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Entertainment of Thursday, 22 December 2016


Lifestyle: Christmas etiquette for new couples, singles

So the stars shone on you this year and you found your Prince Charming. And even though it’s only been a few months, you are almost certain he is The One.

Everything is going well – you spend lots of time together, you enjoy each other and you barely fight.

And now the holidays are here. Christmas is the time to celebrate with family and loved ones, and to buy everyone thoughtful gifts. It is also the time for you to make some decisions regarding your new man.

Where are you spending Christmas? Should you spend it with each other or apart? Should you buy him a gift and if so, how much should you spend on it? Would it even be appropriate to buy him a gift or invite him over to the family do?.

At a glance, these decisions might not seem like something to get stressed over. Making them without giving much thought however can result in feelings of awkwardness, embarrassment or even friction, like 29-year-old Muni found out last Christmas.

Head over heels for her new love, she didn’t think twice before splurging on a designer watch for his Christmas gift. He, on the other hand, simply took her out for a low-cost dinner a day after receiving the gift.

“It was very awkward. I ended up feeling like I was bribing him or pressuring him to be with me. I do not think that I will buy anything this year,” she says.

The problem with Muni appears to be the fact that she was and is still tiptoeing around the issue. If she had sat her man down and discussed her expectations, it would have saved her the disappointment and both of them the awkwardness.

“I plan to do something with her before Christmas or after Christmas around New Year. On Christmas day, I will be going home alone. She can’t meet the family yet,” he says.

Should you decide to invite your new love to spend Christmas with your family, it is up to you to make sure that the day goes as smoothly as possible. Talk to him beforehand about the little family things, any family quirks or annoying family members he is bound to meet. It will also be a good idea for both of you to go easy on the alcohol on D-day.

Those who are lucky to have both families in the same geographical location can split up time on Christmas to spend time with both families. “We both grew up within five kilometres of each other. It’s just been seven months, but both families know of our relationship. We have agreed to have lunch at one home and dinner at the other,” Garrison Munyi, 32, shares his Christmas plans with his new love.

If it is geographically possible, there is also the option of spending Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas Day with the other. How well either of these decisions work for a relationship all seems to be dependent on how well a couple communicates their needs and expectations of the season beforehand.

Focus on your family – If you are single at Christmas, it becomes a great time to catch up with family and enjoy each other’s company without distractions.

Mingle with other singles – You can take this chance to mingle with other people who share your relationship status. This way, you get to enjoy Christmas without feeling as if you are incomplete.

Indulge yourself – Just because there is no one in your life to buy gifts for doesn’t mean you don’t spend. Spoil yourself this Christmas.

Be a ‘yes’ woman – If you are single at Christmas, many invitations from family and friends are bound to come your way. Say yes to as many as you can.

Start planning for the New Year – If you are single at Christmas, then you have all the time in the world to think of those resolutions that will make you a better person in the coming year.