How to Deal with In-laws Over the Holidays

Dealing with your in-laws over the holidays can be a less-than-merry affair. Etiquette expert Peter Post, great-grandson of manners maven, Emily Post, offers polite pointers.

Here are 3 etiquette tips for how to deal with in-laws over the holidays.

You can’t please everyone
There’s no simple rule of thumb when it comes to splitting time between two sets of parents. It’s unrealistic to fave a 50-50 split: Parents shouldn’t expect it, and couples shouldn’t shoot for it. As a couple, you need to decide what you want to do–maybe dinner with his parents on Christmas Eve, brunch with her side of the fam on Christmas Day–and then share the plans with both families.

Dealing with cramped quarters
Things can get pretty tight when you’re visiting out-of-town in-laws or hosting the family for the holidays–people are on top of each other and worlds collide! But keeping the peace can be easy if you communicate well. If you’re hosting, tell guests what flies and what’s off limits. If you are the guests, ask your hosts how you can make your stay more convenient for them.

Adding baby to the mix
You’re going to have to revisit how to deal with in-laws once you have children. It’s appropriate for you to start establishing your own holiday traditions at home once kids enter your life. You can tell your folks and in-laws that you won’t be traveling as much during the festive season. Part of the magic of Christmas when you have little ones is watching them wake up and run down to the tree from their own beds.

Find more ideas and tips in our Holiday Survival Guide:
Holiday Bucket List For Couples
How to Host a Kick-Ass Christmas Party
Delicious Cocktail Recipes
Turkey Dinner 101
Hilarious (and Helpful!) How to Roast a Turkey Video
Staying Home For The Holidays
Sweet and Salty Chocolate Bark Recipe

Image(s): Veer/CSA Images

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