Christmas is a wonderful time of year when you often get to spend time with friends and family. But what if this year, you’re not spending time with your family? You’ve been invited to spend Christmas with your partner’s family for the first time. But you don’t know what to expect. You might not have met them before. You have no idea how they celebrate Christmas compared to your family. It can be a nerve-wracking time, but there’s plenty you can do to make it a pleasant experience. I know how hard it can be to spend extended amounts of time with the in-laws, so here’s my guide to surviving it.
Find Out About Christmas Traditions
Before you begin the journey, ask how they usually celebrate Christmas. You might already know some of this if you’ve spent previous Christmases with your partner. Everyone does things differently, so don’t assume that their Christmas is the same as yours. Some families go to church, some have lunch while others have dinner, and some people make it an entirely non-religious occasion. If there’s anything special that you want to do, try to find a way to fit it into your time there. They should be accommodating if they’re making an effort to welcome you.
Impress with Gifts
Presents aren’t everything at Christmas, but they are useful for bonding with people. You can use them to show that you can be thoughtful and that you tried to get everyone something they would love. You might consider Scotch as a gift for something special, or something for their home. Ask your partner about everyone’s interests and check with them before buying gifts. Then you can find each person something that’s right for them. You might buy presents together – after all, they only have one more person to buy for, while you have several more.
Take Some Alone Time
Spending all your time with the in-laws can be stressful. It’s best not to spend every moment with them, if possible, especially if they can be difficult. Try to find some time to take for yourself, whether you’re alone or with your partner. Perhaps go for a walk or go out for dinner one evening to give everyone a break. Many people’s company is best in small doses, even if you love them and enjoy spending time with them. It could be a good idea to make plans before you arrive, so you’re guaranteed some time out of the house.
Lend a Hand
Preparing Christmas dinner for a large group of people is no easy feat. It’s a little rude to sit around without even offering to help, so try to lend a hand where you can. It could be with the cooking, setting the table or the washing up. And that goes for whether you’re a man or a woman, even if all the other men are sitting around drinking eggnog. However, if you keep being rebuffed, don’t push your help onto anyone.
hristmas with the in-laws can be a stressful occasion, but it can also be a lot of fun. Go into it prepared and you’ll be more likely to get along.