TODAY | December 09, 2012
>>> this morning on "today's countdown to the holidays" we are tackling your awkward dilemmas. it's that time of year for parties and gift-giving and awkwardness, politics, family feuds can lead to sticky situations. philip galanes of "social qs" how to survive the quagmires of today. good morning, glad to have you here. we'll get right into this one with a viewer e-mail from teresa in chicago "i'm engaged and getting married next fall. we want to keep the wedding very small. this christmas we'll be seeing a lot of my family, many of whom we do not plan on inviting to the wedding. if the subject of the wedding comes up, details are discussed, should i make it clear they're not invited or just gloss it over and not mention specifics."
>> clarity is so important so i think you tell them we're having a very small wedding but a great thing to do is to have a party with the family later, so we'll celebrate together, do something together but not --
>> no way. i say you say that it's a tiny wedding, you move along. you don't talk about the guest list, you don't talk about anything.
>> absolutely, i agree with you.
>> because think about it, how much do you want to hear about a party you're not invited to. i see willie welling up and he's not even a member of the family.
>> i'm never invited so i can speak from experience. i'm with you, hariette, you got to take it head-on, because things where people are whispering behind each other's backs.
>> tiny is the watch word.
>> next one is a viewer video. let's take a look.
>> i get lots of christmas cards from other families. all of a sudden the card comes in from a family that's not really inner circle . do i have to now send a card from my family to them to reciprocate?
>> that's a good one. you get this a lot every holiday, ooh, i didn't send them one.
>> a christmas card is not like an invoice, pay on demand. it doesn't need to be --
>> are you sure?
>> doesn't need to be reciprocated. if you like the folks go for it. one caveat that really comes into my mailbox, if you're going to send christmas cards , write three or four words personally.
>> not just the actual card.
>> otherwise it feels like you're getting a mass mailing.
>> cute pictures myself kids on a card, do i still have to write something?
>> yes, love erica .
>> hey, you wanted to have kids. it's on your plate.
>> you've been asking to borrow my kids, lady.
>> it's like you're spamming people.
>> you don't have to send a card if you've received, you say thank you. thank you is so underrated.
>> wait, can you send an ecard if you get a real card?
>> and then erica can type in a few, merry, here are the kids this year.
>> she doesn't have time for that.
>> people loo w.h.o. liho like ecards and appreciate them.
>> know your audience. dylan is outside on the plaza, another question from someone from the crowd.
>> ali from davidson, north carolina about regifting.
>> what if the person you gave the regift to likes the present but wants it in a different size so they ask for the gift receipt?
>> oh, that's a really good question.
>> this is why you shouldn't give clothing unless -- sometimes not even to your family, you just say i don't have the receipt, i'm so sorry.
>> ali is probably a little young to watch clint eastwood but when it comes to regifting it's very "are you feeling lucky?" i don't care about clothing. they can have read the book, they can already have that quasi-pen, but if you can help a gift that can't be traced back find a happy home, go for it.
>> it's such an awkward thing. i feel like don't touch the whole concept of regifting because somehow, some way it will be a "seinfeld" moment and it will come back to you.
>> clothing in general is a tough gift i think. it's just a tough thing.
>> more importantly make sure you inspect it like a csi investigator to get the original christmas card out of there.
>> you don't want it inscribed to somebody else.
>> make sure it doesn't say 2011 on it.
>> like erica h. 2011 .
>> it's almost described like a drug transaction, make sure you can't trace it back.
>> happy holidays , right?