Holidays are usually best for families to meet and bond, for some, this time is their worst nightmare. Families come in all colours, shapes, sizes and personalities, so we find ways to live together in peace.
In-laws can be fun, loving, respectful or nosy, sometimes even controlling. As a result, when holidays such as Christmas or Easter come around, they can be overwhelming. Having a few ways to help you deal with your in-laws during the festive season can be a lifesaver.
Let your spouse know how you feel about your in-laws from the very beginning, especially if they aren't aware of their relatives' off-putting behaviour. Avoid blaming your spouse since they can't choose their family.
Instead, get them to see it from your perspective without making them feel attacked or blamed. This will encourage them to stand by you and call them out when they do something that is out of line.
Be clear on the length of visit
Just like a stay at a hotel, your guests should have a set day of leaving. Staying somewhere too long might lead someone to feel a bit too comfortable and that may cause problems.
For in-laws that are a bit difficult to deal with, let them stay for not more than a week. This will be easier for the host to plan a celebration that is less stressful and tedious.
When a group of people come together, it is best to have some activities to keep them entertained and engaged.
Depending on the size of home\property and the group that is coming, the hosts can arrange for simple things such as games for kids, meat roasting for the young adults and a bonfire for the older generation.
Be mindful of the preferences and different needs of your guests. For instance, older people may want to sit and have conversations over a cup of tea. Therefore, ensure that there is a separate kids' playing area-not too far from the adults in case of anything and not too close that they disrupt their conversation as they play
Have a plan with your spouse about where the guests will sleep before the day. This involves knowing how many people are coming to be able to plan a hotel stay or have enough room in your house.
Communicate this to your guests beforehand so that they know that they are well taken care of and need to respect your decisions.
All relationships need respect and healthy boundaries, this is the only way people can be together in peace. In this case, you need to have both emotional and physical boundaries.
Some in-laws can be nosey. With this in mind, lock doors to rooms you don't want guests to access. Deal with disrespectful guests outside, away from the rest of the family.
If this does not help, then ask them to kindly leave your home or endure it for the rest of the stay then make wiser decisions in the future.
Some of the tips given in this article may not be easy to implement. Nevertheless, this could be the difference between a chaotic Christmas gathering and a harmonious stay with your in-laws.