How to survive your first Christmas with the in-laws

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family Christmas dinner

Christmas is often referred to as one of the most enjoyable, but also potentially one of the most stressful, times of the year. If you’re preparing to spend the festive period with your in-laws for the first time and want to minimise stress, His & Hers has some simple tips for the holidays…

Prepare for your journey


If your in-laws live in a different region, planning your trip in advance will help to ensure that you arrive feeling festive, rather than flustered. When traveling by train, it’s worth pre-booking your tickets if you know when you’ll be traveling and allowing a little extra time for the journey. Alternatively, if you and your partner both drive, why not compile a Christmas playlist to enjoy together during the journey.

Do your research


If you haven’t spent much time with your in-laws, it could be worth asking your partner a few questions about how their parents usually spend the Christmas holidays. Knowing a little about their usual festive routine could make you feel more at home. Also, if you’re still doing a little last minute shopping, knowing about their favourite drinks or chocolates could help to ensure that your gifts are on point!

Set realistic expectations


Sometimes when scrolling through your Instagram feed, it can feel like everyone else has planned the perfect Christmas, and expectations for this time of year can be very high. However, if you’re spending your first Christmas with the in-laws, you may find yourself feeling nervous about how you’ll fit in with your partner’s family. Forget about social media perfection and try to take things one day at a time.

Look after your physical and mental health


At times, we can all feel the pressure to fit in, and this can be even more acute when we’re talking about in-laws. However, try to prioritise looking after your physical and mental health. If you’re staying with your in-laws for more than a day or two, perhaps you could schedule regular walks to give you and your partner some alone time, or retreat to your room for a quick yoga or meditation session when needed. And if you’re feeling stressed, Mind has some tips for looking after yourself this Christmas.   

Plan your dates for arriving and leaving

Even if you get on brilliantly with your in-laws, and they emphasise that they want you to feel like their home is your home, it will probably still take the pressure off for you and for them if you and your partner set out a date when you’ll be arriving and when you’ll be leaving. Also, sending a thank you gift – such as a bottle of wine or bunch of flowers – once you return home is a nice way to show your appreciation for your hosts.

However you spend your Christmas, His & Hers hopes it’s a good one!

We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Thameslink. For more articles, please pay a visit to our lifestyle page.

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