The holidays will be here one after the other and you are probably getting ready to host a few festivities at your home. You may be even hosting a dinner in which the guest list consists of your family and your in-laws. But what happens if you are not too friendly with certain members of your partner’s family? How do you host a peaceful and fun evening without tearing each other’s heads off? Well rest assured, here are a few suggestions that will not only let you be in the same room with your non-preferred in-law, but actually mingle with them as well.
1. Let them help you: This will help you “set your limits” with your in-laws. Perhaps they can help set the table or put the left overs away. By handing out specific tasks, you can let them know exactly what you will allow them to do and make them feel needed in the process. Also, incorporate their traditions into the evening. According essence.com,“blending traditions ahead of time can help in-laws feel like they’re really a part of your family during the holidays.” Say a prayer that they like to say or let them bring a special dish—that way they will feel like they are truly a part of the family.
2. Know when to hold your tongue: Of course you may have that one in-law that gets under your skin, so “If you feel like you need a minute, you most likely do.” Step out of the room for a minute or just take the high road and do not address the situation. By holding your tongue, you do not risk offending anyone and possibly ruining the evening. Plus you will have your family there, so they may pick the fight for you! But of course, make everyone know that the holidays are special and no one should argue.
3. Remain positive throughout the day and evening: Just focus on the decorations that you have and the time that you put into the evening. Once you know everything is cooked and looks the way you wanted, you should be proud. If you let the negative energy you feel your in-laws bring, it will only drag you down. Remain the gracious host and do not let anyone see you falter.
4. “Lower your expectations:” Of course they are not your favorite in-laws for a reason because they will not even tell you what a great job you did to make your home look beautiful and the evening special. Therefore, when they walk through the door, do not expect a “thank you for having me” or “what a great job you did.” If you do not get those compliments, you will display some resentment towards them.
5. When in doubt, drink or serve more egg nog! Okay, this may not be the best idea, but some liquid can make you more social towards your in-laws. You should always “Keep them talking.” Furthermore, keep in mind that “the secret to successful interactions with your in-laws is keeping the conversation simple.” However, the answers to these questions can be very short. Therefore, some alcohol and great music can loosen things up. Just always be careful with how much you serve everyone because you do not want to risk igniting the flame of hatred and have everyone bold enough to talk bad about each other. You always want to keep the holidays vibrant and fun, and remember, you may not see your in-laws every day, so set your grievances aside and enjoy the holidays as a family.
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