Trends

10 things to know before meeting the parents over the holidays

Author: Elle Canada

Trends

10 things to know before meeting the parents over the holidays

1. Know your audience.

what-to-wear-to-meet-the-parents.jpg

Universal Pictures and Dreamworks LLC

 This is especially critical in determining the course of your very first greeting—do you shake hands or go for a European-style cheek kiss? (Note: two for Italians, three for Swiss.) You want to avoid a whole LeBron James-meets-royalty situation and blindside your girlfriend’s mother with a bear hug when she’s going in for a polite handshake.


2. Dress the part.

love-actually-parents.jpg

 Universal

What? I always wear a cardi over my dress shirt while reading the Times. And my legs just cross this way naturally. This is what’s also known as marriage material, friends.

MUST READ: Top 10 classic Christmas movies

3. Come bearing gifts.

santa-clause-parents.jpg

 Walt Disney Pictures

Alcohol and chocolates are perfectly acceptable options for your host. Bonus points if you can show up with something personal. Also: will there be children on hand? Children never forget the boyfriend who showed up empty-handed and ruined Christmas for all (the stakes are this high).

4. Eat the food.

elf-parents.jpg

 New Line Cinema

Now’s not the time to take up a new no-sugar-gluten-free-green-juice cleanse. Unless there are pre-existing allergy or dietary concerns—in which case, your S.O. would have hopefully passed along that helpful info beforehand—the answer to “would you like to try my Bundt cake?” is always yes. (Sorry.)

GALLERY: 25 prettiest holiday party dresses

5. Stay out of sibling rivalries.

charlie-brown-parents.jpg

 Lee Mendelson Film Productions

 You are up against an age-old family feud of which you have neither the history nor ammunition to compete. Back away to the nearest dessert tray (stuff face with cookies when asked for input).

6. Make friends with their pet.

grinch-parents.jpg

 Universal Pictures

 And just hope they’re dog people (cats will invariably see right through you).

7. Be prepared—for anything.

scrooged-parents.jpg

 Paramount Pictures

 You will be grilled. And it may not even be intentional, but the sizing-up of your sense of humor/career prospects/entire being will be an enjoyable family pastime this Christmas. Have a few engaging yet tasteful personal anecdotes on hand.

8. Keep banter light and impersonal.

bridget-jones-parents.jpg

Miramax Films

That said, as the eggnog flows and you grow more comfortable in your surroundings, continue to be mindful of the stories you share. You don’t want to get in with the family at the expense of your partner (to whom you’ll have to account for your storytelling later on the ride home).

9. Have an out.

the-holiday-parents.jpg

 

Columbia Pictures

 A code word, an escape plan, a fake death (yours?)—something that will allow you to make a graceful exit when the time is right. (This usually coincides with the emptying of the last wine bottle.)

10. Just be cool.

ahhhhhh.jpg

 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

 There’s a reason you’re here on this most festive of stressful family holidays: someone obviously thinks you’re worth bringing around.

READ MORE:
25 best holiday party heels

Kate Middleton holiday style: Get the look

5 ways to wear your little black dress for the holidays

Comments
Share X
Trends

10 things to know before meeting the parents over the holidays