*Editor’s Tip 4 Holiday Etiquette*
PUT THE PHONE AWAY. Not in your pocket. Not on vibrate. Not on a lower volume. Literally put it in a separate room, in a drawer, turn it off, bury it in the snow, do whatever you want with it but do not even have your phone in visible range. There is nothing more obnoxious than a cell phone at a holiday.
Home 4 The Holidays Etiquette
By S.D. Wentworth
The Holidays tend to bring about equal amounts of the best and the worst in folks the world over. From supporting the wrong football team (Patriots vs New York), to buying wine when your hosts only drink mocktails, things can get quite tricky when it comes to knowing what and what not to do. These small snippets of advice apply to BOTH sexes, so that each person can ensure a safe, fun, and even promising holiday version of “let’s meet the parents and see if our relationship can survive this time ordered tradition that’s so not suitable for mortals.” Shall we begin?
Advice #1: Study Their Personalities.
This is MUY IMPORTANTE!! Very Important!! Studying the personalities of the host and hostess is paramount. If you want to bring a gift, make sure a gift will be well received beforehand. In the case of a woman going home to meet her beau’s parents, a classic timeless gift is previously chilled bottle of the house favorite wine. Instead of presenting this wine as a gift which can be seen as a way of buying good favor, simply give it to the host and hostess upon introduction and state that you simply wanted to bring a welcomed backup bottle so that the festivities are sure to continue throughout the night.
In the case of a man going to meet his lovely’s folks, make sure to ask beforehand about her current relationship with her parents. If she is close to her folks and they are a brady bunch-type deal, simply being on your best behavior and bringing a deck of cards for an after dinner round of poker will suffice. If the relationship is fractious to say the least, coming prepared with green-light topics that will bring some fun and fancy to the atmosphere may be all the trick that you’ll need.
Advice #2: Dress Accordingly.
Lots of people in this scenario tend to make the ultimate disrespect without having had stepped a foot inside the front door. For women, we tend to associate holidays with sparkly, form fitting, and sexy when, in reality, we need to think: festive yet family appropriate. If you ladies wish to wear something sparkly, go for shoes and accessories while keeping the general outfit understated yet elegant. If the parents are casual during the holidays, skinny jeans, a comfy yet cute sweater, a long coat, and sparkly heels will do. If the parents are conservative and dress up during the holidays, your best bet is a knee length skirt or dress, statement heels, understated jewelry, and an overall respectable yet amiable presence.
If you men folks are going to meet the ladies family, the same rules can apply to you as well: if the family is conservative, your best behavior is paramount. If the family is casual, bringing a useful item to the table will not only showcase your knowledge of the family, but will also display your personality and knowledge of manners which, whether casual or conservative, are always necessary.
Advice #3: Keep The PDA to A Minimum!
This piece cannot be stressed enough. Nothing is more embarrassing, for both sexes, to bring someone home to meet the family when they appear to be hands-y nonstop. Unless your future in-laws are a sex therapist and a free-loving hippie like in the movie “Meet The Fockers”, this rule applies whether conservative or casual.
Advice #4: Be Mindful of Kids Being Present.
What most advice columns fail to warn on regarding holiday showdowns is the presence of children inside the home. Holidays are meant to bring families closer together, especially ones who don’t usually see each other much year round. Thus, houses tend to be filled with kids of both the obedient and hell-raising breed, and are an honest ‘make or break’ encounter (way more than meeting the parents themselves). Nine times out of ten, kids will be loud, energized, and rampant, so knowing how to switch between acting with kids and presenting yourself with the grown ups is key. Being able to play with the kids (or, if you are some sort of kid whisperer, getting them to focus and calm down) or at least keep your cool in general around them will not only show your possible future in-laws just how calm you can be under pressure, but it will make your significant other see you in a whole new light.
Advice #5: Always Send a Thank You Card.
It may seem like an archaic tradition, but Thank You Notes and cards are coming back into trend. Thus, sending a genuine Thank You card can not only put you on the good front of the parental units, but it shows just how much you valued having spent the holidays with them and that you look forward to more dates in the future. Women tend to go a little bit overboard, often sending gifts, but the Thank You Note goes for both sexes. Oftentimes, when it comes to expressing thoughts of genuine appreciation, less is indeed more.