6 Steps for Hosting Your In-Laws During the Holidays

Whether you love your in-laws like family or you're still navigating and building your relationship, nothing can put a daughter-in-law more on edge than those four little words, "My parents are coming." Once you know they're about to ascend on your humble abode, the panic can set in. Don't let it. Check out our six-step plan below for hosting your in-laws this holiday season with ease.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Archive Photos/Stringer

Step 1: Clean it up.

A deep clean isn't necessary, but definitely set aside some time to do the basics. Wash the floors, run the vacuum, wipe down the bathrooms. But don't get stuck in maid mode! Elicit your partner's help. They're his parents after all. If you work together you can knock it out in no time. Plus you'll have peace of mind knowing no dust bunnies will come hopping out mid-visit.

Step 2: Make their space comfy.

Your in-laws will be more likely to call it a night earlier or linger in the morning if their space feels cozy. Put fresh sheets on the bed, fluff the pillows, lay out a blanket, and add a nice candle (ask your partner what his mom's favorite scent is). Your in-laws will notice the extra mile you went to make them feel at home. It's a great way to make them feel special and like you're happy they're visiting (and hopefully you genuinely are).

Step 3: Find out what they like.

While you shouldn't be expected to turn your whole world upside down, a little effort on your part can go a long way. Ask him what they like to eat, read, and watch. They'll be thrilled when you pull out eggs and turkey bacon (your FIL's favorite) or you have a few copies of their favorite magazines on hand or you rent their favorite movie. It's these little touches that will have them singing your praises to all of their friends.

Step 4: Put a plan in place.

An unplanned weekend is a disaster waiting to happen. There's nothing worse than sitting around doing nothing. It can lead to awkward silence and boredom all around. If your in-laws are the quieter type, plan a movie night to see a new release or make reservations at a restaurant that serves their favorite food (Italian, anyone?). For the more fun-loving duo, go putt-putt golfing or on a hike or explore a local hot spot. The activities will break up the visit and give you all something to talk about.

Step 5: Set (and share) boundaries.

Do you have to work while your in-laws are in town? Let them know your availability and offer up some suggestions for ways they can spend their time. Are you all accustomed to sleeping in? Show them where to find breakfast, and let them know you usually sleep until 9 and to help themselves. There's no right way to do things, but clearly letting them know what's going on will set expectations.

Step 6: Have fun! 

A visit from the in-laws is a wonderful opportunity to make memories. Try to relax and enjoy their company. Your nerves will ease once they're there, and you might even have fun!

About the Author

Tia Albright

Tia's love affair with weddings started with 16 sweet little words, "Dad, I met a man in Rome, and he's wonderful and brilliant, and we're getting married." That was all it took. Now she's married and writing about cakes, dresses, and décor to her heart's content, and she still watches Father of the Bride at least once a year (OK, maybe more like three or four times).


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