Julie Y Barris
10 Tips To Impress Your Future In-Laws At The Family Christmas Party
First time going home with your significant other? Don't stress it. We've got you covered.
Christmas. What a great day to spend with family. Although to some of you, you might not be celebrating with your own family this year as your significant other finally thinks it's time to bring you home to meet their parents. Let me stop you right there for a moment... take a deep breath with me, would you? While meeting your future in-laws can be a stressful event, it doesn't have to be. Think of it as an opportunity to introduce yourself to them, and to let them in on a glimpse of whom their beloved child has been dating. It's perfect timing, in my opinion, to show them you are much more than just a pretty rumor.
Tip #1 - Don't go over there empty-handed
Even if your significant other tells you not to bother bringing gifts over to the festive family party, you should. Doing so shows them you are thoughtful. In many culture it's even simple respect to not show up empty-handed when invited to someone's home, especially for the first time. Let's say you decide on bringing a bottle of wine, stop by the store before you head on over. If you don't know much about wine, consult the store clerk to ensure you make a good selection.
Tip #2 - Compliment their home
Once you are invited inside this house, take a moment to admire its internal beauty. Even if your future in-laws's home might not be worth a million dollars, by complimenting how lovely it's decorated, or how much it smells like home to you, could give them a sense that you are appreciative and well-mannered. Certainly it won't work if their house is an obvious mess of which they don't bother to take great care, and thus doing so would only make you come off rude and insensitive.
Tip #3 - Offer to help out in the kitchen
If your future in-laws are still cooking in the kitchen when you come over, even if they tell you to make yourself at home, it's nice for you to offer them help. You can even assist in setting up the table if they are already done cooking. By your eagerness to just roll up your sleeves and help out shows them that you are humble and down-to-earth. So even if they decline your lovely gesture, you've already impressed them.
Tip #4 - Smile, smile, smile
Having a nice smile in itself is a lucky charm (not everyone has that!) and showing it off at the right moment could go a long way. Hey, it's easy to like someone with a killer smile and that's not a crime. Be that it captivates them when you speak with a hint of a grin, be that it enhances your persona whenever you let it show... use that to your advantage. Even if they accidentally spill wine on your clothes, by keeping that gorgeous smile on, you are letting them know that you are all about positive energy. They will then likely think you are a nice person to keep around.
Tip #5 - Try to relate in conversations
When we focus less on how we are different, we will begin to notice that most of us have more things in common than not. So as you chat with them at the dining table or after the big meal, listen well and try to relate to them by finding common subjects that you are interested in talking/discussing about. Being able to agree with one another is more impressive than you may think.
Tip #6 - Compliment your sweetie
They've raised a child whom you've been dating for a while now. Being able to compliment your significant other in front of their parents makes the latter feel warm inside and that they have done a great job. So as you compliment your sweetie, you are partly complimenting your future in-laws. When they see how much you admire their own offspring, they feel proud; and when they feel proud, you automatically get on their good side.
"even if they decline your lovely gesture, you've already impressed them."
Tip #7 - Let your sense of humor shine (appropriately)
Making your future in-laws laugh is always a good idea. Playing a good joke or two can even help lighten the mood when necessary. Beware though to not joke inappropriately. You don't want to come off looking like you are making fun of them, so be tasteful and sensitive with your humor. Once you've tested the water, you might be able to make jokes more freely depending the level of which they enjoy your sense of humor.
Tip #8 - Expect questions, and be polite when answering them
Your future in-laws is going to want to get to know you especially if this is the first time you meet them. So expect them to be curious about what you do and such. It's possible your sweetie has already put in a few good words for you, so at this point, the manner of how you respond to them can be as, if not more, important than your actual answers. It's always best to be respectful about it, even if they were to ask you something you would rather not say.
Tip #9 - Hold off your competitiveness and focus more on being inclusive
It's possible you will be playing some holiday games with your future in-laws/relatives. Even if you love Pictionary, don't go overboard with your desire to take home the gold. I'm not saying you should try to lose, in fact not at all (it won't be fun that way), but it would not be wise to hog the game or let your ugly face show by your being overly enthusiastic about winning. So if you see little cousin Jo try hard to guess, cheer for him even if he wasn't on your team.
Tip #10 - Thank them at the end
After a long day of gathering, eating and celebrating, it's customary to thank the host before you leave their home, so make sure you do it. Give your future in-laws a nice handshake or even a warm hug if they are huggers. Express to them once again (do it now if you haven't yet) your appreciation of being invited over and that you had a great time just hanging out. If you are extra brave, you can even consider inviting them over to your place after New Years, I'm sure they would be grateful for it.
Things tend to go a lot smoother for both you and your significant other if their parents like you from the start. It's important to be optimistic and friendly towards your future in-laws before and after you meet them. Because who knows, your wedding bell could just be right around the corner. Having their blessing would be great icing on your wedding cake.
Julie Y. Barris
Founder | Chief Editor | Advice Guru of Moody Melon Magazine
I am an author, artist, entrepreneur, and a graphic designer with a unique vision to contribute to the world one idea at a time. Besides creating and inventing things, I’m also fascinated by the human mind. I enjoy helping others help themselves by giving them advice on family and relationship matters.