Cuffing season is always an exciting time of the year. The weather starts to cool down, the sun sets earlier, and people start hunting down others to date. I can’t blame them. Winter in the PNW is cold, wet, and lonely, so having someone there to help you get through the months makes it easier. The only awkward thing about cuffing season is how close to the holidays it is. Of course, Halloween is never a problem, but what do you do in a new relationship for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Here are some tips for the holiday talk for new couples.
Meeting the Family
Meeting your partner’s family for the first time is important but slightly terrifying. First impressions make a world of difference. You may be a people person and love meeting new people. Lucky you. Maybe you’re an introvert whose skin crawls from the idea of meeting thirty new people in one day. Whatever the case, do your best in the wise words of Yoda. “Do or do not. There is no try.” And if your partner is coming home with you, please give them a heads up for challenges they might encounter at your parent’s house. Maybe your partner has never experienced Hanukkah or Noche Buena before you. Break down any traditions you might have so your partner isn’t lost in the chaos of the holidays.
Where Do You Spend the Holidays?
Family matters, but when you enter a relationship, you have to balance the needs and wants of two families. Who do you see for Christmas or Thanksgiving? Sometimes it’s not as easy to pick who you will see then it might seem. My cousin lives roughly 2,000 miles away from our family back in Florida, but they live next door to her husband’s family. The easy answer for them is to spend the holidays with his family since they won’t have to spend money on four plane tickets. But they still make it a priority to go to Florida almost every other year. As a couple, figuring out where to spend your holidays takes compromise and communication.
If you are visiting your significant other’s family for the holidays, pitch in when you can. Help do the dishes or take out the trash. Make a grocery store run, or hold the baby if you’re comfortable around kids. Whatever it is, help around the house while you stay there. It doesn’t have to be anything big or performative, but I promise you, you’re significant other’s mom will love you for just putting in a little effort.
Office Party Plus-One
It’s one thing to go to a friend’s holiday party and get trashed, but don’t be that person at your significant other’s holiday party. It’s embarrassing for your partner and yourself. Also, the social anxiety of meeting all of your partner’s coworkers is a lot, but the answer isn’t getting super drunk. After all, an office holiday party is still somewhat professional, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and be a little more conservative and pc.
Do You Buy Each Other Gifts
Nothing is more awkward than gifting someone a cheap trinket when they balled out on you and got you something amazing. (I’m cringing about it just thinking about it.) Have a conversation about it and establish some ground rules. It sounds kinda awkward and childish to do that, but it is less awkward than being the cheap present person. You can treat it like a white elephant and put a price cap on your presents, or you don’t even need to get each other gifts at all. Figure out what works best for you and your partner.
At the end of the day, everything comes back to communication. Do you want a healthy, trusting relationship? Talk to your partner. You should be able to talk to them about anything and everything. They should be your person. Do you want to figure out where you are spending the holidays or if you are spending them together at all? Talk. Are you buying each other presents? Communicate. It all comes down to your ability to communicate with each other. If you get into the habit of talking, you won’t run into awkward situations you can’t get through together. Y’all are a team, so communicate like one.