By SMF Marcus Osborne for

It’s well documented that the holidays are the toughest time of the year for millions of people. ¬†Depression rates skyrocket because people confront various personal demons and/or a multitude of interpersonal crises.

This got me to thinking about the myriad of ways the holidays can be ruined when you’re in a relationship. ¬†I sat down with one of my partners at, Matt Staudt, and we came up with a pretty strong list of 8. ¬†Now, once we’d finished the list, with perhaps a couple of exceptions, it was clear that men and women probably aren’t that different when it comes to this topic. ¬†You be the judge.

1. Not “Keeping It Real:¬† Don’t be coy about your excitement surrounding the holidays. ¬†Let’s not pretend like it’s not a big deal when it really is a big deal. ¬†Don’t say, “Oh, the holidays don’t really matter to me” and then when your guy decides to boycott the commercialism of the holidays by boycotting your gift – don’t get mad!

2. Being shallow:¬†Your guy has gotten you a gift. ¬†The correct and proper response is “Thank You.” ¬†Don’t be the woman whose holiday cheer is grounded in the price tag of said gift. ¬†Hey look, the economy is in the tank. ¬†Remember it’s the thought that counts (allegedly) so try to be appreciative. ¬†This shouldn’t need to be said – but unfortunately this is one holiday tenet we often forget. ¬†Whether he got the gift off of Ebay, the clearance rack, or Tiffany’s – he got it for you. ¬†Of course if he spent 20 bucks on your gift but buys himself a two-thousand dollar flatscreen there may be reason to gripe.

Related: Why the Holidays Are Dicey When It Comes to Dating

3. Don’t Take Him Shopping:¬† This is clich√© but absolutely on point. ¬†Shopping is mostly recreational for women. ¬†For guys not so much. ¬†There are few experiences less thrilling than standing around department stores for two hours. ¬†Although it seems that many stores have gotten hip to the man’s waiting game dilemma by setting up “man areas” where there’s mens magazines and a couch for the guys who happen to be in shopping purgatory.

4. Pulling Out The Baggage:¬† We’ve all got our personal “stuff.” ¬†The holidays sometimes dredges up old feelings about an ex or some other notable experience from your past. ¬†You may feel an intense urge to bring those issues up while we’re decorating the Christmas tree. ¬†Please resist that urge. ¬†Let’s talk about it after New Year’s Day. ¬†This is supposed to be the season of joy. ¬†Save the baggage for a trip.

Related: 3 Mistakes Women Make in the Bedroom

5. Selfish Hint Gifts:¬† Oh you don’t know what “hint gifts” are? ¬†You’ve been telling me to lose weight for the last six months. ¬†Christmas morning you give me a gift card for one free round of liposuction. ¬†“Hint Gift.” ¬†I’ve been out of work for 6 months, Christmas morning you hand me a ribbon-wrapped Starbucks application. ¬†Hint gift. ¬†Big no-no.

Related: What to Wear to Meet His Family

6: Don’t Hate On Dinner: ¬†You may not like his mom’s cooking. ¬†Suck it up and keep it in. ¬†There are no winners in that game. ¬†Unless you’re planning a break up that night, let it go and keep that opinion to yourself at least until the holidays are over.

7. Holiday Break Up: Pretty self-explanatory.

8. Dying: Yeah, this is a pretty dark thought but also pretty self-explanatory.  Actually, this particular one has been known to be a downer all year-round.

Ok, your turn….your worst holiday break up or near break up story.  Share!