How to survive the in-laws visiting this Christmas
Do you look forward to Christmas with your in-laws because you get along with them so well?
Or is it more like Meet The Parents and Monster In Law?
Do you dread Christmas because there are too many cooks in the kitchen, children running around, and a drunken father-in-law ranting about the state of the country?
It doesn't have to be this difficult.
1. Go for a jog
Declare that you have begun your January fitness programme early.
Put on your running shoes and go for a run (to the pub).
This is a great way to get out of the house alone, and everyone will compliment you on being so assertive during the holiday season.
2. Establish time constraints
Nobody wants visitors to stay for the entire ten days between Christmas and New Year's.
Take no chances: when you agree on the arrival time, also agree on the departure time.
You'll know where everyone stands and will be able to look at the clock and count down the hours when things get tricky.
3. Be creative
'I'm just popping out to help Lisa because her car broke down, to feed her cat, and to bring her some supplies because she's sick.' (remove as necessary)
Use friends, neighbours, or anyone else you can think of to 'help out' over the holidays, and then head around the corner to the pub for some respite with other escapees.
Have friends on standby to call you if you need assistance.
4. Go to bed
Poor you for getting a headache, which means you have to lie down for two hours (watching movies on the laptop, with a box of Choccies).
What a shame you fell asleep with the kids when they were having such a difficult time going to bed.
5. Make a retreat
Create a mini-retreat in the guest room.
That includes teas, perfume, spa products, magazines, biscuits, candles, and so on.
They will never want to come out, and you can make a big show of how nice you've made it for them to use for some time out (then they will feel obliged to).
6. Leave the room
Go on shopping trips for items you 'forgot' to buy at your big store.
Declare that you will be taking a daily walk and invite everyone to join you.
It's better to be outside than inside, especially in a small space.
No need for words, but Christmas is the only time of year when it's acceptable to drink champagne for breakfast without being judged.
Stay hydrated throughout the day, and everything will be much more relaxed.
Request babysitting from the in-laws and go out to the pub together for some fun.
Have some fun games in each room downstairs, such as a large jigsaw puzzle on a side table, so that people can relax quietly by themselves.