Surviving Christmas with the in-laws
Most people I know get on amazingly well with their in-laws but not all of them. I have a friend whose mother-in-law had a picture of her husband and ex-girlfriend on the top of her TV for the first few years of their marriage! Building that new relationship can be tricky and spending all Christmas with the in-laws-to-be, cooped together, only one of you can be in charge of the remote and with all that alcohol around, it could turn into an episode from a soap opera! So what are my tips for surviving Christmas with the in-laws to be?
Having anyone to stay can be stressful let alone over Christmas. My sister is a complete neat freak. A few years ago we stayed at her house on Christmas day and when we got up on Boxing Day morning she had packed our car up because our presents were making her house messy. My husband and I get on with my sister really well but perhaps we should have remembered her OCD!
Pick your battles
I say this to my husband and children all the time. Somethings just aren’t worth arguing over. If it isn’t that important to you then leave it alone. There is no point in making surviving Christmas with the in-laws to be even harder than it already is!
Be honest from the start
If you don’t have enough room to accommodate Great-Aunt Val and Uncle Ted say so. Trying to find room for everyone to sleep, chairs for the living room and playing with seating plans for dinner will only increase your stress levels. Christmas can seem really long when you have to stand up the whole time!
Cooking for large groups of people takes lots of planning, time and effort. Offer to help out in the kitchen. Personally I am a really bad cook and I really hate doing it so my offer would always to wash the pots!
Is it tradition?
Different families have different traditions. Have the discussion before hand and discover how you both do Christmas and share traditions that will make the day even more special. I had no idea that our family traditions were just that until I met my husband who was very confused over the concept of ‘table presents’! (And no we don’t give each other tables).
Remember you’re on the same team so support each other if things get a little heated and give helpful advice on things that will make the day go smoothly.
You might not want to spend Christmas with your in-laws and are sat there wishing you were home alone together, with your own parents or out on the town but you’re not. So make the most of it and join in. You never know, you might enjoy it!
If you are having your in-laws over to you, make sure the sheets are clean. A friend was staying with her son and daughter-in-law and had to ask for a pillow case as there wasn’t one. It didn’t get the holiday season off to a good start and things only went down hill from there.
Share your partner
Your partner may not see their family very often and might want to spend time bonding and reminiscing. There is plenty to go around.
Know your limits
Surviving Christmas with the in-laws you might think involves hitting the bottle. Now, I like a gin as much as the next girl and my Instagram is evidence of this but it’s probably not the best way of dealing with a stressful Christmas.
I have three children and I hide from them in the bathroom when it all gets too much, or I have sweets I don’t want to share, and trust me it works. Just taking 10 minutes to get away, breathe and be alone will help you get through the festivities.
Christmas is not for life
Remember, it will come to an end but your in-laws are for life, not just for Christmas!
What are your tips for Surviving Christmas with the in-laws?