I've had this happen to me, but not very often. I would make a comment toward the effect that whatever they are complaining about could be worse (with the implication that they should be thankful it isn't!). e.g. "Yes, I know there is a big pile of folded laundry on the spare table. You should have seen how it looked before it was all folded!" or "You don't like my cookies? Oh well. Actually I thought I was doing really well by providing dessert!"
i.e. turn anything bad they say into a light-hearted pat-on-the-back for yourself. If nothing else, this formula may wear them down and make them think before they speak next time.
If they don't get the message, then I'd do what lmarsh suggests and only see them on neutral territory (although it's harder when it's family).
If it's someone you *really* can't avoid seeing, like your in-laws, then just stick with the formula, it will also make you feel better by allowing you to acknowledge what you have accomplished instead of what you haven't, while still keeping things upbeat and lighthearted.
If there's a real and total impasse (and if you really have to be around these people), you can say something to the effect of that this is the way you do things in your house, but if they feel it's not compatible to them, then maybe it's best if you meet elsewhere next time. This way it lets you stand up for yourself and show you're not going to be pushed around.... but in a respectful and non-combative way.
If the person is truly rude and consistently so, and you have to see them more than once or twice a year, then this would be a time to bring up the problem directly to them, without bothering with my diplomatic tactics above. If you lose the friendship over this, then so be it - trust me, it won't be a big loss at your end!