Ask Tia Juana

Dear Tia,

Every year, I live in terror throughout the Christmas season, usually beginning on Black Friday.  I shop incessantly, with the fear of not having a gift to give someone who gives me a gift unexpectedly.  Not only that, even if I do have a gift to give back, I worry that the gift that I have will not measure up to the gift I receive.  I break out in a cold sweat with the thought that I will be considered a cheapskate if my pine cone scented candle will not be of equal value as the apple-cinnamon scentsie I receive.  I am unable to enjoy the holiday season because of this constant gift stress.  What do you suggest?

Gift Grinch

Dear Grinch,

Your condition is very common, unfortunately, and the obsession with buying just the right gift for every person on your list has overshadowed what the true meaning of Christmas is.  While we have all heard the saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” realistically, we all know that we are judged by our gifting.  The solution to relieving much of the giving stress is to strictly adhere to giving gifts only to those whose name you drew in the office.  This policy can also be used in large families, where most gifts showered on young children, and the adults also draw names, and a dollar limit given as part of the rules.  One hard and fast rule that all should follow…. NEVER RE-GIFT!! Merry Christmas to all!