Weathering the holiday season together

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially for new couples. There’s a lot for two people to navigate through, such as dealing with one’s own family and adding the other person’s, gift giving and receiving.

To lower the stress for both people, each person needs to be aware of what the other person is going through and be willing to offer help and support, especially with families from both sides.

Families gather together during this time of year and it’s easy to introduce a boyfriend or girlfriend to everyone and see if they get along.

This Thanksgiving, I met my boyfriend’s family for the first time and he met mine.

My side consisted of 10 people, not including the two of us. He met half of them right away and the other half as they gradually showed up.

After a couple of hours there, we left to join his family. I was more nervous than I had ever been before in this type of situation.

In the past, if I spent Thanksgiving with a boyfriend’s family they were small groups and I had met them all before the holiday.

That was not the case this time. His family’s Thanksgiving was much larger because it included his extended family, and I was going to meet all of them. I met his mother as soon as we walked in to the house.

Immediately afterward, I was swarmed by other adult family members when we joined them in the dining room. There were many more people than at my sister’s house and it was much louder.

I was introduced to people quickly and asked many questions from all them. It was very stressful for me, but it turned out well.

Then there’s the gift season. For some, picking something to get the other person can be daunting. For me, it was getting the gift that I didn’t look forward to.

I have dated guys who would begin asking me what I wanted two weeks before Christmas, and I would tell them a few things.

One would go out the night before Christmas and pick up something that I hadn’t mentioned and didn’t really want or need. That felt like he was just getting me anything so I would have a gift from him.

A simple solution was for us to make a list for each other after I had a friend suggest it. I think it lowered the stress for him, and I know it helped me.

And sexy gifts are always fun, just make sure they’re given in private!

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Bailey can be reached at linfieldreviewbailey@gmail.com.

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