Like many, many people the world over, you may find the wintertime holidays stressful. What very well may add to your level of stress is visiting inlaws, or even inlaws on hand for a dinner or holiday party. If that is the case, you are not alone.
There are strategies that you can employ to reduce the level of stress associated with spending time with the inlaws during the holidays, including on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The fact that you experience stress because of a holiday visit from your inlaws doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. Indeed, it doesn’t even mean that you do not care deeply for your inlaws.
The fact is that family can be stressful during the holiday season. And, that can be magnified at least somewhat when the family involved happens to be inlaws.
Keep Your Expectations in Check
One of the reasons many people experience added holiday stress when the inlaws come for a visit, or even for a meal, is because of unreasonable expectations. A key type of expectation about your inlaws that can and will contribute to your holiday stress is the idea that “things will be better” this Christmas. In other words, if you and your inlaws have experience essentially the same issues most of the times you have been together in the past, it is unreasonable to assume that things will change this holiday season.
You really can lower stress level by keeping your expectations in check when it comes to celebrating the holidays with your inlaws. By coming to at least some recognition that “things are what they are,” you won’t bump up your stress level at Christmas. In fact, you may even find that time with your inlaws goes more smoothly when your expectations are more reasonable and are kept in check.
Include Your Inlaws in the Planning Process
If your inlaws will be coming for to spend time with your family during the holidays, or even if they will be attending a dinner at your home, include them in the planning process. Take a step beyond merely inviting them to spend time in your home during the holidays.
If an extended stay in your home will be on the agenda for your inlaws this holiday season, discuss in advance what they might like to do during their stay. Provide them a list of items that you and your spouse enjoy, and that you think that they might also appreciate partaking in while visiting. Let them make selections from the list in advance of arriving at your home. This eases the pressure of trying to figure out how to entertain your guests once they arrive. It also sets the stage for everyone to be able to participate in activities that generally are enjoyed by all.
If your inlaws will be coming for a meal or party, you can also include them in the planning process. For example, if one or another of your inlaws enjoys cooking, that person probably has a specialty that he or she likes to prepare. Suggest that they prepare that dish and bring it to the gathering at your home. Yes, you are asking that inlaw to do a bit of work. However, most people who enjoy cooking appreciate the opportunity to show off their culinary specialty.
Get a Memorable Gift for Your Inlaws
Another step you can take that actually will warm the heart of your inlaws, but also lower your own stress level, is to select a unique holiday gift for them that they will long treasure and remember. By way of example, consider purchasing a simply elegant silver Christmas ornament or silver Christmas bell. This type of gift is something that will make your inlaws smile this holiday season, and will be something they will treasure well into the future.
You don’t even need to add to the stress of an inlaw holiday visit by having to shop for a perfect Christmas gift for the. Rather, you can do your shopping online and find exactly what you want at a store like the Silver Superstore. In addition to silver Christmas ornaments and bells, the retailer has a wide range of other items that can prove to be ideal gifts, not only for your inlaws, but also for other people on you holiday gift giving list. Indeed, silver items of different types are ideal gifts not only for family members, but also for your friends as well as professional colleagues.
Jessica Kane is a writer for Silver Superstore, home of the internet’s best flatware.