We’re in the midst of Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas is mere weeks (weeks!) away. There is also Hannukah and other holidays that my family does not participate in, but which we respect your family’s right to. With all of these holidays crammed into such a short amount of time (weeks!), it means that you’re going to be spending at least one dinner with extended family. You might even be trekking for many miles with cranky children, only to have horrible sleeps on spring-loaded hide-a-bed mattresses, and then trying to smile nicely when your husband’s mother asks you if you’re taking a break from working out, because your face seems a bit ‘puffy.’
Never fear! I have five tips to help you survive the holidays with your in-laws, be they the woman who birthed your husband, or creepy/drunk Uncle Ted.
1. Host the dinner. If you’re busy in the kitchen pulling the meal together, you can ignore everything else happening and find solace in the fact that while everyone else is dealing with Uncle Ted, you are in a quiet kitchen with nobody other than your husband grabbing your butt.
2. Keep the conversation at surface level. Now is not the time to hash out grievances, or call people out on their passive aggressive comments. Deflect any ridiculousness, sip your wine, but take mental notes so that you and your spouse can reenact it all later and have a good laugh.
3. Get drunk. I’m totally kidding on that one; that’s Uncle Ted’s department. But have enough wine/beer/spirits that you have a warm and fuzzy feeling, but not so much that you think it’s a wise time to have ‘deep conversations’ that can (WILL) go sideways. (See point #2.)
4. Hang out with your kids. If you’re spending many days in the home of an extended family member (I’m sorry, and) playing Just Dance with the younger set sounds a whole lot more fun to me than hearing about every ailment/complaint/eye-roll-worthy comment that could be fired your way from the older set.
5. Set off the fire alarm. A lighter up to the fire detector and BOOM. You’re all evacuated and have something else to talk about other than how your kids are picky eaters and how poor Uncle Ted really does need some help.
How do you survive the holidays with extended family?