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Getting Along with In-laws During the Holidays

Updated on December 16, 2016

In-laws. I know, right? They do everything better, for less money, in half the time. And nothing your family does will ever be half as wonderful as theirs. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you're on your way to a happy holiday experience with your in-laws. But until that happens, here are some useful tips that might help.

  • Stay calm, be polite, and smile - No matter what they say or do, stay calm. Don't provoke them. Stooping to their level with snide remarks only agitates the situation -- especially if there is existing tension.
  • Get a breath of fresh air - Walk around the block. Walk outside and sit in your car for ten minutes. While you're there, listen to your favorite radio station. Play with GPS and see how far you are from locations where you'd rather be, like the Bahamas. (Unless your in-laws live in the Bahamas, and if that's the case then why are you even reading this? You're visiting them in the freakin' Bahamas!)
  • Dive into an MMORPG on your phone - There's no way I can legitimately pull out my laptop while visiting the in-laws. But I can log into my favorite F2P MMORPG via an app on my android phone! I can read and reply to messages, check guild news, and briefly chat with my fellow gamers before signing out and pretending it was just an important email.
  • Offer to do something for them - Like run errands. And the longer you take running errands, the less time you have to spend with them. If there's a Starbucks or other coffee place nearby, stop in and enjoy a cup of coffee to kill the time.
  • Give them booze - Yes, dear readers. If all else fails, uncork a bottle of wine and start filling goblets. There's no need to overindulge but sometimes just a nice glass of Merlot or Pinot Grigio takes the edge off and calms nerves all around.

No matter how great your relationship with your in-laws, eventually you will find yourself at a rough spot. If you've already been there, what advice can you give other readers? And if you haven't been there...then good luck! (You'll need it! Heh.)

DISCLAIMER - After twenty-some-odd years of marriage, I have a great relationship with my in-laws. Sure, there are times when we're still going to butt heads, but that happens in even the best of relationships. When the rough spots happen, and they will, grin and bear it as best you can and, if you have kids, take comfort in knowing that some day you'll be the in-law.


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