How to Resist Screaming ‘You Don’t Even Know Me, Do You???’ When Your Mom Asks for Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday gift-giving is certainly an art – and it takes really knowing a person to find the right gift. This is also exactly why your mother has never given you a gift you actually wanted. After years of talking about your interests, fascinations, and cherished belongings, it seems that your mother has absorbed none of it and continues to have no idea about who her own child really is. While it may be challenging, here’s how to resist going into a scream-rage, crying “You don’t even KNOW me, DO you Mom???” before storming out of the room this holiday season:


Prepare to be disappointed, no matter how much she sounds like she’s listening.

No matter how much you’ve hinted at the fact that a Criterion Collection subscription would be a really nice thing given the whole pandemic and all, understand that your mother doesn’t just not know you, she also doesn’t understand the most basic facets of technology, like purchasing a subscription as a gift. Knowing her true nature will help you understand that she will never, ever know yours. Expect another stocking full of socks and an Amazon gift card, even though you’ve been boycotting them all year!


Accept that your mother is simply incapable of knowing.

It’s not entirely her fault – she grew up in a repressed family that never valued true listening. And just like when you asked her to describe what you do for a living, you know that no matter how much she sounds like she’s listening, she’s not really absorbing much of it. So before you throw a lit menorah on the ground or set fire to the Christmas tree, accept the fact that this isn’t personal – your mother is simply incapable of knowing anyone at all. Remember: Your father is just used to it by now!



Remember that you are understood by plenty of other people. A ton, actually.

You have plenty of friends and family who “get” you ­– celebrate that! Sure, it’s hard to know that the woman who bore you ironically understands you the least of all, but at least you’re not indecipherable! Tons of people know how to get you gifts – tens of them, actually. Hell, even your Dad kind of got the gist a few years ago. And now that your brother is old enough, he seems to as well. Is this really just your mom? What the fuck is actually wrong with her? Seriously, why can’t she go to a fucking therapist or something??? Why is it just so fucking HARD for her to take something in for fucking once????? FUCK!!!!


So if you’re heading home or on Zoom for the holidays, just remember that it’s not worth picking a fight over something that is so obvious and yet so confounding to everyone around you. Be grateful for what you have – a Mom that is just kind of … there!