So, you have a set of in-laws that you are not so fond of and your marriage gets hit with a lot of unneccessary stress every year at Christmas time. While your marriage may be strong and secure, just the presence of your in-laws during the holidays causes bad feelings between you and your husband. Because of this, it seems as though the holidays never go off without a hitch.
Maybe the relationship with your in-laws was shaky from day one. Or maybe it evolved over time into a general dislike. Whatever the scenario, it seems as though your in-laws never fail to bring drama into your house during the holidays and it always seems to put you and your husband at odds. You wish you could just not invite them this year, but that would cause even more drama in the family. So, you resign yourself to a built-in Christmas shambles with your in-laws.
Well, let’s see if we can soothe your problem and maybe even make Christmas a little bit more pleasant this year. Here are four tips for handling your in-laws during the holidays.
Christmas Survival Tip#1: Communicate with Your Husband
You need to make sure that you are and your husband are effectively communicating about the battle that is about to take place. While your husband is likely aware of the tension between you and your in-laws, he may be feeling stuck in the middle and prefer to turn away from the situation.
That is completely acceptable; however, it should be well communicated to your husband that it is not as easy for you to ignore the situation. Because the digs and insults are always directed at you, you have no other choice but to defend yourself.
Try making it clear to your husband that you don’t expect him to get involved in the holiday drama, but you do expect him to stay out of the way when you handle it the way you feel is best. Be sure to remind him that you still love and care for him and that your feelings for his parents are in no way a reflection of your feelings for him.
Christmas Survival Tip# 2: Go to the Spa Before Your In-laws Arrive
You know that your in-laws are going to be sitting around the dinner table with you this year. And since you know that this holiday season promises to be a most stressful time for you, your best line of defense against this tragedy is a good offense.
In order to handle this mess, you are going to need to mentally cleanse yourself and prepare for the inevitable borage of comments and indecencies which will inevitably come up. In light of this, you should try a nice, relaxing day at the spa prior to your Christmas dinner.
Understandably it is Christmas time and cash funds are low. But don’t skimp on this one vital necessity. A day at the spa means the full works; a manicure, a pedicure, a back massage; a cut, trim and style, as well a soothing facial massage.
Getting in your day at the spa can most definitely make you feel like you are on top of your game. It will make you feel gorgeous inside and out; no matter how much your in-laws try to make you feel like a wildebeest. So, make sure that you take the time, and the money, to get yourself into the spa so that you can rejuvenate.
Christmas Survival Tip 3: Surprise Your Mother-in-law with Kindness
If you have one of those mothers-in-law that like to waltz into your home and pretend you are not even a sharing partner in the ownership of the home, then this tip is most definitely for you.
When your mother-in-law walks through the door, offer to take her coat and bring her a cup of coffee. The shocked look on her face will probably be worth a thousand words. And as long as you employ this technique for the rest of the night, you can manage to stay one step ahead of her.
Christmas Survival Tip #4: Use Your Mother-in-law’s Recipe for Christmas Desserts
This is the greatest and most hilarious trick of all. If you have one of those mothers in-law that love to criticize your food and are constantly telling their son that he might as well come home every night for supper because you simply can’t do it right, then you most definitely need to try some reverse psychology.
Of course your mother-in-law probably thinks that no one can cook as well as she does, and no one can possibly care for her son like she could. Well, this year you can turn the tables on her by serving a dish made by using her recipe.
She will probably eventually either make some negative comment about the dish or be sure to stay far away from it, knowing that you made it. If she does decide to try the dish, make sure to tell her that you used her recipe to make it. Simply explain to her that her recipe was the best of all and that you wanted to use it at Christmas this year.
If on the other hand she decides to steer clear of the concoction, be sure to invite her to try the dish and let her know that you made from her exact recipe. If everyone at the dinner table is aware of the palpable tension between the two of you, this is sure to get some laughs.
So, you see, Christmas dinner does not have to be a nightmare. You simply have to learn how to handle your mother-in-law. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t have chosen her out of a line up. So why not try some good old zingers and reverse psychology on her this year and leave her stumbling in her tracks?