How to survive Christmas with the in-laws

It can sometimes be a challenge with your nearest and dearest staying at Christmas but planning can make it go a lot smoother

It is Christmas time, a time when family gets together and celebrate the season of good will. Everyone has different traditions, some people stay at home, others prefer to travel to other members of their extended family and some will have family over themselves. Whatever you do ensuring it runs as smoothly as possible is the main factor and enjoying the day as it is meant to be enjoyed. If you are hosting Christmas and the in laws are coming over there are some ways it can be entertaining for all and here we have listed some especially for you! 
  • Talk to your partner- Have a sit down with your partner and tell him that while you don’t mind having his parents over but you do expect some give and take. If you in laws are in anyway difficult you need to discuss how best to deal with any issues that may arise to avoid Christmas been ruined by a moody in law. Remind your partner that while family is important, his loyalties must remain with his nuclear family and not just with his extended family.  
  • Plan their accommodation arrangements- In an ideal world you would have ample amount of space in your home with a beautiful guest room, but that isn’t always the case! Consider whether it is best if your in laws stay in a hotel prior to Christmas Eve to give your family some space depending on how long they intend to stay? If it is just for two nights you could turf one of the kids out of their bedroom and do it up nicely for your in laws. Remember that your in laws need to fit into your lives so if they are staying with you they must put up with a bunk bed or single beds even, and don’t be shy about stating the fact!
  • Be open to changing your rituals and traditions and ensure your in laws are too- All families have their own little ways and traditions at Christmas and that is perfectly fine as long as everyone plays along. You can include your in laws rituals too, but it is worth mentioning that it is your home and if you don’t like the kids opening any gifts till after breakfast stick with it!
  • Call the in laws before their arrival- Ask your partner to ring your in laws before they arrive and run through your plans for the day and how they are more than welcome to join you or stay at home while you go on your festive run! If your Mother in law loves taking over in the kitchen by all means accept some help but don’t allow her to take over and feel pushed out so ensure your partner mentions that you are doing the cooking.
  • Include your kids in the planning for Christmas- Don’t forget the kids have a say too, and they are the most important people at Christmas so include them in all your planning. Ask them what they want to do throughout the day and if they have any qualms about their grandparents coming over and sort it all out before the big day.
Hopefully it will all run smoothly, Happy Christmas!
Written by Emma, Irish mummy blogger. Check out her own blog at

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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