Whether you’re meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time or spending your 10th Christmas at your wife’s childhood home, surviving an extended stay with your in-laws can be challenging. For some unknown reason that dates back hundreds of years, in-law relationships are notoriously tough, and sometimes tensions can rise. If you’re sweating the holiday season, check out this survival guide.
1. Prepare yourself ahead of time. Whether you love your in-laws like your own parents or you have a more trying relationship, you know the holidays will be stressful. Don’t go in with unreasonable expectations and keep a positive attitude, especially if the people around you are crabby.
2. Be a gracious guest. Go out of your way to clean up after yourself, including being careful not to leave a mess in the bathroom and even offering to wash the sheets and remake the guest bed before you leave. Offer a helping hand by helping with meal prep and cleanup. The more you do, the less your in-laws will have to complain about.
3. Dress to impress. The one thing you do have control over this holiday season is how you look. A great way to impress your in-laws (especially if you're meeting them for the first time) is by not dressing like a slob. While holiday vacations are a time for cutting loose, you should probably avoid packing your favorite hole-ridden sweatpants and ratty T-shirts. Show off your personality by packing your favorite Skinny Tie — perfect for Christmas dinner with the family or a night on the town.