The holidays are full of awkward moments. Like when your mother-in-law excitedly shepherds you into the family room to see the new family photos she framed. Your two sisters-in-law look like they stepped out of a magazine. And you? Well, you look like a cross between a Goodyear blimp and Violet Beauregarde because that’s what happens on a 90-degree day when you are 38 weeks pregnant. When I thought things couldn’t get any more awkward than that moment, the subject of money came up over and over again this holiday season.
“That’s awfully practical.”
People were incredibly generous this Christmas toward us and toward our son especially. Truly, the baby stuff runneth over. And over and over. At one moment, a cousin asked what Santa brought our little bundle of joy. Before I could control myself, I blurted out the truth: a few books, a pacifier, plates, and some spoons. After pausing sufficiently long to make sure that I didn’t accidentally omit a baby Ferrari or a pony, she replied, “Well, that’s awfully practical of Santa, isn’t it?” Before I could even make a retort about Santa being grumpy over a lack of cookies this year or the fact that Santa put his toy fund in a 529, she changed the subject.
“What did you get?”
An hour or so later, we were mixing and mingling and making merry when an uncle stopped us to ask, “And what did you get for Christmas?” Because I am a quick learner, I knew what not to say. I would not mention the BOGO deal on socks that Mr. P scored. I would not mention the new bath towels that I bought for us from us and stashed under the tree in an unwrapped Kohl’s box. I certainly wouldn’t talk about the cute little jars of sweet potatoes that were gifted to HP…in a bag from his baby shower. No, sir, I would not mention anything practical. Instead, I said, “Phones! We got phones! We had phones but these are better!” My husband jumped in, explaining that we got two new iPhone 8s a few weeks before Christmas. Then, my uncle replied, “So I guess that wiped out your gift budget, huh?” Or those were our gifts. You know.
“Wait, how much should I spend?”
To prove that I’m not only capable of being the askee, but also the asker, when it comes to awkward questions, let me regale you with the tale of my son’s first grab bag. After drawing names, a mass text went out sharing gift ideas. There was only one problem: I had no idea how much we were expected to spend, so I wasn’t sure what to suggest. The previous suggestions seemed to run the gamut price-wise, so I cautiously mentioned that my son might enjoy books or blocks or a toy for his high chair. Those seemed safe enough. I figured I didn’t want to be the person who orders filet mignon when everyone else is ordering a salad. (Let’s be serious, I’m totally the salad orderer in a sea of steak people.) When no one commented, I finally inquired, “So help a newbie mom out. How much do should I spend?” Cue the silence. Before you say it was my imagination, I could see the magical iPhone ellipses alerting me that someone was typing…and then they weren’t. A few hours later, someone finally threw me a bone and said $30. Or $20. Or whatever I wanted. Cleared that right up.
Psssst. Need more awkard in your life? I got you. I so got you.
So Tell Me…What’s your best awkward holiday moment?