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Visiting my SO's Family for Christmas (1 Week! HELP)

I've never met my boyfriend's family before. Boyfriend invited me to visit them. I'm very nervous because we'll be flying in and spending a week with them, including Christmas! I've even talked to them before.

What's the normal thing to do for these situations? Don't want to leave it totally to the BF (who's a total man about these things).

Should I send him an email he can forward to his parents, ask them if I can bring anything (towels?) (bedding?) I don't want to be an inconvenience. And above all I want to be a thoughtful house guest.

Should I bring both a hostess gift and Christmas presents?

I've only met one of his brothers once - and I don't know the rest of his family at all. Who/what/when/how - X-mas present? I was thinking of just taking them all to a fun event near their city and paying for the tickets. Suggestions?

What would be a proper hostess gift?

Ahhhh, so confused.

Re: Visiting my SO's Family for Christmas (1 Week! HELP)

  • If it were me I would call his mom and thank her for the invitation and ask what I can do to help.
    I would get a really innocuous hostess gift such as chocolate or wine or a gift basket delivered to the house.
    For the Christmas gift, what kinda event and how many people? It could get really pricy
  • TBH, I would not take Christmas as a first time to meet them or stay over at their place for a while after first meeting them.  How long have you been with your BF?
  • It's not my first choice either Doeydo - I'd be much more comfortable with a dinner (and then making a hasty escape if necessary). We don't really have much of an option though because his family live so far away that we have to fly.

    We've been together for a year and 2 months now. He doesn't get to see them much. The last time he went home we had just been dating for a little while, so I didn't get to meet them. 

    I agree - Christmas presents for everyone could certainly get pretty pricey. I was wondering if I could just spend more for the hostess gift, and then get away with not giving Christmas presents? Maybe take them out for dinner one night? It's not that I don't want to spend the money, I just don't feel like I know any of them well enough.
  • Sorry, just noticed in my first post I said "I've even talked to them before." I meant to say, "I've never even talked to them before.
  • If I were you I would bring flowers/chocolate/wine and just be your sweet self. A good idea is to get them a collective christmas gift-- like a sweet ornament off of etsy for the family-- it shows thoughtfulness and sincerity-- all good things!
  • How many households will be there?  If your SO has adult siblings, I would get something smallish for each sibling/household.  I.e.  SO's brother John, John's wife, and John's kids all ahare one gift because they are one household.  SO's parents and kidbrother/sister all share one gift because they are one household.  Make sense?

    Also, definitely call or email SO's mom ahead of time and ask what you can bring or do to help out.  It'll be awkward, but it's better for both of you if you have a clear understanding of what she expects from you (could be nothing, could be sheets/towels for yourself).

    I also agree with the PP who said to have a hostess gift delivered.
  • I agree with the PPs that wine/flowers is always a good hostess gift, and calling to say thanks and ask if you can bring anything, shouldn't take more than 30 seconds on the phone and is a nice gesture.
    Where my expertise comes in is in group gifts. My family is enormous. When all is said and done, the group of us at Christmas at my grandparents' is about 30+. 
    What I do is cover Christmas morning brunch. Nothing you have to cook, and easy things that the fam can grab and eat on the couch as presents are being opened.  My family lives in Miami and you just can't get good bagels there, so when we go for Christmas, my gift to the family is Christmas brunch, complete with real NY bagels (because you really can't get good bagels anywhere out of NY, amIright?).  I also bring spreads and whatnot.  It's easy clean up (you don't want to start cooking and make a mess your BFs mom is going to want to clean up). You might want to do something similar? I buy my bagels & spreads here. A little pricey for bagels, but they're SO WORTH IT. Best bagels ever. And the best part is that if you're going down to visit a few days before Christmas, you're not worrying about eating 4 day old, stale bagels on Christmas.
    Boardgames are also a big hit with my family.  I usually buy a game you can play in groups or teams so everyone can get in on the action. Taboo is a big hit, and any of the Charades games.  Super cheap, super easy, and it's something everyone can do together on Christmas afternoon. Good luck!
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