DEAR HARRIETTE: This Christmas, I’ll be meeting my boyfriend's family. They live out of state, and it's the first time we’ll be face to face. We have been dating for nearly a year now and I really like him, so I’m looking forward to getting to know his family and see how he grew up. I want to make a great impression, but I'm a bit nervous. Do you have any advice or tips for making a positive impact and navigating this initial meeting with his family? -- Meet the Parents
DEAR MEET THE PARENTS: Learn as much as you can about your boyfriend’s parents and upbringing before you go. Find out their interests and hobbies. Ask specific questions to learn about family traditions, fashion preferences, favorite foods, extracurricular pursuits and preferred entertainment genres. Then select a gift for each of them that represents who they are. For example, if his mom reads mysteries, bring her a new mystery that has been lauded on The New York Times bestseller list. If his dad likes bourbon, buy him an unusual bottle that shows you took care to select it for him. You get the idea!
Be yourself as you share things about your life and family. Do not try to fit into their picture. At the same time, honor them by paying attention to them.