A Guide to the Holidays with Your Significant Other's Family

The holidays can be amazing, but that doesn't mean they can't also be super stressful. With gift shopping, travel plans, and seeing that one weird family member, it can often be really overwhelming. Meeting your significant other’s family or staying with them over the holiday season can only add to that stress.

But do not fret! We have compiled a list of suggestions to help your holiday with your SO’s family go from stressful to stress-less!

1. Remember why you're there!

Your SO has invited you into one of the most special times families share. Try and enjoy it as much as possible, and don’t sweat the details or the small stuff. If your SO loves you to the point of bringing you along, chances are his family will, too.

2. Bring a gift.

If you are staying with their family, a gift to show your gratitude is an awesome gesture. It can be something small like a candle or festive dish towels, or you can definitely go all out with holiday baskets. If you forget to bring something, don’t worry! Send flowers after the visit to show your appreciation. A thank you card definitely helps complete the package.

3. Try to find common ground.

Holiday parties with the fam can be weird with the different age groups and people there. Try and find common ground with friends and family you might meet to be able to talk to them. You can even ask your SO beforehand for some helpful tips and talking points that are certain to be a hit!

4. Offer to help wherever you can!

Clean up, set up, driving, cooking--whatever you feel comfortable doing, offer to help! Even the offer can go a long way. It is a great way to bond with your SO’s mom and dad, too, especially if you are helping with any meal prep or clean up. It also is great to be an active guest.

5. Talk to your SO.

Talk to your SO beforehand to get a sense of what the schedule is for the time you are with their family, topics to stay away from, family members to be aware of, everything! Remember that they are there for you through this process, too, so it is great to communicate openly about what you are comfortable with - the best way to avoid an uncomfortable situation altogether. Be honest about how you are feeling and they will help you through the rest.

6. Talk to your friends!

Chances are, your friends have dealt with or are dealing with similar anxieties when it comes to meeting SO’s family. Talk to your girlfriends about how you might be feeling and get advice from their personal experiences - they are there for you!

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