Hopefully it won’t be your first Christmas with your partner’s family and the first time you are meeting the family, but either way—the tips below will help.
Learn The Details
If you haven’t yet, learn the names and basic details of every family member. This includes any hot button topics to avoid, who doesn’t get along well, and the overall family dynamics. Look at photo albums and Facebook photos to help learn who is who before you arrive. This alone will calm your nerves.
Even if there is a gift exchange, be sure to bring a hostess gift, like baked goods, a plant, flowers, wine, or an NA holiday beverage—like sparkling cider. Dress to impress but make sure you aren’t overdressed. Be yourself, but you on your best behavior. Offer to help, but don’t overdo it. Come prepared with a few specific questions about the people you want to get to know best. Like how their kids are doing in soccer, the details of their upcoming Italian vacation, or to learn a bit more about their career or interests.
Have A Safe Space
Don’t feel bad about staying in a hotel or Airbnb as it gives you some time away to relax. If you are staying in the family home, don’t be shy about sneaking away for a few minutes to recharge. You can also take a walk around the block or call your family to wish them a Merry Christmas.
It might be a bit stressful the first year, but these tips will help!