Because what is Christmas about if not masking bitter disappointment?
We have to tell you a secret: You couldn’t possibly know what’s best for you, and all the people closest to you know it. That’s why your Christmas list was invariably ignored by all of your relatives; in favor of what they really think you need (or are willing to get you). You’ll be disappointed, but if you let even an ounce of that show through, you’ll end up picking pine needles out of your eyeballs, just like last year. And the year before. And all the other years.
So in order to avoid the emotional pain (and also the very significant needle-in-the-eye pain) of a family breakdown, here’s a helpful guide on how to react to everything you’ll open up on Christmas morning.
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What you asked for: A next-gen game console.
What you will get: A hand-knit laptop cover for your work computer that says “Mommy’s Little Businessman.”
How to react: Keep your composure; you just need to keep it cool. Mom wants to believe she nailed it, so you just need to give her a little bit to go on. Not like you can complain to anyone anyway, since this was brought to you by “Santa,” who coincidentally has your mother’s exact same handwriting.
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What you asked for: A basketball jersey (and, at long last, his acceptance).
What you will get: Something that you already own, taken from your room and wrapped in crumpled newspaper.
How to react: A grunt of acknowledgment is all he’s looking for. In fact, he may not even be looking for that, as he’s pretty much just looking for Pittsburgh to cover the spread.
Cell Phone-Obsessed Sister
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What you asked for: A new watch.
What you will get: A DVD copy of Waking Life, a movie that you liked when you were high during freshman year of college and then never took off your Facebook interests.
How to react: You can thank her face-to-face all you want, but until you drop some official social network-gratitude, it’ll be falling on deaf ears.
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What you asked for: A wireless speaker.
What you will get: Some herbs picked from the high holy mountains of Tibet, known to provide oxidant balance and improve circulation. Also, as a small side effect, it can cause some light hallucinations.
How to react: No need to fake anything this time, this is way better than a speaker. Drop these herbs into some hot water and then go to town. God knows that Christmas dinner couldn’t get any worse.
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What you asked for: Some fancy booze.
What you will get: An address book, for all your cute, young friends' phone numbers and addresses. And if your old Uncle Gilbert needs to hold on to that for safe keeping, he’s more than willing to.
How to react: You can’t be asked to manage much more than a terror-masking smile. That should do though, since Uncle Gilbert seems to be lost in some sort of daydream that is making him sweat profusely and rub his hands together manically.
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What you asked for: A book. How hard could that be?
What you will get: A calling card, because you “never take the time to call your Grandmother” despite talking to her on the phone like clockwork every week for at least 15 years. And can you even use a calling card anymore?
How to react: This is the last straw, you can completely lose your shit now. But don’t worry, your shouts will just fall on your grandmother’s (literally) deaf ears. Christmas is saved!
Check out If Other Holidays Apart From Christmas Had Their Own Songs or 5 Superheroes Who Hate Christmas (And 5 Reasons Why).