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If neither of you is making much money, agree to do something inexpensive, like going to a bookstore and buying each other a novel or a volume of poetry.
Do Christmas Eve with his folks, and spend the day of the 25th with yours, or lunch with one clan and dinner with the other.
What's more, your relatives might be weird or annoying or simply not his speed. Not sure if you two are serious enough to buy each other gifts? Talk about it rather than tiptoeing around the issue.
Your mother — whom everyone thinks you look so much like — may be aging very poorly, your father could be the kind of jackass no one would ever want to be in a restaurant with, and so on. Ask if he thinks exchanging gifts would be fun — and, of course, tell him how you feel.
if she will leave the peppering to the salad dressing.
Let him know about anything he can do to earn easy brownie points.
If he has trouble pacing himself, suggest that he commit to having two glasses of water — or three — for every alcoholic beverage.