How to deal with in laws at Christmas…
Surviving Christmas day can sometimes be a battle in itself but surviving Christmas with the in-laws can be another battle altogether!
Here are some tricks of the trade to get you through the day as smoothly as possible, without drinking too much or running to the bathroom to silently scream into a pillow.
Choose your battles wisely
This a bit like living with a toddler, the same rules apply. Weigh up what you can live with or at least give in to for the sake of keeping the peace on Christmas day. No-one wants to get rubbed up the wrong way because onions weren’t chopped a certain way.
Don’t hit the bottle
If there is slight hint of strained relations alcohol can without fail only lead to the situation being heightened. Things are not seen clearly and our judgement does not work as well after a glass or two of vino. Stay well away – you’ve been warned!
Plan your day
It is much easier to survive the day if you plan it in advance. We’re not talking about a rigorous plan but it may be a good idea to get out for a walk, it will kill some time and also helps to calm the ham after been cooped up in an over-crowded sitting room that resembles a toy shop, hyper children, and your in-laws. We’re getting cold sweats just thinking about it.
Don’t do it alone
Accept the help of others. This is your Christmas too and the more hands on deck the better. It may not be done to your liking but who cares it’s Christmas day; a day to laugh and spend time with your family even if they seem to be doing everything in their power to stand on your toes.
Remember too, the more comfortable visitors feel, the more likely the more likely they are to be on their best behaviour. We tend to show our worst sides when we feel ignored or threatened.
No taking sides
Whatever you do don’t ask your partner to take sides. It’s one of the most uncomfortable situations for anybody to be in never mind on Christmas day! Men’s way of keeping the peace is usually by saying nothing at all. Don’t let that bug you, he is after all, on your side.
Bite your tongue
We’re all entitled to our opinions and we’re sure these words have been spoken by you at some stage or another. However, this also means your in-laws are allowed to have opinions. What you need to do is allow them, you may not agree but it’s best just to move on and try not to take them personally.
Turn a blind eye
Irritation is one of the most difficult responses to control, have you ever read a truer statement? In order to avoid that irritating feeling escalating – limit contact leaving less room to annoy.
Don’t read too much into presents
Present picking is a difficult task and although some may have been done without a genuine serenity, don’t let it get to you. As the saying goes – it’s the thought that counts.
Be kind and gracious (through gritted teeth)
A difficult mother-in-law is rather like a challenging child who derives pleasure from annoying you. Don’t give her the satisfaction of rising to the bait, this could confirm her belief that you are the difficult one. Be polite and gracious, no matter how angry you feel.
Remember they’re not moving in!
Once she’s gone, she’s gone! Take off that halo, let your hair down, hit the bottle even twerk whatever takes your fancy. That’s when the fun really starts.