Things are pretty serious with her and you’ve decided that you’ll spend this Christmas with her family. Gulp. The holidays themselves are always fraught with stress and everyone’s high on emotions so you’re smart to be a little anxious about it. But play it smart and it could be pleasant, and maybe even fun.
Limit the time of your visit
Don’t play it by ear as to how long you’ll visit for. Whether you’re just going over for dinner or have to make a trip and stay for a period of time, establish with your girlfriend what is a long enough visit so that you can spend quality time together, but not so much that you start to get on each other’s nerves. In fact, if your visit involves traveling, you might want to consider staying in other accomodations for at least part of your visit; people can get testy when all together in a home for several days and being forced to crash on a sofa in the basement.
Watch your alcohol intake
Although you may be tempted to enjoy glass after glass of scotch to help mellow you out, you certainly don’t want to look like you have a drinking problem and you’ll be less inhibited, and you might end up doing or saying things you normally wouldn’t thanks to the booze.
Avoid hot topics
Politics, sex, sports. In fact, find out from your partner what topics you should not talk about when at her family’s place; those subjects that might seem harmless, say, pets or dietary restrictions, but they could strike the wrong chord with a member of her family.
Be a master at chit chat
Be on top of the latest news so you have a wealth of topics to chat about. That way if her uncle starts talking politics or Grandma grills you on when the marriage proposal is happening, you can easily divert the conversation towards the latest headlines.
Exchange your gifts separate from her family
This is especially key if you’ve gotten her some sexy lingerie or a risque novel. And even if you haven’t, it’s not as though you want to have her family as an audience for your gift exchange. Make it a tradition for you two to have your own Christmas time together, even if that’s just 10 minutes of opening each others gifts in the basement before the big gifting extravaganza by the tree.