Bringing Him Home for the Holidays
The holidays are coming up and if you’ve been with your guy for awhile you may have decided to take him home to meet your family. Thanksgiving and Christmas are times for joy but they can also be nerve-racking when your entire family is under the same roof. Personalities can clash, family feuds may surface, feelings could get hurt and right stuck in the middle of the battlefield are you and your new boyfriend. To lessen any awkward moments, here are a few tips to keep in mind before you bring him home for the holidays.
If you’ve seen the movie Meet the Parents, you saw how hard it was for Robert De Niro’s character, Jack, to warm up to Greg (Ben Stiller). If your father or mother or both have certain expectations, you might want to prep your boyfriend pre-vacation.
It isn’t anything against your parents—it’s just that for example if they’re vegan and he’s a meat eater, you might want to warn him before buying a pot roast to contribute to dinner. Or if your father is a stoic man who doesn’t like to show emotion, a small talk letting your guy know it’s nothing personal will prepare him. You both want to make a good impression on your parents and minimize any surprises.
If your parents are divorced and living in separate places, this also might be something to discuss. Driving to a bunch of different houses for the holidays is sometimes stressful. Especially if your parents have remarried and both have new children or step-children, keeping up with each person’s relationship to the other can help your guy remember who’s who.
Don’t forget to let him in on the family feuds. Asking questions about a random guy in pictures, who’s standing next to your dad and happens to be the brother he hasn’t spoken to in ten years, could jog some painful memories.
Prep Your Parents
Nothing’s more embarrassing then showing up at the door with your new boyfriend chanting, “Merry Christmas!” and your dad replies, “Boyfriend? When she get a boyfriend? Oh Lord not another one!” Before you bring your new love home, you might want to let your parents know that he’s coming. If you live in a different town, a quick background on what he does, where he’s from and how long you’ve been together can help them know at least some info before he shows up.
If there are certain subjects that you know are sensitive to discuss, letting them know ahead a time might save some uncomfortable situations. Not only prep your parents but make your siblings, aunts, cousins and grandparents aware too. You don’t want Aunt Lucinda giving him a lecture on how dropping out of medical school to pursue a film career was the biggest mistake of his life.
It’s also vital that you let your parents know how important it is that things go right — after all you wouldn’t be bringing someone home unless you were serious about him. If they know how much you care, than they’ll make the extra effort to be considerate and accommodating.
The hardest part about visiting a person’s house when you have allergies is not knowing ahead of time if they have pets or what kind of food is being served. First of all, if you do have allergies and they start acting up, not only will the moment be ruined but both parties will feel horrible.
As his hostess, it’s extremely important to make sure that he stays in a hotel if he’s allergic to cats and your family has one or a couple. Or perhaps your mom swears her pecan pie is the best in the whole town but he is allergic to nuts — these things should be worked out ahead of time to avoid possible reactions.
The website http://www.partnershipforsolutions.org, mentions how allergies are the second most common chronic condition in the United States. The sad thing about allergies is that if you’re not allergic to the same thing another person is, it might be hard for you to understand how they’re affected by it. Just make sure that if your man has gluten allergies, your mom and dad are not offended when he only eats a few lettuce leaves for Christmas dinner. Thinking in advance can save a lot of heartache.
Separate But Together
If your parents are old-fashioned, you might need to warn your boyfriend about sleeping in separate bedrooms. A funny scene in the movie, Guess Who? is when Bernie Mac’s character, Percy, insists on sleeping in the basement with his daughter’s boyfriend, Simon (Ashton Kutcher). He wants to ensure that Simon doesn’t roam around the house in the middle of the night looking for his daughter. Not only do they both sleep in the same room but in the same bed so Percy can feel it if Simon gets up. That is a bit extreme but this rule can even be enforced if you are engaged, so having a little talk beforehand can get you guys ready for a cuddle-free holiday vacation.
Also being aware of who’s staying at your parents’ house is a big deal. If you have grandparents living there and your eight siblings and their families are visiting, a hotel might be the way to go to avoid a crowded house. You don’t want your boyfriend running into your grandfather who sleepwalks in the middle of night and has flashbacks of being back in Vietnam.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
The holidays are a time to spend with loved ones but they can also be a time for surprises. If you’re thinking about bringing your boyfriend home to meet your parents, communicating ahead of time is the best way to avoid any potential issues.
Even during the vacation, things may come up—an ex-boyfriend might show up with a Christmas gift, that thirteen year-old picture of you with braces and glasses is now inside a Christmas ornament—be open and know that anything is possible. Hopefully, if something does happen, it will only add to the wonderful memories you two have started to create with your family!