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Decoding holiday gifts, invitations and more

Chrissy Callahan is the Contributing Beauty Editor for SheKnows and helps manage the Beauty & Love sites' content. Before joining SheKnows, Chrissy freelanced for a variety of different websites and covered everything from NY Fashion Wee...

WTF?

Some of life’s biggest mysteries come about during the holiday season. Just think about it: What in the world does that gift you got from your boss mean? And why did your honey invite you to that last minute party? Instead of wasting time figuring out what all these holiday mysteries mean, check out our handy guide. We consulted Maria Sutton, a highly trained former Federal investigator, to help you decode all the odd scenarios you might run into this season and we’re dishing all the details!

Woman unhappy with gift from husband

What exactly does that gift you received from your boss mean?

So you just unwrapped your holiday gift from your boss and it's just a little bit strange, huh? Before jumping to conclusions, take a step back from the situation, Sutton says. "One of the things I've learned as an investigator and researcher is never jump to conclusions, and ask a lot of questions before you make up your mind about the meaning of something."

Decode the situation

"Let's presume the boss is male and gives you something personal, such as intimate apparel. That is definitely not a politically correct thing to do, and the boss could very likely get a sexual harassment complaint filed against him, unless your boss happens to be your husband. The message in a gift of intimate apparel, whether it's from a male or female, is: I want sex. So whether your boss is male, female or your husband, the message is sex, sex and more sex. One caveat -- if your boss is your mother, the message in getting underwear is 'Always wear clean underwear in case you get into an accident.'"

"Most bosses will give the same gift to everyone: Extra cash, a gift certificate to a favorite hangout, a fruit basket or fruitcake. If your boss singles you out for something not equal to what everyone else got, that's when he or she is sending you a message. If your gift is more expensive, it could simply mean you do better work than most; if considerably less, you might want to start looking for another job."

How early did your significant other ask you about New Year's Eve plans? What does it mean?

If your significant other didn't invite you to a New Year's Eve party until the last minute, it obviously means you're his/her last resort, right? Not necessarily, Sutton says.

Decode the situation

"Some people are just oblivious to time. They get busy with stuff and before they know it, time has slipped away from them, or, every time they wanted to ask you, the conversation got away from them and ended before they got around to asking you. I know I can be that way -- especially around the holidays with all the shopping, cards and decking the halls with boughs of holly. Don't overanalyze everything, and if you don't have plans for New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, then go for it and forget the meaning behind a late invitation."

What does that ridiculous gift from your man mean?

So your hubby bought you a gift that made you want to laugh or cry... or both. If your guy bought you something totally out of your range of interests, there has got to be some kind of hidden message there, right? Not necessarily.

Decode the situation

"The holiday season brings great expectations for gifts that take your breath away and magical parties. The secret to keeping your sanity and not feeling let down is to don't over-analyze everyone or everything or what you got (or didn't get) as a gift. Men are not good shoppers and by nature can be clueless when it comes to giving gifts. A good example is my husband gave me a CB radio as a gift, on the premise I had made the innocuous statement that they were interesting. His face beamed when he gave it to me, thinking I would be overjoyed. I knew it had been a gift from the heart, so I didn't show my disappointment, although after New Year's I gently asked him if it could be exchanged. The secret to having fond memories of the holidays is to not take things too seriously."

More Holidays

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OPI's Muppet Holiday collection
The lip lover's gift guide

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