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Tips for Surviving Christmas Day with the Inlaws

by Lynne Collis 

It has finally arrived! That one day in the year when all the family and hangers-on, get together at grandma’s for an exchange of gifts, gossip and lunch.

It has always been a source of bemusement, that a day which evokes festivity and dominates the Christian calendar, can also be the cause of stress and discomfort for many.

Therefore, as a concerned mentor, I have devised some tips that may help you get through this day unscathed and mentally intact!


  1. Before retiring to sleep on Christmas Eve, push the chest-of-drawers in front of the bedroom door. Set the alarm for 9.30am and if you think necessary, put ear plugs in place…but only as an extra precaution.
  2. When you finally wake, the house will resemble a bomb site. By this stage of the morning, the kids have opened all their presents, played with all the toys and their adrenalin should be starting to subside. They have been at it since 5am, so this is a natural progression of events.
  3. As you are well rested, run the vac over the floors before getting the kids ready for grandmas.
  4. If you time it right, you arrive at grandma’s just in time for lunch. You have successfully avoided the preamble of small talk, getting drunk, uncle Jacks war stories and aunt Jane’s sloppy kisses.
  5. When lunch is served…practice your newly discovered meditation techniques. Concentrate on the plate... block out all surrounding noise…become the turkey!
  6. Immediately after lunch, feign an emergency and leave in a midst of apologies. Don’t forget to collect your sleepy kids! This way you avoid the washing up…the backyard cricket…and getting drunk!

   Another successful Christmas at grandmas, and everyone is in one piece!


On a more serious note, it can be sobering to realise that many in our community would give their eye teeth to experience a family Christmas, with all the trimmings, this year. Spare a thought for those who are isolated or have no special people in their lives.


Merry Christmas to All!