Congratulations! You’ve found your potential Prince or Princess Charming, and things are going well; so well, that you’ve found yourself invited to share in their family’s holiday celebrations. Gulp! And… Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are teaming up this year like some sort of Hunger Games-worthy dating challenge. Double. Gulp. If this scenario makes you want to head for the hills, fear not! We at want to show you some unique ways to connect with your significant other’s family so you feel like you’re holding court, instead of crashing the ball this Thanskgivukkah.

For many, the subject of gifts is a sticky one. Should you bring a gift for each person (yikes), a thoughtful hostess gift, or prepare something for the meal? Each option has its merits, but why not make a contribution to the festivities that everyone can enjoy and will help you get to know your significant other’s family in a neutral setting? A great way to do this is by offering to coordinate a fun activity for everyone to do together. It’s a chance to get to know more about people’s likes, dislikes and personalities. It’s also a way for your beloved’s family to learn more about you!

If you’re feeling particularly courageous, you and your amour can plan ahead of time and surprise everyone, but make sure to do the necessary legwork. Finding out details like dietary restrictions, health problems/disabilities, and religious observances that might not permit your chosen activity is crucial; you’re going for “cherished memory” here.

1. Learn Something New

One of the best ways to get to know people is by learning something new together! This could be a new skill you pick up in a group class or a chance for your girlfriend’s family to learn something they didn’t know about their hometown on a walking tour. Pick a topic that everyone can agree on, or break up into groups by interests if you can’t come to a compromise. History fanatics can get their fix and wine enthusiasts can expand their palate!

2. Embrace The Drama

There’s bound to be a few squabbles here and there at a family gathering, so why not put that competitive energy to good use? Team up and participate in a scavenger hunt! Bonus points if you are brave enough for you and your sweetie to be on a separate team. Working towards the common goal of kicking Uncle Adam’s butt may be just the thing to help you bond with your boyfriend’s sulky teenage sister.

3. Get Them Out & Moving

Two of the biggest eating holidays are pulling double duty on your waistline. And you’ve still got to fit into that killer New Year’s Eve dress, remember? Instead of lounging around in a food coma, you all could work off some of those second helpings with an active adventure.


4. Or, Get Them Out & Eating

The hosts may have the major feasts covered, but taking the pressure off of making meal after meal might be appreciated. A culinary tour means lots of tasty options for everyone to try and less dishes to tackle. If your girlfriend’s mother isn’t one to give up control in the kitchen, a dessert tour could be just the ticket post-dinner.

Whatever you do, try to relax. There is a reason (probably several!) that your boyfriend or girlfriend has chosen to be with you, and their family just wants them to be happy. Be excited for the opportunity to get to know your sweetie a little better through the people who helped shape them into the person you care about.


Not too long ago, Laura Hartle had the good fortune to travel the world as a performer on a cruise ship. She started a blog to document her travels and let her family know she hadn’t been kidnapped by pirates. This adventure led to writing travel and leisure editorial for Other things Laura is: Actor/singer/dancer in the NYC area. Gummy Bear Enthusiast.
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