From the politically inclined to the total jokester.
Long Reception Table with Red Flower Arrangements

The holidays carry a particular, "can you hold your weight," mentality, and not just regarding food consumption. In fact, possibly the more weight-baring consequence of holiday gatherings is the bizarre, and often laughable, interaction you'll have with family, extended family, friends of said family, and your other half's lot of characters too.

In this day and age, pleasantries are often tossed aside for the sake of casual conversation around the dinner table and on the sofa, leaving you to mingle with relatives and friends that run the gamut from lovely to hilarious to just plain weird. Here are a few of the types of relatives you might meet at your soon-to-be-spouse's holiday dinner.

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The One-Too-Many-Ciders-In Uncle

Avoid, avoid! The uncle who has spent his entire morning watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV and is now about a dozen ciders deep should absolutely be placed in the avoid category. If he starts giving you the rundown of the Rockettes' high kicks and costumes, you may want to fake a call from the other room.

The Sweeter-Than-Apple-Pie Cousin

The precious cousin who can't stop talking about how perfect your hair is and how her own hair is way too thin to style... Bless her heart. Keep in mind that it's good etiquette to meet compliments with compliments.

The Jokester

There's a jokester in nearly every family tree. Whether they're actually funny or not is usually up for debate. Here's to hoping you're not at the receiving end of jokes, and to hoping you can roll with it and laugh if you are.

The Politico

It's no secret that this election year has been supercharged with political opinions of all types. While you may fear the person at the party who has seemingly waited all year to chat about his/her political viewpoints at this family gathering, one lesson we may all take away from the highly-tense election is that it's important to hear points of view that aren't the same as yours. Maybe give this guy a shot to make his point. Or maybe just go fill up your wine glass. Your call.

The Hyperactive Kid

Think before you judge this kiddo. He or she could be an ally in the case of getting wrapped too deep in conversation with the aforementioned Politico. Introduce yourself early on and know that if you make eye contact with this little hooligan during an awkward convo, they may come to your rescue.

The Excitable Foodie

For all you foodies out there, recipe swapping may be the single best thing about holiday gatherings. Whether the Excitable Foodie is chatting up a storm about their latest discovery in homemade cinnamon roll puffiness or begging for a recipe from Grandma Jo, this person should absolutely be on your conversation hit-list, even if just to get an invite to their next shindig.

The Indomitable Hostess

While many hosts are gracious and welcoming, some really do struggle to put together such a large gathering of folks. Don't forget to offer a hand in the kitchen and bring a little something special for the hostess to enjoy after the party comes to an end. As gracious as they may appear, it's tough work prepping a home and a meal for all these people to enjoy.


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