10 Tips for Meeting the Parents Over the Holidays

by QuickieChick Laurel House

You've been going strong for months, years, or even mere weeks in some cases, and you are finally going to meet each others parents over the holiday. That's a pretty lofty step! One that can be simultaneously exciting, stressful, and fraught with expectations. By being prepared and planning ahead (even if that plan is only devised on the plane trip over) you can quickly take the edge off and make the meeting easy, and even fun for everyone!

1. Think about Staying at a Hotel
Why? You are creating a space for some privacy and some couple alone time.
2. Talk about the expectation of couple time with the family.
Why? Private couple time isn't about being selfish, it's about being conscious of your significant. If you set the expectation before you go, you minimize the risk of confusion and awkwardness.
3. Bring a gift.
Why? If you are meeting his parents, you should bring a gift. If he is meeting yours, he should bring a gift. But help each other decide what to get. This shows respect and that you appreciate their hospitality. It's also just another way to make a good first impression. But don't go overboard. The gift should be simple and inexpensive, but thoughtful.
4. Share Family Stories.
Why? You want to let each other in on inside family anecdotes, stories, background, and maybe even jokes. Again, it's about expectation, it's also about providing context and helping your significant other not feeling like an "other" or an outsider. If there is a particular family member who your significant might have a lot in common with, let them in on that too. Give them talking points.
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5. Ease In.
Why? Take a walk before you make the introductions. Show off your town. Establish a feeling of comfort first.
6. Have a romp in the sheets!
Why? This is about feeling connected before entering the unfamiliar family unit.
7. Meet the most important first.
Why? If your significant is meeting your entire extended family at the big holiday dinner, first try to set aside some time for meeting the most important few people first at coffee, lunch or taking a walk. This way they can feel comfortable with each other and feel a connection before being part of the craziness.
8. At the party, remember that you are partner. You're on the same team.
Why? You want to present a united front, showing your family how happy you are, what a great connection you have. The family wants to see it too. IF any little tiffs or annoyances arise between you two, save it for later.
9. Take a Break.
Why? In addition to being a time for family, remember that this is a time for each other as a couple. This is a major stepping stone. Fuel it with some romance time. A few ideas:

10. Email and Mail a "Thank You" note
Why? Your first impression ends after the end of the trip. It all lumps together as one full experience. All's well that ends well. Email a note ASAP, then mail it the old fashioned way immediately after.

Romance at a hotel when meeting the family over the holidays:
Broadmoor Hotel swansThe Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs has the balance of family and romance perfected. It's the ideal spot for a parents, children (young and grown), plus extended relatives looking for a place that offers lots of activities, eating venues, and just have fun OR for couples who want to get away, bask in their love, and never want to leave.

Couples Looking for Alone Time should:
-Get a Couples Massage in the gorgeous spa!
-Enjoy Sunday brunch at Charles Court (it's one of the best in the country!)
-Fine dine in the Penrose Room and enjoy an exquisite prix fix, wine-paired meal- it's a foodie's paradise!
-Have drinks at the super posh Summit
-Sip traditional cocktails and dance to live music at Tavern
-Take a hike up The Manitou Incline.
-Repel off the rock formations in Garden of the Gods with Front Range Climbing.

-Stroll around the lake and watch the swans.
-Drink the Lithium Waters in Manitou Springs!

… I did.

Laurel HouseLaurel House is a healthy lifestyle author, personal trainer, and nationally recognized print and online magazine writer covering travel, relationships, healthy food and fitness (Women's Health, First for Women, Men's Journal, Yahoo! Shine, Elegant Bride, Fit, Spa, Fit Yoga, Playboy, Elite Traveler, etc). Beyond writing, Laurel has appeared as a expert on television morning shows including E! News, Weekend TODAY, The Daily Buzz, Better.TV, KTLA Morning News, CBS, Fox, NBC, and ABC Morning News shows both locally and nationally, and her YouTube videos have received over 9 million views. Her 4th book "QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less than Fabulous Budget" (St. Martin's, May 2012).