Ask Natalie: To gift or not to gift, that is the question

“Dear Natalie,

My friend is in a relationship with a guy I, quite frankly, hate. He’s rude to her, he’s a douche to everyone, he treats her like crap and she doesn’t seem to see it. I want to say something, but I don’t want to put her in a situation where she feels like she has to choose me or him, especially since I don’t know if she would actually pick me. What should I do? Say something or no?”

These are one of those cases where you have to find out where your friend is right now. If she’s super in love with this guy, chances are that unless she’s come to you before asking about him, anything you say is probably only going to just make her feel like you're attacking her relationship. Which, even though you might want to, probably isn’t the best move. 

Of course, if she’s in any kind of abusive situation, you should intervene. 

If it’s really just him being an asshat, then let her know you’re always here if she wants to and that you’re not sure you like how he treats her. Keep it in more of a concerned tone rather than an accusatory. If she knows you care about her and that you have some concerns, it might help her realize her relationship isn’t what she should call healthy. 

You don’t want her to feel like she has to pick, so at least try to be civil to the guy. I’m not saying you have to be friends with him — just maybe a hello when you see him and no conversations needed. If you keep an eye on the relationship and make sure it doesn’t go into the realm of abusive, she should realize it as time goes on. If she starts to pull away from everyone but him, please, please talk to her. 

“It’s December! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! How do I fully enjoy this amazing season without pissing off my roommates and friends?”

Oh the fantastic season of snow, happiness and holiday cheer. It’s the one season where generally everyone gets caught up in the lights, the songs and the non-stop holiday movies. It’s a season that’s gone beyond so much of its origins and is now a beautiful mess of top-notch marketing, snow and the feeling you get when you receive a compliment from a stranger. Ahh, it’s my favourite holiday.

In order to not piss off your friends and family, bake your holiday love into cookies and food. The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. 

Sure my house might look like Santa’s elves got drunk and went crazy with fairy lights, paper and glitter, but my roommates are happy because I feed them gingerbread. It might seem like I’m the witch from Hansel and Gretel, but I swear that I’m not. I just like gingerbread.

“Dear Natalie,

Do I have to get this girl I’m seeing a gift for Christmas? We’ve only been going out for like a few months, but we’re not serious or at least we’re not official. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m super attached, but I don’t want to not get her anything if I’m supposed to.” 

Come on. This is Christmas, not the anniversary of your first adult sleepover. She’s not going to run for the hills if you get her something small. If you get her something like a ring or anything over $10, you’re probably reaching the limits of what anyone would find comfortable getting after a few months. Keep it to something small, like a cute mug or some cookies, and you’ll show you’re into her but not “too” interested. If you’re not interested at all, don’t get her anything. It’s not a big deal.

“Dear Natalie,

I love me some rain, but this is getting crazy! How to survive?”

Raincoat, umbrella, scarves, mittens, hot cocoa and that sweet, sweet knowledge that without this rain Vancouver would not be as gorgeous as it is. Come spring, we’ll all be rolling around in the green of Vancouver and we’ll remember the rain fondly. 

Need advice? Contact Natalie anonymously at or at and have your questions answered!