Holiday Headache 

Dear Minerva,

I love gift giving. I make it a point to choose meaningful gifts for the people in my life. There are a couple of people who, no matter what me or my husband do, are never happy with their gifts. One of them has even had the nerve to complain about an item because it was slightly too big, and then, when we scaled back our gift buying one year, complained about that, too. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Holiday Headache

Dear HH,

It sounds like they deserve some coal in their stocking! I believe it is the thought that counts, and part of that is taking into consideration the taste of the person you are buying a gift for. It sounds like you are already doing that. When you have a person who is impossible to please, keep it simple. Give them a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant, or choose a gift card that can be used anywhere. This will put the responsibility of their contentedness firmly in their own hands. You will also be giving them the gift of an experience. If they are unhappy then, it is all on them. It would be difficult to have a conversation about their behavior, and it would feel mean to leave them out. Just know that this behavior is 100 percent their issue, and it isn't a failure on your part. If they still complain, seriously consider removing them from any future gift-giving lists.

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