It's officially, holiday season so that means work parties, friendsgiving and lots of family time! For many, this holiday season may be the first time you are spending the holidays with your partner’s family — or them with yours. Meeting the family can be extremely exciting, nerve-wracking, and often times, hilarious times. Here, I will share 4 tips for meeting the folks along with a few funny personal recollection of my first meeting of the Londons.
1. Never Show up Empty Handed
Being the southern belle I am, my mom always taught me the importance of bringing something to show that I am appreciative of someone opening their home to me. Now, nobody expects you to show up with some huge, expensive gift. However, whatever you do, don't show up empty-handed. I recommend running by your local liquor store for a nice bottle of wine, dessert, or bouquet of flowers. First time I met Richie's parents, I brought a little piece of Texas with me to New Jersey. I made a cute little Texas souvenir bag filled with home state goodies including my favorite cooking seasoning. Whatever you decide to bring, keep it simple and use it as a way to say "thanks for having me" and don't show up empty handed.
This is my favorite wine company to bring to a host; it's not super expensive and has great flavor.
2. Remain calm & Don't fall down a flight of Stairs
Ok, this is a true story. First time I met Richie's parents I was extremely nervous, so much so that when I was going down the stairs to say "hello" to his dad I feel all the way down the stairs. When I say fall, I mean from the very top of the stairs to the last step. Everyone was so concerned but of course I tried to play it off with "I'm good". Meanwhile, my neck was temporarily cocked to the side throughout dinner. I did try and make light of it all with a "I'm suing you" joke. We all laughed it off and it instantly became a funny memory. So with that being said, try and calm yourself down; your neck will thank you later.
3. Offer to Help Out
The last thing you want anyone to ever think is that you are lazy. Show your respect for them playing host by pitching in. You can help out by offering washing dishes and tidying up, even if they refuse you still offered. This is key because it also shows that you're a willing participant in the family dynamics. Even a simple task like clearing the table, can show that you are a team player and want to join the family, as well as that you appreciate and acknowledge the work it takes into preparing for the event.
4. Go with the Flow
Their holiday traditions are probably not the same as yours, and to avoid disappointment, don't expect them to be either. For instance, I remember one of the first Thanksgivings Richie spent with my family, he expected to wake up late, chill in his comfortable attire, snuggle up to the TV for a afternoon of football and then eat dinner, all while going in an out of naps throughout the day. Well, my family couldn't be more drastically different, including our schedule, different dress code, activities, food and atmosphere. Our Thanksgiving usually includes my sisters and I showing up to my parents house later in the afternoon, dressed as if we are attending a major event. Dinner is served and after we clean the kitchen, the entire family attends a family friends' annual Thanksgiving party filled with a night of dancing and whiskey. This was a major adjustment for Rich but he has learned to go with the flow, keep an open mind and enjoy himself. You never know how much fun something can be, or how good something can taste, and how wonderful other families' traditions can be, so have an open mind and heart.
Have any funny meet-the-family stories? Tip? I would love to hear, leave a comment!