Ruining The Christmas Surprise

by admin on December 24, 2013

Here’s another fruitcake for your holiday smorgasbord of never-ending tactlessness.

My cousin and her spouse (let’s call her Victoria) work at the same company as my mother in a major Northeastern American city. I could regale the world with incidents of Victoria’s boorishness, sense of entitlement, and gimme-pig attitude for years, but this one particular incident stuck out, because this is a new low even for her.

My mother and Victoria (who work in the same building) are outside for a cigarette break. Conversation goes like this:

V: So, what do you want for Christmas?
Mom: I don’t want anything for Christmas. I’m only buying gifts for my daughter [the OP] this year and nobody else. It’s been a rough year. (After hearing this, I felt a little bad myself.)
V: Oh, okay. The people upstairs (who Victoria works with, as opposed to the people who my mother works with) wanted to get a gift for you and didn’t know what to get you, so…

Really!? This is a whole new way to ruin the surprise. I fully understand the difficulty of having to hold back a surprise; I surprise my friends with gifts for special occasions, and I can barely keep it together in the waiting time up to the gift giving day, but I know the payoff of their reaction will be well worth the wait and the patience. If I’m having difficulty, I enlist some mutual friends to help in coming up with a gift. Although I sometimes jokingly warn my friends that they are to be a recipient of a gift from me to where they are, in good humor, terrified, I don’t try and force anything on them that they don’t want, nor do I outright ruin any surprise.

When my mother told me this story, she punctuated it with, “Victoria is a jerk!” 1218-13

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Alie January 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Katie – where did the OP’s mom get the idea that her gift was supposed to be a surprise? Gifts are not automatically surprises. Wouldn’t the people getting the gift (the group that included Victoria) be the ones who were responsible for deciding whether the gift was a surprise? Victoria made a judgment call that getting Mom something she liked was more important than the surprise aspect, and as a member of the group giving it, she had ever right to make a call.

We don’t get to determine how gifts are given to us. What it is, whether it is a surprise, and so on. It’s a gift! With the exception of message gifts (passive aggressive gifts), the person is not a jerk for “spoiling the surprise” or otherwise not giving you a gift in the exact method you think is appropriate. People are free to give gifts that are not surprises.

To be honest, OP’s mom calling Victoria a jerk sounds like Mom getting upset because she assumed something mean about Victoria (that Victoria only wanted something from Mom because Victoria wanted a gift herself) and was embarrassed her assumptions were wrong.

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