Tis the season to be cautious
Don’t let all those Christmas songs lie to you, often tis less the season to be jolly than tis the season of drunken excess and indigestion…and that’s just your family! But now picture the scene: your girlfriend has popped the question (no not that one!) she wants you to spend Christmas at home, with her family. Perhaps you’ve had a tug of war…you want her to come home with you but she wants to stay with her ‘rents. Whatever the reasons you lost the argument! – now you have to spend Xmas with people who are practically strangers, all the while on your best behaviour.
So we are going to show you how to survive Xmas with your girlfriend (and her family). Although we at Pissup are used to encouraging stag do fun all year round – we want to show you how to enjoy yourself while keeping intact your reputation as a ‘nice young man’ (say it in a Harry Enfield old crone voice).
The Office Christmas Party
Like the guns of August in the First World War the Office Christmas Party is a firing salvo for a month of excessive drinking and eating. But what has this got to do with spending time with your significant other and her family? Well the Office Christmas party is a potential landmine for any man. Okay first there is the big problem that statistically you are more likely to commit infidelity at your OCP. According to one study 44% of males have had affairs with co-workers at these events over the years, at least once. But while that is an extreme no-no, and will definitely ruin more than the festive cheer – your behaviour at the OCP will set the tone for Xmas with your girlfriend.
And with social media being as all pervasive as it is, you don’t want to get so drunk you end up doing something shady that she will see on your timeline. While we condone what happens in Prague stays in Prague weekends it’s up to you to check yourself before you wreck yourself (as the song goes)…especially since anyone could take a photo of you. Anything suspect and you can expect the standard ice-cold treatment for the whole holiday!
Meet the Parents is the perfect example of what not to do when meeting your significant other’s father. Okay so you don’t have control over your girlfriend’s family, whether she has an ex-CIA operative as a father for example. And maybe you met him before he invited you for Christmas, so you know what to expect. But Xmas adds different tensions to the man of the house.
So while you shouldn’t expect a polygraph test from your future real or potential father-in-law you need to empathise with him. Try to imagine some dude who you’ve never met starts dating your daughter, how do you think you’d behave? With high levels of suspicion at the very least. So our advice is no lad talk about past conquests or nights of excess at strip clubs in Eastern Europe!
Buying a gift for your girlfriend is hard enough on her birthday, but when she’s opening it in front of her entire family then that adds an extra dimension of stress. But since you’re with her family you’ll have to get presents for them too! This is where taste and serious discussion should come into play: which means running everything by your girlfriend before you start wrapping. Don’t get anything that might cause offence – even if the parents are as liberal as the Fockers, your stress ball shaped like a boob might cause more frowns than laughs. Likewise when you’re buying for your S/O remember to save the naughty gifts for upstairs on the quiet. Even something as innocuous as lingerie might cause deep embarrassment if it’s opened in front of some oldster relatives with conservative dispositions.
Also remember each family has their present opening traditions. It may well be that it’s a free for all at your house, or that your Mum makes you regress for the morning by letting you go first…but you’re not at home, you’re a guest – remember that!
This should also be titled ‘and the drink’, but you get what we mean. It’s the point where you sit down with strangers and enjoy breasts lubricated with sauce (wait that sounds like one of our activities!). Perhaps you hate cranberry sauce, or you always have pigs in a blanket before the main course or your Mum leaves you all the stuffing to wolf down. Well our advice is go with the flow of your girlfriend’s family traditions. Hopefully, as those masters of etiquette Debretts suggest, you’ll be asked about what you want to do too. Likewise politeness and manners go a long way: you’re not with the lads consuming vast quantities of red meat, so try to serve yourself decent amounts (so they know you have an appetite) but not too much (so they know you’re not a pig).
Finally you should watch out for your consumption of booze. Yes, we at Pissup are advising you not to drink too much! Of course you’ll want a drink to steady your nerves and perhaps you like the taste of port when the weather outside is frightful etc, etc – but there is a limit. You don’t want to be slurring your words and raising your dukes to fight imaginary enemies. Also this leads on to topics of discussion: just because you’re plastered and you think your girlfriend’s Dad has dodgy politics, this is no time to confront him. Save your principles for your mates down the pub – in fact steer clear of all heated topics including, and especially, football. Just smile, nod your head and don’t, as they say, rock the boat.
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