5 tips for having Christmas with your partner’s family

By Josh Bovington

Christmas time is here again!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: gifts are given, waistlines are widened, Christmas songs are played on repeat. Everything is great… at least that’s what we hope for.

Usually, Christmas doesn’t quite go to plan.  This can’t be helped.

Things can get even more complicated, however, when choosing to spend Christmas with your partner’s family.  You’ve spent a lifetime getting used to your own family’s traditions, arguments, and general Christmas quirks.

But can you imagine how hard it is when you only have a year or so to prepare for someone else’s?

Here are 5 tips to help you get through the first awkward steps of Christmas with your other half’s family:


1) Bring a good present

Whether it’s a bottle of wine, a pair of slippers, even just a pair of socks, try to find out from your other half what would go down well with their folks.  Even just a box of Ferrero Roche would probably go down well, but do your homework and find out what’s needed. It will start the big day off on the right foot.


2) Throw yourself all in

Every family has different Christmas traditions.  It could be watching a Christmas movie together.  It could be playing cards.  Maybe a nice game of Monopoly.  Maybe even a full on family sing-along.

It’s important, however, to throw yourself into it.  Get into the festive spirit, try and find out the family quirks and just go with it.  Even if it feels embarrassing or silly, just remember that it’s only one day of the year!


3) One-on-one chats with family members

It’s a given that your partner’s Christmas celebrations will include the whole family, from Uncle Jonny to Granddad Dave, and even Fenton the family dog, so finding your feet among this cast of characters can be tricky.

Go for the divide-and-conquer approach.  Try to get each family member on their own for a chat, even if it’s just a brief one.  This way, when the whole group is together, it won’t feel nearly as scary as it could do, and you’ll be able to continue enjoying your Christmas!


4) Pull a Christmas cracker!

Cracking a good joke can always be a good icebreaker in any situation, so why not try it with your partner’s family after the Christmas crackers have been pulled?

What’s the worst that can happen? If they laugh, fantastic, but if they don’t, just laugh it off, it’s not the worst thing that can happen. So make sure you’re ready when the moment comes!


5) Failing all else, there’s always drink!

When everything else fails, there’s always alcohol! If things feel a little bit too tense at the Christmas table then say yes to that passing glass of sherry, or a little brandy, or anything else that’s on offer.

If everyone else is having a drink too this could definitely help things, but if it’s only you, then at least you’ll be jolly!

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