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Life > Experiences

Surviving Your Boyfriend’s Family During the Holidays

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

It’s your first time at your boyfriend’s huge extended family holiday celebration. You do not know what to wear, what to say, or if you should be bringing something with you. This is a big step in your relationship, and you want to make a good impression. You are understandably nervous.

It is very intimidating to be the new face at a big family event; you want to be liked and come out unscathed. Looking back on my experiences, I definitely would have done a few things differently, but also I know I did well in some aspects.

One area that is very important, especially for the holidays, is bringing the host a gift. This is something that will be seen as mature and very kind. Bringing a host gift will make the family member holding the event feel very appreciated; this will make a great impression on the other family members as well. The gift can be something as simple as a cute holiday-themed serving dish or a set of hot cocoa mugs. I did this, and it was very well received.

Another thing to keep in mind at your boyfriend’s family holiday party is interacting with other family members. You may want to cling to your boyfriend, as he is the only person there you know well, but this is not going to work. He will want to talk to other family members, and you will feel like a lost puppy following him around everywhere. Once he introduces you to a couple of other members of the family, talk to them! Do not be shy and ask them questions about themselves. Maybe bring up some sort of current event or story—just make small talk.

Now, for what to wear: you should dress more on the modest side. This means avoiding ripped jeans and anything that is extremely revealing. Since the weather is turning a bit cooler, a simple sweater, skirt, tights, and boots are something you can never go wrong with. You want to dress up a bit to make a good impression. By doing so, you will feel more confident and comfortable in what you are wearing.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you will be okay! This is not a high-pressure interview, and you should remain calm. Just go in with confidence and be yourself. It will all fall into place.

Heather is a sophomore at Rutgers University majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a specialization in Global Media, and minoring in Business and Technical Writing. Besides writing, she enjoys binging true crime documentaries, baking cookies, and walking along scenic trails. IG: @heathersuraci