I remember coming up with this topic after watching “Merry Happy Whatever” on Netflix. If you don’t know what it is, it’s your basic cheesy holiday tv show that Netflix has gotten into the habit of pumping out during this time of year. But I won’t lie, I enjoyed every minute of it. I bring this up is because, in the show, the significant others that marry/ date into the family have a secret group. They have secret meetings to complain and moan about how crazy their in-laws are. They warn the new boyfriend of the main character about the bizarre things that happen in the family. Sometimes that’s how spending holidays with your SO’s family can be like.
Every family is weird, but it can be even stranger when you’re not a part of the family.
So how do you prepare for the weirdness?
Big family vs. Small family differences
Some of us have really big families, others small, others even smaller, and that change in size can be either intimidating or overwhelming to some. I feel bad for all those that have had to go through the process of coming to one of my family gatherings. Do you know your great aunts? Cause I sure do.
If you know your family can be overwhelming and loud, please, please, please, warn your SO. Be understanding if they need to find a quiet corner to catch their breath for a while. There are times when I need a break from my own family, so think about how your partner may feel being thrown to the wolves. (Did I compare my family to a pack of wolves? Yes, I did. Love you guys!)
Bring on the weird traditions
Be ready for some weird family traditions. Most families have their own traditions. Some are normal, and some can be super weird. I just watched a TikTok where this guy showed how everyone in his family dresses up in pokemon onesies for Thanksgiving dinner. I think that is the coolest thing I ever heard, and I would love to participate. (Sorry, is my nerd showing?) But could you imagine just showing up to a family gathering and seeing that? That would be a curveball that no one would be ready for at all. Warn your Significant Other about your family’s weirdness.
Don’t say the wrong thing. No one wants WW3
Give them a rundown on family drama. The last thing you want is for them to accidentally say the wrong thing and trigger a family fight. I think if that happened to me, I would literally crawl out of my skin. Just imagine saying something off the cuff, and everyone goes silent, and you spark some weird feud that has been going on that everyone has been avoiding. Warn your SO about your family’s drama.
Make grandma happy
This might be cultural, but you better eat every single thing grandma puts on your plate. The last thing you need to do is offend the family matriarch. Coming from a Latin family, what I might consider everyday things to eat may be out of left field for someone I bring home. I can’t expect everyone to know what yuca is, but if my abuela made it, give it a try for her sake. I promise you’ll like it. And if not, then you won some brownie points with my grandma and me.
Take the time to talk to your SO about your family’s quirks and traditions. You may be used to them, but that doesn’t make them any less weird. Honestly, if I brought a girl home for the holidays and didn’t warn her about my lovingly crazy family, then I deserve to be tried in the highest of courts for crimes against humanity. And I don’t mean giving them a heads up as you’re walking into your parent’s house. This should be a conversation that happens weeks before the holiday season is about to start. You have to give people enough time to mentally prepare; otherwise, you are asking for failure.
Good luck and enjoy the holidays. Hopefully, nothing crazy or dramatic happens this year. We all need a chill Christmas after this bizarre and wild year.
P.S. We have a few more tips for introducing your SO to your family right here.
Let us know how it goes!