Widower Wednesday: Giving Gifts

From the inbox comes the following holiday-related question:

My widower and I have been dating for about 9 months. This will be our first holiday season together. Part of our holiday plans include meeting the late wife’s family for the first time and spending several hours with them. While I’m okay with that, my boyfriend has suggested that I get them a small gift as that might help ease any tension or anxiety they or I might be feeling. (He’s already bought them something.) I feel weird about doing this because I don’t know these people. Do you think giving them a gift is a good idea?

Your boyfriend’s heart is in the right place but I think it should come from either your boyfriend or from both of you—not just you. Meeting the LW’s family can be an awkward experience by itself and I don’t see the point of adding any more pressure to it. Since he’s already bought them something, see how he feels about attaching your name to the gift too. Besides, if you consider your relationship to be serious most gifts (unless very personal and has special meaning to the reception) should be coming from both of you anyway. Good luck and I hope meeting the late wife’s family is an enjoyable experience.