7 Tips to Survive the Holidays (In-Law Tips Included) Tips that will have you and your spouse navigating this holiday season like true pros. BY SARAH MERRILL
There are ways you can be helpful and create distance from unpleasant situations during the holidays.
“ Remember, the holidays without a little interrogation from your families just wouldn’t be the holidays.”
The holidays are hard enough with your family, let alone adding a spouse and their family to the mix. What was once a time you only needed to navigate your family drama, suddenly requires in-laws, double the annoying personal questions and much more gift shopping (ugh). Here are a few tips to help navigate split-holidays with your significant other.
1. Manage expectations. Go into your respective celebrations with a plan and stick to it. If you are dividing your holidays between families, get ready for the guilt trips. "You’re going to miss Christmas morning?" or "You won’t be joining us for dinner?" are just a few landmines you will have to cross when trying to split your time evenly. Make sure your respective families know ahead of time just when you plan on joining them to help manage their expectations.
2. Navigate the personal questions. Maybe you are holding off on having children or you or your spouse are in-between jobs. Remember, the holidays without a little interrogation from your families just wouldn’t be the holidays. I recommend being as vague as humanly possible to try to deter said interrogator from pushing further. A simple, "We’re waiting for the time to be right" leaves little room for follow up questions and is as close to, "WE DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT" as you can passive-aggressively get.
3. Steer clear of any and all political conversations. This 2016 Holiday season is poised to be especially volatile around any political discourse. No matter how the conversation turns, or how ridiculous your in-law’s comments might sound —trust me, abort mission. You won’t be changing anyone’s minds today (or possibly, ever) so do your best to take the high road. Make up an excuse to take a call or hit the powder room for a few minutes of Instagram scrolling. Repeat after me: Wooo Saaaaaa.
4. Lend a helping hand. No matter who’s house you’re in, remember to help out in some way, shape or form. Some of the unanticipated bonding moments can come from something as simple as setting the table. Bonus points if you need to run an errand outside of the house. This "selfless act" really just means some alone time to belt Mariah in the car.
5. Go easy on the gift spending. With a whole second family to appease, spending can easily get out of control. And nothing is worse than spending a large amount of money on a relative only to get socks in return (or vice versa). Set the expectations with a gift amount limit to help even the playing field.
6. Enjoy the holiday spirit(s). When dealing with your family (and especially someone else’s family) sometimes a little holiday cocktail is just what you need to help take the edge off. Just don’t go overboard or risk being "that" relative. You throw up on the tree one year and nobody ever forgets it. Proceed with caution.
7. Put on a happy face. Remember that you are an adult, and you and your significant other can go back to normal marital bliss once this is all over. Family is important and you never know what the future has in store. Enjoy this time and know that you have a full year before you have to do it all over again.
Sarah Merrill, the brains, beauty and meme queen behind @BigKidProblems knows just how to survive the holidays, and make it out alive. Sarah’s instagram provides funny relief to life’s "adult issues" such as work, dating, friends, finances, etc to give our real-life experiences a laugh every now and then.