Who’s Here for the Holidays? Hosting Your In-Laws

Mother-in-law carrying wrapped gift

The phone rings. The email appears in your inbox. And your heart begins to race: Your in-laws are coming for the holidays. No worries! We’re here to help with simple tips for happily hosting your in-laws this season.

Make a sparkling first impression

Before family arrives, make a cleaning checklist: Have you washed your guest bedding? Are waste baskets empty and soap dispensers full? Toilet paper restocked? Your in-laws might feel a little famished (or even hangry!) after their journey, so consider stocking the pantry with their favorite snacks and a few holiday treats they might enjoy.

Create a home away from home

Guests aren’t familiar with your home like you are, so little touches — like plugging in nightlights and clearing out a top drawer — go a long way to help folks settle in. Make a guest room checklist to ensure the space is ready. And, if you want to give your mother- and father-in-law an extra-warm welcome, try these ideas:

  • Set out cozy slippers in their size.
  • Leave handwritten notes with tips for their stay — or have your kids write or draw welcome signs.
  • Create a “sleep well” kit with eye masks and ear plugs (great if your home is a little noisy).
  • Place chocolates on the pillows (a little cheesy, sure — but everyone loves the “suite” treatement!).

Hosting your in-laws, family and other guests means balancing their time — and yours!

1000-pieces puzzle with 1980s theme

Opening presents together and sharing holiday breakfasts are a given. But what should you do for the rest of their stay? As with many things, it’s best to keep a balance: plan some activities outside the house (like a visit to local attractions), but you needn’t overfill the schedule. A vacation pace for activities can be a gift, too, leaving room for spontaneous chat and (truth?) cozy naps! Love to go for a family walk after holiday dinner, put together a puzzle, or watch a feel-good holiday flick? Do it! And invite your in-laws to join — they’ll be happy to be a part of your family’s traditions.

Most important of all, plan time for yourself. This will help you stay grounded and give your S.O. time with their family — a win-win for everyone! Here’s to hosting your in-laws for a very happy holiday visit.