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Dear Deya Direct:

My boyfriend of 10 months is an amazing man and the father of two.  I really love him and I think we have a bright future together but, because he has to pay such high child-support and buy gifts for his kids, even though he makes good money, he’s basically on a fixed income.

I know it’s hard for him right now and he let me know that he’s not in a financial position to buy me a gift this year.  Here’s the thing, Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love gifts.  I know it may seem shallow, but I’m really struggling with this one.

Signed, Xmas Baby

Xmas Baby, I feel your struggle.  So many people, especially women, have an emotional attachment to holidays that outweigh any logic. Like you, I love Christmas and all the traditions that go along with it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the lights, decorations, songs and sales. At the same time, the true spirit of Christmas has been pimped into a commercial holiday about getting stuff instead of the sacred holiday that emphasizes the love, sacrifice and giving spirit of Christ.  Let me give you some Deya Direction if I may.

•    Deya Directive 1: The first question to consider: why is he your sweetie in the first place? In other words, what are the qualities that you like/love about him? List the top five qualities that he has which makes him a good love interest.  If those top five qualities outweigh your need for a gift for one day of the week, then don’t lose your love over a holiday that’s been commercialized, and puts pressure on people beyond what they can afford.  After all, a bottle of perfume can’t keep you warm at night, make you laugh, or wipe your tears away.

•    Deya Directive 2:  Be honest. Be honest with yourself and with him about how you really feel. As shallow as it may be, if this is a deal breaker for you, then you have to own it and don’t settle. If you do, you may eventually resent him. Because guess what? His kids aren’t going anywhere.

•    Deya Directive 3: Respect. Remember that he had kids before he met you. You should respect the fact that he’s being honest and upfront with you about his situation. Moreover, respect that he’s a man that is serious about taking care of his responsibility.Think about it. If the two of you had kids, wouldn’t you want him to honor his children regardless of the women that enter his life?

Finally, Xmas Baby, I’ve got to keep it real DIRECT with you. You are staying true to your name and acting like a BABY. All relationships require some understanding and compromise at some point.  If you only want to be with him when things are easy, then you have to ask yourself, do I really want to be with him or do I just want him to do what I want him to do when I want him to do it?

Trust me, there are plenty of men out there who can give you gifts, but that doesn’t mean they’ll give you their heart. If in fact you have his heart and he has yours, then cherish that because TRUE LOVE is the gift that keeps on giving! Nevertheless, I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that he’ll consider that this is an important holiday for you and do something thoughtful to demonstrate he cares, even if it’s non-monetary.

Deya “Direct” Smith is a lead producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of Girlfriend FM & Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews. She is also the best-selling author of Touch Yourself, 30 Ways to Live, Love and Let Go (!  Deya is a life-changing coach, writer and speaker. If you have a question about life, love or relationships email

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7 thoughts on “DEAR DEYA: What If Your Sweetheart Can’t Afford to Get You a Christmas Present?

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  2. The first thing that I want to say to the female’s that have entered this discussion is first of all, Christmas is not your birthday, so why are you expecting something. How would you feel if on your birthday, everyone received a present except you. I would also like to say that you are very shallow if you cannot think yourself through this one then you should do him a favor and let him find someone a little more mature who is not opposite of the children, yet who would be thinking of his children. Women surely have a double standard, if this was a woman talking about putting their children first before some man they were dating, women would be saying that he is not worth it, take care of your children, do not get him anything, but because this is some shallow woman, your counsel is for her to get all she can and kick him to the curb if he cannat get her what she wants. Jesus is the reason for the season, you should be more worried about what you are going to give him, rather than what you can get. Oh I forgot, we did identify you as shallow, so how can we expect you to think that far. I apologize my bad!!!!!

  3. If you date a real man who has children, you will never be first. Why put yourself in that position if not getting a gift on Christmas is enough to send you to therapy? Date single childless men. That way if you don’t get a Christmas gift, you really would have something to cry about. But when there are children, it will always be about them. IF you have a real man.

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