What’s Wrong With You: ‘Tis the Season to be Self-Centered

Hanukkah Lights by Katseyephoto

Dear Judith,

I’ve having an argument with my boyfriend. It’s going to be our first Hanukkah together. I feel that just lighting candles and eating greasy potato pancakes violates the spirit of the holiday, and therefore we should exchange gifts all eight nights. They don’t have to be lavish, they can be small or silly or even non-material (if you catch my drift LOL ;-)). But he believes in a single biggish gift, and we’re deadlocked. How should we handle this?

Thank you,

Festive, Not Greedy

Dear Confused,

Just to clarify, greed comes in many varieties, and you’re exhibiting the types for: “attention,” “having it your way” and “holiday joy.”

Also, this may not pertain to you, but only sex activities that the recipient requests and the giver normally avoids are genuine gifts. Run-of-the-mill banging is simply mutual celebration–which might be the perfect compromise, Confused. If not, decide whether it’s better to give or receive, and either he gets eight gifts and you get one or vice versa. If you can’t agree by Saturday, then four gifts apiece, alternating nights–and may you never find yourselves in a custody battle with King Solomon as judge.

Wishing you the happiest Hanukkah jointly attainable,


Dear Judith,

My girlfriend of two years gave me a list of exactly what she wants for Hanukkah. (Not in a demanding way, I asked her what she wanted, and she’s not expecting every item on the list.) Yet in retrospect I’d rather surprise her. Isn’t that more romantic, and isn’t romance what women ultimately wish for?


Romantic Dude

Dear Romantic,

A woman who knows what she likes and a quixotic suitor with much to learn: cue the Academy Awards. Gifts should be about what the recipient wants–not what you think she should want, not what you want her to want, and definitely not a (non-sex) gift you also want/intend to partake of yourself.  I suspect when you asked your girlfriend what she desired you were hoping for a non-specific answer (“I have everything I need–love!”). Now that the list is in your hand, though, the most–the only–romantic approach is to adhere to it. Nothing more to worry about except wrapping.



P.S. For married/cohabiting folks with shared financial accounts, true romance is the gift of a frivolous splurge without fear of retribution when the bank statement arrives: i.e., a pre-paid debit card or cash.

Dear Judith,

I keep getting invited to Hanukkah parties, but I consider the Maccabee/Hasmoneans a bunch of power-hungry, bloodthirsty, fundamentalist tyrants. I guess what I want to know is, should I decline on principle, or should I get out of the house, drink a bit, and try to meet new women?


Bah Humberg

Dear Mr. Humberg,

What did you do Thanksgiving/National Day of Mourning weekend? If you ate turkey, watched football or shopped, your argument against Hanukkah falls apart. Even if it’s valid, though, meeting new women sounds wise, and holiday parties rival weddings for hooking up. So lose the growl; we all have bones to pick with this season, for singles, of exacerbated loneliness. Casual conversation is a smoother route to “mutual celebration” than angry ranting.

Eat, drink and be moderately moody,


What do you think?

About The Author

Judith Basya

Judith Basya is Heeb's Literary Editor. She writes an advice column (and an advice blog: www.asktinymom.com) so her psychology degree doesn't go to waste. If your problem can be solved in <140 characters, she's on Twitter. If it's complicated, please email Judith @ Heebmagazine.com.

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