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Ghosts of Christmas Past

I’ve been invited to a few holiday parties and I plan on going, but I know there’s a good chance of running into my Ex. Our breakup wasn’t the best. How do I handle an encounter?

If people want to see a holiday drama, they’d simply watch a Hallmark holiday movie. Please don’t deliver a live show- someone’s party isn’t the place to rehash or revisit a failed relationship. The good thing about a party is that the room is filled and most likely big, so simple avoidance is one way to handle it. If you’re forced into the same place, a simple “hello”, a smile and a turn away to another conversation is the way to go. If he persists in wanting a dialogue, simply say that it’s not the right time or place, wish him a good holiday and join another conversation. You’ll be fine as long as you maintain your intention of not engaging.

My partner always spends so much cash on gifts for the holidays, and I always end up exchanging most of them. What can I do to make him a better shopper?

It’s not about making him a better shopper; it’s about helping him be a more thoughtful gift giver. Some people need direction in the gifting department, and he might benefit if you communicate a clear path to the right store. Try starting in November with “You know, I’d really like a ______ this year.” or “I could really use a new _______.” Repeat it a few times, and hopefully he’ll pick up on the cue.

I’m newly single after a long relationship, and I wasn’t ready for how weird the holidays would feel. I really want to call my Ex- I know I shouldn’t but I can’t help it.

Knowing what’s bad is half the battle. The other half is not putting yourself in a situation you’re going to regret once the ornaments are put away. You know it’s a bad call for you, so don’t make it. Fill your season with friends, family and fun and you’ll see that the holiday is different but not the worst. Stay strong and stay focused on all the shiny holiday things that are good for you- when the New Year comes, you’ll be happy you did!

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