The In-Laws Are Coming, The In-Laws Are Coming! Dealing With Family Visits

My in-laws are coming from Ohio to stay with us in a few days. How do you think I feel about that?

If you’re like many people, you may think that I’m dreading it. Well, I’m one of those rare people that actually like my wife’s parents. I’m glad they’re able to visit and wish that we had the opportunity to see them more often.

My wife and I are blessed in that we both like each other’s parents. And our parents all understand that in our marriage, we’re now to put our spouses before them in the order of priorities. They don’t try to control our lives, but are there with love and Biblical advice should we need it.

This atmosphere really benefits our kids also and they look forward to spending time with each set of grandparents when they can.

There are not very many visits throughout the year though because we live in Texas, my wife’s parents live in Ohio, and my parents live in Louisiana. So we really need to make the most of the times we can get together.

Of course, in marriage, family visits for the different holidays throughout the year can cause many problems in regard to logistics. Deciding who’s going to whose house on what holiday could lead to frustration and potential hurt feelings. That can get really sticky, to say the least.

Before we had kids, it was difficult deciding where we’d be going for each holiday. We both wanted to spend time with our parents, especially on Christmas. But we couldn’t be two places at once and we definitely couldn’t split up.

Thankfully, over the past few years we’ve been able to work it out pretty well. We’ve basically made Christmas at our house. This allows our kids to be home on Christmas morning, so they can receive presents from Santa under their own tree. We’re attempting to build our own family traditions. That’s the one holiday where everyone is welcome to come stay with us and our parents understand that. For the other holidays throughout the year, we try to work out visiting our parents where it’s possible.

It’s a matter of expectations. Everyone understands and works ahead of time to communicate their plans. So far, it’s taken away any anxiety that may come as each holiday nears. There are no unspoken or unmet expectations.

So how do you and your spouse deal with who does what and goes where over the Christmas holidays?

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Comments

  1. Very nice article. My Dad is 1500 miles away so will not be able to visit this year. I lost my mom last spring but she is in my prayers. The kids are at their dad’s (I’m step dad) so I get to spend Christmas just with my wife.

  2. Chuck,
    Sounds like a nice, quiet Christmas. That can be pretty appealing sometimes.
    My condolences on your mom passing away.
    I hope you and your wife (and the rest of your family) have a very Merry Christmas.

  3. I found your article while “surfing” for some scripture for in-law relations. I liked your article very much–it’s pretty much exactly what my husband and I do. We tend to visit our families before and after Christmas–we let our mothers choose which weekend–before or after Christmas Day–they want. We have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our house. We invite everyone, of course, but it’s usually just us. Although my recently widowed mother is joining us this year. I have to say that I think my in-laws and my family all get along great and do a great job of sharing.

    My brother, however, does not have it as easy. He only gets to spend Thanksgiving with “us” (my mom and my other siblings.) His wife and mother-in-law have decided that all Christmases and Easters (and many vacation days in between) are to be with her family. I do understand his wife wanting to be with her family–I really do–but I also feel that both she and her mother have unfairly commandeered the Holidays. My mother would occaisionally like to see her other grandchildren for Christmas.

    I know I could never say anything–and neither would my mother. And I suppose I’m venting to strangers in cyberspace. So, thanks, for letting me vent–and keep my brother (and all those who have trouble with their in-laws) in your prayers.

  4. Hi Christie,

    I’ll definitely pray for your brother and his family and that your mother is able to see them more often.

    Also glad to hear things go well with you and your husband’s in-law visitations. With all the bad relationships out there, it’s good to also hear about the good relationships people have.

    Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas.