with another couple that lives down the street for 25 years, and they come over for a Baileys every Christmas eve. But their beloved dog died last week, and they said that they’re sorry, but they’re not in the mood to celebrate. My wife and I are beyond hurt. We have never felt so snubbed. Am I correct that we should never speak to them again and also maybe defile their house in some way?

– Death Of A Dumb Dog Is Hardly A Big Deal

Frankly, I’m surprised that a bastard like you has a standing social engagement of this nature. This dog was obviously a far better creature than you will ever be. I suggest that you make a pilgrimage to the grave of this majestic beast and ask for forgiveness. And bring some lillies, you asshat.


My best friend has asked to spend the holidays with me and my wife. I feel like I should say yes because he recently lost his entire family in a drunken boating accident, but we would prefer to have a lot of sex and not have to worry about his whole sad lack of family thing. Is there a way to let him know that there are some sexual positions we just don’t feel comfortable doing with him in the house?

– Depressed Best Friend Is Such An Annoying Third Wheel

Your best friend should get a new best friend. And you’re not good in bed.


Every year, my incredibly rich banker husband and I lavish gifts on all of our family members, but they never spend the same amount of money on gifts for us. Last year, my twelve-year-old niece knitted me a scarf out of wool she had hand-spun and dyed instead of sending me the $500 Saks Fifth Avenue gift card that I had requested. Talk about disgusting. Can I tell my brother to sit her down and speak to her about this behavior?

– I Was So Looking Forward To Going Shopping

You know, after years of writing this etiquette column, I have pretty much lost my faith in humanity, and on more than one occasion, I have considered filling my pockets with rocks and just walking into the sea. But your letter is the worst thing I have read since Mein Kampf, which I should mention I read in the context of a college history course.


I live in a very nice part of town, if you know what I mean, and every year, people drive through our neighborhood to look at our exquisite and expensive Christmas lights. These people are obviously not from our neighborhood, if you know what I mean. Would it be okay for me to egg their cars or maybe just try to scare them off?

– We Need To Keep The Neighborhood Safe

I know what you mean. I hate you.


My elderly mother, who is dying of cancer, has stopped writing thank-you cards. I have sent a number of care packages to her nursing home, including Hallmark Precious Moments angel figurines, an array of Julia Roberts’ romantic comedies, and scented candles that she isn’t allowed to burn, but the selfish harpy has not said thank you for any of it. Am I overreacting to think that she owes me a nice, handwritten letterpress card?

– Old-Fashioned Manners Are Obviously Dead And Soon My Mother Will Be Too

Okay, I quit.


Lead image credit: Smallest Forest, Flickr

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