Last month, Couple walked you through a few critical survival tips for any couple spending the Thanksgiving together. Well, guess what? The holidays aren’t over. This time around, we’ve got several essential hints for getting through the rest of the holiday season — Christmas/Kwanzaa/whatever you celebrate (except for Hannukah which, unfortunately, we missed) — with your loved one.
1 – Bring gifts for everyone
Unless your loved one is a Jehova’s Witness, or practices a religion that similarly eschews holiday gift-giving, it’s always nice to bring token of your affection to your loved one’s family members, especially if you’re spending the holidays with them. No need to get anything big or expensive: A book, a little trinket, or even a homemade treat will do. The idea is to show that you care, that you’re thoughtful, and that you think of these people as a part of the family.
2 – Respect unfamiliar traditions
Perhaps you and your partner practice different faiths. Perhaps you practice the same faith but in dramatically different fashions. Perhaps neither of you practice any faith whatsoever but your family traditions this time of year happen to be polar opposites. No matter. This does not have to be awkward, whether you’re spending the holidays together or apart. Just be open-minded and respectful. The holidays are a great time to learn about your loved one’s family and the things that are meaningful to them. Take it in!
3 – Do your homework
Say your loved one does practice a religion that’s different from yours, or celebrates a holiday that you don’t celebrate, and you’re rather uninformed about it all. Read up. Learn the basics about their practice so you don’t stick your foot in your mouth at an inopportune time.
At the same time, if you’re going to said loved one’s house over the holidays, you
should learn a little about the people you’ll be interacting with there. Find out what the siblings are into, learn what the parent(s) do professionally, and get a nugget or two on any grandparents or other relatives who might be in attendance. Having some context about your partner’s family members will it infinitely easier to talk to them, not to mention the fact that you’ll emerge as the veritable star of the family for being so interested and engaged.
4 – Lend a hand with the chores
Nothing beats vegging out over the holidays. But if you’re spending those holidays with a family that’s not your immediate one, it’s never a bad to help out with some of the household chores. Make your bed every day. Volunteer to help with the dishes and/or the dinner prep. No need to make yourself available for every little thing, but it’s only polite to ease the burden of cooking and cleaning on your host a bit.
Are you spending the holidays with your bf/gf and his/her family? Let us know your survival tips in the comments!