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4 (and a half) tips for meeting your in-laws for the first time this Christmas

4 (and a half) tips for meeting your in-laws for the first time this Christmas


Written by Katie Byrne


About to spend your first Christmas with your partner's family - and not sure what to expect? Be prepared for anything with these pointers...

Do your research in advance

Know who's going to be attending. Have you met them before? If not, who are they, why are they important to your fiancé and how can you get to know them over the holidays? Get your partner to explain the nitty-gritty: who's who, where they're coming from, what they do... Nope, you don't need to cram in the details like you're revising for an exam but it will give you a rough heads-up on who you'll be spending Christmas with.

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Also ask your partner if there's anything obvious you need to know: things to bring up, things to definitely not bring up, relationship issues you should be aware of and so on. Doing a bit of prior preparation should hopefully mean both you and the various family members gathered around the Christmas Day dinner table will be spared the risk of any red faces or awkward explanations as to why, exactly, Uncle David and Auntie Sheila aren't talking at the moment. 

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Don't be afraid to get involved

Offer to help with the cooking, ask questions at breakfast, volunteer to take the dogs for a walk, debate with cousin Becky about the pros and cons of Instagram... In short, make yourself a part of the action. 

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Get to know everyone

By which we mean from your love's elderly grandparents all the way through to their adorable toddler niece. Make time for each and every person who will be there - because as well as you getting to know them, don't forget they'll want to get to know you, too.

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Don't be afraid to swerve people

That said, if your partner has given you a warning about a specific family member, don't be afraid to, er, dodge them. Forming your own opinions is, of course, vital, but if you only have a limited amount of time, spend it focussed on the people who you could strike up a meaningful relationship with.

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Oh - and finally! Bring a gift

'Tis the season and all, and we imagine you and #bae will have already sorted Christmas presents for whoever's hosting - be it parents, aunts and uncles, etc. However, bring something a little extra: your favourite wine, for example, which can be shared on Christmas Eve, or a box of chocolates. Just a little extra something to say thank you for hosting over the holidays. 


meeting your partner's familywedding planningchristmas family politics




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