6 Tips That Will Help You Survive Your First Holiday with Your Partner’s Family

Rose Bak
4 min readDec 17, 2021

The first time can be the hardest, but for some families, it never gets easier.

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

Are you spending the holidays with your partner’s family?

Family holidays can be challenging, even in families where people generally like each other. Unfortunately, the stress of the holidays can really bring out the worst in people.

Joining someone else’s family holiday can be particularly stressful. At least when it’s your own family, you know what to expect. You’re prepared to deal with any drama and know when to skip it.

If this is your first holiday with someone else’s family, here are some tips you can try to make the visit less stressful.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Get the scoop ahead of time.

Ask your partner outright to tell you about any potential challenges. Is there a racist uncle? Does someone get a little handsy when there’s alcohol served? Are there topics that will start a fight? Knowing this ahead of time will help you avoid inadvertently starting an argument or getting into an uncomfortable situation.

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What are the gift-giving expectations?

It’s incredibly awkward if you go to someone’s holiday gathering and either you get gits you weren’t expecting or it’s clear you were supposed to bring something and didn’t. Before you go, be sure you know who’s expected to bring gifts, who you should buy for, and discuss any spending expectations.

If you don’t know what to buy for people, ask for suggestions. If the family is large, suggest options like a dollar limit, only buying gifts for the…

Rose Bak

Rose Bak is a freelance writer and yoga teacher who lives in Oregon. Find her at https://linktr.ee/rosebak or follow @authorrosebak on social media.