Make it a memorable family meal by promoting a chat fest.

Having one giant Thanksgiving celebration with your family and his means that everyone will get to know one another on a personal level. While it's a great way to introduce the future in-laws, it can be a lot for everyone to handle. Here's how to make the day go smoothly when new faces meet.

Introduce everyone correctly.

The older or higher-ranking person is introduced to the younger as in "Grandpa, this is Dave's younger brother, Charlie Fields. Charlie, this is my grandfather, John Baretta." Look Grandpa in the eye while speaking to him then turn at look at the other person as you talk to him. If both people are equal in stature, it makes sense to introduce the person you're closer to: "Mom, this is Dave's aunt, Judy Monroe. Aunt Judy, this is my mom, Carol Stewart."

Do the intros right away.

Get the awkwardness out of the way when someone new arrives. Simple intros such as "Grandma, this is Dave's cousin, Michael" will do. If you want, you can add something interesting about each person: "Michael works in advertising in Boston." Grandma will surely pick up on that tidbit and ask about advertising or even the weather in Boston. Stay with them for a few minutes to make sure a conversation is taking off.

Talk about what you're eating.

To keep the conversation going and avoid awkward silences, talk food-it's the great equalizer and a topic most people enjoy talking about, even with people they've just met. If your sister's sweet potato casserole or your future mother-in-law's pearl onions are renowned in their respective families, bring it up. Before long, everyone will be talking about other family favorites, exchanging recipes, or scooping up second helpings.

Bring up the wedding.

Continue "introducing" people at the table by referencing the wedding. Mention that Jason was the guy who is making all the photo booth props. Anything that will keep the conversation lively will work well.


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