-- Jane Buckingham, the author of "The Modern Girl's Guide" books, appeared on "Good Morning America" and shared her top tips to handling the most awkward scenarios -- from re-gifting faux paxs to sticky situations with the in-laws -- that tend to arise.
The holidays are supposed to be a time to be with family, get together with friends and relax. But it's also a time full of awkward situations, embarrassing moments, and tricky scenarios. So how should you deal with some of the sticky situations the festivities will bring? Here's my "Modern Girl's Guide" to surviving the holidays.
1. You Get a Gift That's Obviously Been Re-gifted
While most of us would probably ignore this gift faux pax (after all, who hasn’t passed on an extra candle, body lotion, or scarf that wasn’t quite us), if the re-gifting is really glaring, and the giver is in the room -- meaning you pull the present out of the box and the accompanying original gift card comes with it -- then you have to address the issue! After all, the re-giver has been caught red handed, and it will be too awkward between you. Just acknowledge that the gift is a better choice for you and how clever she is to "up-cycle" rather than waste it. Should you discover the re-gifting on your own (re-gifters often prefer to do not in person) you can choose to ignore, confront (or pass along) as you wish.
2. Your In-Laws Came for the Holidays and Decided to Stay for New Years
Well, that would be called the gift that keeps on giving. Your in-laws (and your own parents) are the only ones who get the right to decide to stay longer than they (and you) intended. They’re your family. And whether they drive you crazy or not you're lucky to have them. Maybe they'll even want to spend a night or two alone with the grand kids and you can skip off for a night!
3. Someone Brought You a Gift But You Don't Have One for Them
While your knee jerk reaction, might be to excuse yourself to go to the restroom and dash to the nearest Starbucks to pick up a gift card, RESIST!!! Simply say thank you and apologize. Explain that you didn't realize you were exchanging gifts but that you really appreciate the person having thought of you. If you can’t bear it, consider making a donation to charity afterwards in his or her name.
4. Your Daughters Boyfriend Won’t Get Off His Phone at Your Holiday Dinner
While one idea might be to send him a text asking her to put it on "DND" (do not disturb) ASAP when you head to the kitchen to bring out the appetizers, the more straightforward approach is better. Whatever his age, whatever his rules, whatever need he has to check social media, when she is in your house he can abide by your rules. Simply ask everyone, politely, without singling her out, if they could refrain from being on their cell phones. If you want to make it fun, ask everyone to put their cellphones on their table (on silent) and whoever touches them first, cleans up!
5. Your Son's Girlfriend Shows Up at your Holiday Party With all of Her Assets Showing
It won’t matter how sweet and lovely she is if all anyone can think about is her inappropriate attire. We’ve all made a dressing error at one point, and only after we’ve seen the photos, or heard the whispers about us have we realized our mistake. If you can, quickly whisk your possible daughter in law into the other room and offer a solution – a scarf, cover-up, or god help us, pair of underwear. Try to be kind, and let her know we’ve all been there. Hopefully, she’ll take your advice in the good spirit with which it is intended.