- Open up an honest dialogue. A couple days before the visit, ask your guy about any family customs or rituals that you may need to know about. If it's a religious holiday and you don't share the same faith, discuss what you are or aren't comfortable with and try to reach a fair compromise — as in, say, agreeing to try the lamb but deciding to sit out the annual flag football game.
- Mind your manners. Practice proper event etiquette and remember to buy a small gift for the host or hostess. Find out if other relatives plan to bring a dish and volunteer to fill in any empty spots on the menu. Not sure which types of food his family prefers? Don't be shy: ask the host to be sure that your recipe fits in with the rest of the meal.
- Observe their traditions. If it's a religious tradition, you should obviously stick with what makes you comfortable, but otherwise, make a point to join in the fun. Participate in an Easter egg hunt, dress up if his family holds a more formal holiday, and bring a positive, engaged attitude to the table. It may not be what you're used to, but part of being a guest means politely cooperating with the activities planned by your host.
- Offer to help out. Be a supportive, accommodating guest and make yourself available to cook, clean, or help entertain the kids. No need to go overboard or brownnose — offer once or twice, and if the family insists that you sit and relax, go ahead and do so. The goal is to be kind, not irritating.
- Send a thank-you card. Leave a positive, lasting impression by mailing thank-you cards to those who hosted or helped to make you feel especially comfortable. Enjoy your conversation with his grandma? Send her a note with a recipe you may have mentioned.
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