Q Hi Auntie Pearl, my berk and I have been bymekaar for just over a year and a half and we are very happy together.
However, it looks like the jolly season is going to ruin our happiness. We have been fighting a lot more recently, and it’s all because of Krismis.
You see, Auntie, my boyfriend is an only child and was raised in a Jehovah’s Witness household. But that’s not really a problem because he gave up his religious upbringing years ago.
He also has never had a sort of traditional family Christmas until I brought him to my family’s last year. I was raised a Christian.
Maybe this is where the problem started. Our family likes to sing a couple of Kersfees liedjies (my daddy plays the keyboard). But I think it made him feel like an outsider because he does not know the lyrics.
Also, my mommy likes to fuss over guests, and I think it made him uncomfortable. I could see he is a bietjie tense at the attention being put on him.
That was last year. So last week my berk asked me what presents to give my family because he wants to take part in the whole Krismis vibe. Isn’t that sweet, Aunty?
I gave him some ideas, but also told him he really doesn’t have to get them anything. He was a bit confused and asked why, and I said because he’s a guest.
Aai tog, that got him all opgewerk and hurt because he thought I was implying he was still an outsider.
We’ve moved past that, but Auntie I’m now moerse nervous that this year’s holidays will be just as tense as last year.
Is there any way to sort out potential issues before they happen, or will that just make it worse?
What can I do to make him feel more relaxed this time around, for both our sakes?
Or should I just stop letting myself get worked up and trust that he can handle it.
From Stressed Little Elf
A Jinne meisie, now you are sommer also getting Auntie stressed… the holiday season is om die draai! It nogal sneaks up on you, nuh!
Listen to Auntie, don’t just “trust” that everything is going to be kwaai this year. Your berk has already shown the signs that it might not.
Don’t vat ‘n kans, talk to him about what you can do to make him more comfortable.
You know the saying: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
The gifts are a good start. Why not ask him if he’d like to share a lekker dite he likes to make?
You can also have a bit of fun by suggesting a colour theme, like everyone must wear a bietjie red and white on the day. That way, your boyfriend will automatically feel part of the family Christmas experience.
The most important thing is to communicate with your boyfriend.
Talk about what happened last year and discuss how to tackle any such issues this year.
My dear, just let him know he is important to you and that it means a lot to have him be part of your family holiday celebration.
Assure him that he is not just welcome, but that he’s wanted, and not just by you, but by your whole family.