How to Prepare for Your First Christmas with In-Laws
by Carolyn Lee Dec 4, 2023
Planning to spend your first Christmas with in-laws might make you feel anxious or stressed. However, the holidays are typically a time of cheerfulness, family, and enjoyment, so don’t worry too much. We have a few things you can do to prepare to help you ease through their Christmas routines.
Please get to know them.
The holidays are steeped in traditions and can become stressful if you don’t know your in-laws’ expectations. Your partner is an expert on your in-laws and can be a good resource person to learn more about their habits, holiday traditions, and expectations. Ask questions that allow you to prepare psychologically and ensure that your gifts are well-received.
Give your in-laws your travel dates.
Decide with your partner how long you plan to stay at your in-laws. Even if you get on well with them, it is respectful to inform them so they can arrange to accommodate you. Please give them your arrival and departure schedule. Ask how you can help or what you can contribute to making things easier for them. It’s a good idea to offer a thank-you gift (wine, flowers, card) when it’s time to leave or after you’ve settled in your home.
Go as a team.
Some families are close-knit, others have love-hate relationships with each other, but they all come together for the holidays. So, let your partner know the family dynamics, and go as a team. The last thing you want is for your partner to say or do something in ignorance that others view as offensive. So, please provide them with tips that will make their experience smooth.
Please let them know your dietary restrictions early.
Cooking for the holidays is a huge task, and some food allergies might get overlooked. So, let your in-laws know before visiting if you have a food allergy. If you already mentioned your allergies in the early stages of getting to know them, a nudge won’t hurt. You can ask your partner to remind them and ensure they remember it. Leaving early or being rushed to the emergency room can dampen the holiday spirit.
Be open to learn new things.
Your in-laws might have holiday traditions that you are familiar with and some new to you. Challenge yourself by being open to learning a new recipe, game, or way of making something. Offer to help with significant tasks (decorating, shopping, baking) that allow you to bond more with them. Also, be open to sharing personal tips, but don’t overdo it.
Remember to exercise.
Whether you plan on staying for the day or a few days, remember to prioritise your physical and mental health. Try to work out before visiting or schedule going for a walk or run. Your partner will be busy at times catching up with family members. So, you can plan these activities together to have time alone. Exercise can refresh you and prevent feeling pressured or overwhelmed.
We hope these tips help. Don’t overthink things or pressure yourself to fit in too much. Remember, the holidays are meant to be fun, so enjoy each other.
Sources: HuffPost, His and Hers Mag, and Care.