This Christmas, some of you may be meeting the parents of your significant other for the first time. It can be nerve racking! The desire to impress is at it’s highest. There is usually nothing more you want than the blessing of the family. Oh, the pressure!
When I met Danny’s parents, it was indeed Christmas time. I loved them from the second they picked me up at the airport. They just embraced me and treated me like their own. One little problem: I couldn’t speak! Haha. I had just been in AZ with my family where 5 people had laryngitis. And sure enough, by the time I got to UT, I had it, too. The night I arrived, the entire family gathered to greet me and everyone sat around the living room to talk. I did my best to converse with them. But I was certainly self conscious about my voice and also just felt horrible to not be in good health on such a momentous occasion. It still went very well and they were all just amazing. Though a lot of my time there involved drinking hot tea and eating satsumas. It was the first time I was sick since meeting Danny, and he took the very best care of me. 🙂
Here’s a bit of advice for meeting the parents (I wish I had done many of these. Easier to think of things after the fact.)
1. Remember it’s only ONE meeting. You will have other opportunities to interact with them and get to know them. Don’t feel as though all the pressure needs to be on this one night. Just focus on being yourself for the first hour. The rest will work itself out.
2. The family you are meeting are probably jittery, too. Go into the situation thinking that you want to ease their nervousness. It will help you to forget about your own. 🙂
3. Bring a small gift! I think it would be nice to bring something personal. i.e. It could be something that you love that you’d want to share with them, or something you made, or something from the area you live in…something with a story. It’s a way for them to get to know you better.
4. Use the language of love 🙂 – Express how much good you hear about them (if that’s the case :). Express gratitude for them welcoming you into their home. Express appreciation for their hospitality as no doubt they have been cleaning the home like crazy, thinking about what to wear, and planning menus and activities.
5. Practice the family’s names in advance. Write them down and review them on the plane (I totally did this on my way to Utah).
6. Bring a couple of recipes you might be able to make during the holidays. Perhaps a recipe from your family’s archives, or something that is one of your own specialties.
7. If you have any fun photos laying around of you and your significant other, bring them along. They would probably love to see them and there’s always a story behind a photo, so it’s a nice way to start a conversation.
8. Be prepared to tell them a bit about your own family. They’ll likely love to hear about them. Share some of your own family traditions, etc.
9. Jump in to help in the kitchen.
10. If you need it, arrange at least one date night out alone with your significant other. It’s nice to reconnect, to have a break if you need it. Though in my case, I’d prefer to bring along my in-laws! 🙂
11. Send a thank you note after you return. I’m horrible at this, but it is such a wonderful gesture.
|(Love this collection of cards by Shanna Murray, via Design Sponge.)
Are any of you meeting the parents soon?? Good luck, you’ll be awesome, I am sure. And, any entertaining or memorable ‘meet-the-parents’ moments you’d like to share?
(top image via)
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