Weekend Survival Kit: Hosting the In-Laws
Whether they arrive by plane, train, or automobile, have refreshments ready. Find out which drinks your father-in-law enjoys and them on hand. Does your mother-in-law have a thing for French cheeses? Put a couple of her favorite varieties on a platter with fruit and crackers. Ask about their trip and keep their mouths full to limit the complaining.
Offer an array of bagels or hot or cold cereal. Or suck up to your mother-in-law by asking her to help out. Tell her you were thinking of making pancakes and see if she wants to show you the secret to her famous boysenberry recipe. You kiss-ass, you.
Hop in the car with your spouse and gang, and take a scenic tour of the town so the in-laws feel as though they're getting an exclusive peek into your lives. Even if you don't think it's terribly exciting, they will. Follow it up with a trip to the park or an art gallery or catch a movie. It's the perfect convo topic if you're stalled for stuff to say.
So your in-laws may not be the most exciting Saturday night duo, but try hard anyway. If they're prying too much ("When are we gonna have grandkids?") turn the spotlight on them: How'd they meet? Your mother-in-law may brag about her son incessantly, but has she shared all those funny moments from his childhood?
Invite friends over to join the group (trust us, you'll need reinforcements). Keep things casual with a buffet-style spread of breads, muffins, and fruit. When it's time for them to head out, say how wonderful it was to spend time with them (even if you're lying). Oh, and hold in that sigh of relief until they're completely out the door.
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