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Family Festivities: The Holidays And Family

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

The holidays are, at least on paper, fun, but in reality more stress than we bargained for, especially if you’re not to fond of your in-laws. Still, this season of “peace on earth, and goodwill toward men”, also means keeping the peace in the family and showing some goodwill you’re your mate’s mom and dad.

1. Make a simply delicious entrance: Find out what foods they like and better than bringing over their favourite pastry, ask for the family recipe and make it from scratch. Or pick something up from their preferred bakery or restaurant. Dishing out this kind of kindness is a tasteful way of getting on their good side.

2. Do it their way: Even if they host a “Redneck Christmas”, try to embrace their traditions, only infusing a bit of yourself into the family culture. Remember, just because they don’t wrap their gifts doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. In fact, you can be the example. But, when it comes to house rules, like leaving shoes at the front door, politely obey, remember that your way isn’t the only way or the only right way, and try to find one tradition you can altruistically embrace.

3. Be gracious about the gifts you receive: Keep in mind that it’s the thought that counts, even if it’s really obvious they didn’t put much though into your gift or that they offer up to your mate. Instead look genuinely impressed and thank them for their thoughtfulness. And, if they ask about it on the next visit, simply guide the conversation in a different direction, or put the item out for their eyes only.

4. Make “friends” with the family pet: Even if you’re not a cat or dog lover, unless you’re allergic, its best to be nice to the family pet, perhaps even bring him or her a holiday “gift”. And, certainly talk yourself out of making a big deal out of getting your hand licked, or getting fur on some of your favourite holiday clothes.

5. Try to remember that “less is more”: This is especially true if you’re of different backgrounds or viewpoints. Keep in mind that if your in-laws idea of fine dining is going to the Outback, you recommending your favourite five-star will just make you look “snooty” and the opposite also holds true. Try to stay neutral and blend into the woodwork. Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, it’s probably best to say nothing at all. And, if asked, it’s best to remain “evasive”.



Long Island Relationship Articles > Family Festivities: The Holidays And Family

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