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How to Survive Christmas With Your In-Laws

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Christmas and the holidays are a time to be with family. Here’s a quick survival guide if you’re spending it with the in-laws. 

Some families are nuttier than a fruitcake. Others are pretty normal. If you’re spending any amount of time with your in-laws this holiday season, whether it’s for the first time or for the 25th time, just remember: It’s not your family, so don’t expect it to be. They eat different things and they do things differently. The fact that it’s not like your family can sometimes be a self esteem boost. Just be open to the differences and go with the flow.

Sometimes hanging with the in-laws can be like watching a program on the National Geographic Channel. It may seem like you’re watching a different species. They interact differently and they have a different language when you watch how they communicate. For some, yelling is how they talk to each other. We all know how that’s not the way most people talk to each other, but just think about it like you’re at work, rather than with your partner’s family. Being an amateur stand up comic may be fine at your place of employment, but it may not translate with your in-laws, so resist the urge to start with the puns. If you’re more of a wall flower, try and come out of your shell otherwise they may get a bad feeling about you and you’re great. You don’t want them to think you don’t like them.

Unfortunately, everyone may not love you all the time. Your family is obligated to love you, theirs is not. In my family, we take in strays and love them like blood. In others’, the stray is just that: a stray and you may be treated as such. No matter how long it has been or how often you see these people, they may not let you join in any reindeer games. Bring along an electronic hand held game to play, or if all else fails; go play with the kids. They’re probably more fun anyway.

Your partner may become a different person around their family. They may have evolved past what you think are barbaric or old fashioned ways, but when they get with their family, it may all come back. Be prepared.

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