Christmas At The In-Laws, A Survival Guide


WHETHER IT’S your first or 15th Christmas with the in-laws, it can be a testing time and a huge undertaking.

If you’re unsure how to navigate the treacherous territory of oddballs uncles, stressed out mother-in-laws and boozed up neighbours who’ve just popped in for 8 hours of board games, then here’s your essential survival guide:

Don’t mention the C-word

Tensions will be high and you never really know people’s true feelings or strong beliefs so don’t go blurting out how you hate Cadbury Roses and are more of a Celebrations fan.

Always carry a book in your hand

This is so you can pretend to be reading whenever a decade’s old dispute about a sibling’s favourite teddy ending up in the bin resurfaces and risks becoming violent.

Familiarise yourself with the remote

Are they a Sky, Virgin and/or Smart TV household with Netflix hidden away behind eight different complex menu options? Master the settings when on your own so that when your father-in-law falls asleep minutes after beginning a 6-hour documentary on WWII you can switch on Die Hard.

Practice your ‘hmmm, that’s delicious face’

Every family will have it’s own truly demented spin on Christmas dinner called something like soggy pocket, which might be turkey and coca cola put in a blender and poured over a banana. You can’t incur your in-laws wrath by saying Granny Bina’s family recipe is an abomination which tastes like what you imagine eating elephant diarrhea feels like.

Practice your game face by having some porridge soaked in week old cold coffee with eight dollops of chili powder.

Fake phone calls from work

They don’t know that you’re an incredibly non-essential cog in your company that no one would miss, pretend there’s world ending catastrophe unfolding that requires you to step out of the room for 45 minutes. It’s up to you to sell the fact that it’s a mere coincidence they only ring when you clearly look like you’re fed up with your present company.

If you’ve exhausted all these moves to no real advantage, a slab of cans is your only man.