The holidays may seem like the least spirit-raising time for the deed to go down, but it can actually be a lot easier on the nerves. Sure, there may be a ton of his extended family around, but they’ll all be catching up and joining in will feel a lot less forced when everyone hasn’t seen each other for a while. There will also be lots of distractions – cooking to do, presents to unwrap, toasts to be made, etc. Awkward silences are few around this time of year. Here are some pointers for making a good first impression with his family around the holidays.
Bring a gift. A bottle of wine for dinner if nice. If they don’t drink, bring an ornament for their tree or some homemade cookies. It’s a nice gesture in exchange for inviting you into their home.
Do offer to help with dinner. Making yourself handy will give you something to do and his mom / dad will appreciate the help. This may feel like a bold move because it means one on one time in the kitchen. If you’re nervous about it, remember that chances are, the main thing on their mind is making Christmas dinner everything it should be, which pretty much demands all your attention. They’re probably not even thinking about grilling you about your intentions.
Be a good girl. If you’re staying over, no hanky panky whatsoever. That means wearing full length pyjamas! Don’t assume you’ll be sleeping in the same bed. Being a good girl goes for all other times you’re under their roof, too. No thigh rubbing, neck kissing or whispering. If you and your man regularly show your affection, keep it to hand holding and maybe a quick peck here and there. His parents don’t want to see (or hear) anything more.
Talk. You’re trying to be polite and respectful, but don’t let that make you be completely silent. Be chatty and outgoing, and make jokes. Answer and ask questions. Be yourself. His parents might feel as awkward as you do about the meeting. They’re humans too, not scary parent-robots.
Do some research ahead of time. If you’re sitting beside Aunt June, it’ll be handy to have her back story so you can strike up a conversation about some common ground. You’ll want to look like you’re not only participating in what’s happening, but that you’re having a good time. Also: before you meet, ask your man how you should address his parents.
Don’t get drunk. Even if everyone in the family is getting sauced, don’t just join right in. You never know when someone is going to ask you about your career aspirations or education. Good luck trying to sound / feel smart and capable when you’re slurring your words. If you drink, partake of a few beverages, but be prepared at all times, to rise to the occasion of participating in discussion.