The five questions thou shalt not ask at a Christmas gathering
The year-end is often the time for family reunions. Everyone's taking a break from work, and everyone just wants to splurge their Christmas bonuses on gifts, food, and booze. But with these rare family gatherings come the unnecessary but unavoidable small talk with those we haven't met throughout the year. And sometimes the questions get a little awkward.
While small talk is meant to break the ice, there are some topics that instead create an undesirably cold atmosphere. And if you aren't sure whether you're one of those who go over the line - perhaps accompanied by the generous amount of booze - here are five questions you shouldn't ask at your upcoming Christmas gathering... or any family reunion, for that fact:
Where's your significant other? / Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet?
The most obvious answer is that he/she isn't here! And if someone is going through a breakup, it isn't likely that this fact is the first thing he/she'd announce at a family reunion, unless he/she's one of those public breakdown kind of people. If you're a sort-of distant relative, it's not likely anyone would want to share these kind of details with you anyway - or if you have them on social media, a quick check will give you an answer. So to be safe, steer clear of the questions about the significant other - or if you have to ask and you have your answer, there's no need to prod further.
Where's my present?
Truth be told, this is especially annoying, especially when it is asked by kids. Note: parents, tell your kids to have a little more manners, and perhaps they'll get their presents without having to ask. Christmas is, after all, supposed to be all about giving rather than receiving. Friends or those close to you may ask this as a joke, but on other terms, this question comes off as obnoxious.
When are you having kids? / When are you getting married?
Unless you're pregnant or engaged, this one is probably the most annoying question that often comes from the aunts and uncles who don't really know how else to start a conversation. This question is redundant: if someone is pregnant or engaged, it's most likely you'll know before you meet them. For a married couple or someone who's still unmarried, this question is probably all they hear until they actually do get a child, or get engaged, respectively.
Did you put on weight?
This is the equivalent to saying, "you got fat." Just stay away from any weight-related questions, even if it is obvious a person put on weight. Besides, it's the holidays - a little holiday weight is pretty normal. Otherwise, you never know what kind of emotional or mental stress a person is going through and hence gaining weight. Anyway, nobody likes to be called fat.
Are you pregnant?
Just, nope. If a lady has, indeed, put on a little holiday weight or a beer belly, this is certainly not the best way to find out. And festive gatherings are definitely not the best place to ask someone if they're pregnant. Most of the time, the answer you're going to get is a very sceptical "no," just before that person decides to spend the rest of the evening far, far away from you.
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