If you don’t like poop and cookies in the same post, leave now.
Have you left yet?
Okay. Those of you who stayed, you’re awesome. Moving on!
Let’s talk present etiquette. This goes without saying because of the whole big gift-giving-and-exchanging shindig in um, SIX DAYS!! (Seriously, where did the time go?! Not that I’m complaining… I have a bunch of presents signed to an ‘H’ under the tree.)
But some people just don’t understand gift-giving and/or receiving etiquette, so I decided to be nice and make this guide. See? Those presents under my tree for me? Totally deserved for my generous acts of charity.
1. If you’re not one of those overly enthusiastic present receivers, DON’T feel bad. Conversely, if you make people feel awkward for not getting excited, shut up. I say this because I’m the former, and it’s sooooper awkward when I’m opening gifts and I’ve said my “oh man, this is so awesome/cool/cute/pretty/neat; THANK YOU!” and put my present down and the giver says something like, “what, you don’t like it?/you don’t seem too excited…/wow, I thought you’d say more/look at Hayley, she’s onto the next present/you must not care” etc. No, in fact, that’s not the case at all, unless I’ve been gifted something awful like chewed-up earrings, which yes, I have been gifted, thanks for asking! It’s just that some people don’t act like crazed baboons on crack when we’re receiving gifts… and our simple comments and thank yous is all we need to say. Take it at face value; we’re truly appreciative–and move on. And if you’re like me, don’t channel your inner crazed baboon on crack. It’s never an attractive look.
2. Speaking of chewed-up earrings, if you’re going to gift something “used” or “vintage”, make sure it doesn’t look it. As I mentioned, I have been the (un)lucky recipient of chewed-up earrings gifted from a person whom I will not mention to protect the innocent. This is weird because 1) I do not have my ears pierced, nor have they been pierced for oh, fifteen years; and 2) like most stylish young women these days I’m not a huge fan of something previously owned, especially if said previously owned item was previously ingested, possibly digested, and more than likely regurgitated by a small chihuahua. If I had pierced ears, I’d buy my studs at Claire’s, not from the psycho cat lady down the street for 5 cents. There were BITE MARKS in the earrings, people. Keep your vintage; I’m going to Tiffany’s.
3. Also, if you’re regifting something, make sure you do it on the sly. Whenever I receive awkward presents from someone that I don’t care for, I’ll keep it discreet. That way I can (possibly) easily regift it if needed. If I go around telling everyone what so-and-so got me, it makes it harder to pass off that funky-smelling body lotion or dangly charm bracelet to another unsuspecting friend or relative who may appreciate something of that nature. And please, don’t regift things that have been personalized, like the book I once got with someone else’s name and holiday greeting written inside. I’m not Annie, and I do not want a Christmas wish from Grandma Dolores. This is weird.
4. Even if you HATE something, channel your inner Oscar-winning-monologue and fake that “thank you.” I’ve received plenty of awful gifts in my day (see #2) but I always pretend to be nice about those presents where you’re secretly thinking, “thanks, but really, you DIDN’T have to.” In the cases where I’ve received pants where the giver didn’t know if they were navy or black, or when I received a jewelry box with dirt in the inner corners (yup) I just fake it with a “oh, these are nice. Thank you” or “I really like the gold trim on this (dirty) jewelry box. You shouldn’t have.” Don’t go all crazed-crack baboon (see #1) because that instills to the giver that you actually LOVE jewelry boxes with dirt in them and encourages them to scour more sordid alleyway garage sales for more disgusting presents.
5. And if you have those people in your family who bring up presents-past whenever they get a chance, just pretend you know exactly what they’re talking about. Remember when I mentioned that wacko relative bunking in my bed a few weeks ago? Said relative happens to be one of those who will ask you about something she got you years ago and expect you to still have it. “Well of COURSE I still have that sparkly pink onesie you bought me for my six month birthday! I wear it on special occasions; did you even have to ask?!”
Ultimately, your relatives are probably just as crazy as mine and you’re probably bound to get one (or two, if you’re super lucky) awkward presents under that decked-out tree on the same awful scale as my regurged gold studs. But don’t worry–while you can’t return them for store credit, pass them off to your frenemy or wear them (you wouldn’t, would you?) you CAN laugh at the sometimes-awkwardness the holidays have to offer. Just don’t laugh like that crazed baboon… please. Don’t.
In the meantime, did you know reindeers poop? I don’t know why you wouldn’t know; it totally makes sense since they’re real-life animals and stuff. What, did you just think they held it in during their world-wide present-dropping rounds? I don’t think soooo..
My mom informed me (yesterday) that she’s a huge fan of these cookies, usually known as Chinese Chews. They’re unique cookies made with chow mein noodles, which you can find at your local supermarket in the Asian foods aisle. You mix the noodles with melted chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch chips… you name it. I decided to call these Reindeer Drops because they’re festive, thanks to the Christmas-y M&M’s I sprinkled in and on top of them. And they’re no bake and a cinch to whip up, so you’ll have plenty of time to craft your perfect response when you get a weirdo present.
Got your game face ready? Good.
Ready to eat something I named after poop? Whatevz, it’s all in good fun. And I gave you the chance to bail out, so it’s too late now.
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups chow mein noodles
2 cups Christmas M&M’s (you could also sub Christmas peanut butter M&M’s which I mysteriously could not find but originally wanted)
1. Lay wax paper in a single layer on baking sheets or a flat surface, like your counter.
2. In a large saucepan, bring together the peanut butter and both chips and melt over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once PB and chips have melted, stir in the chow mein noodles and one cup of the M&M’s, tossing to coat completely.
3. Using your greased hands (honestly, it works the best) drop small handfuls of the melted noodle mixture onto the wax paper, regreasing your hands if necessary (this is a totally sticky messy process, btw). Immediately sprinkle remaining M&M candies on top for a pretty look. Allow these to harden and set up, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container.
I’m loving the sweet-yet-salty butterscotch-y crunch these cookies have, and the red & green M&M’s make them extra pretty and less, well… you know.
I hope you all have an awesome Monday!