Family gatherings around the holidays can be very stressful situations and more so if you have to deal with in-laws. Sometimes it’s hard enough dealing with your own family dynamics, but navigating the relations of another family as an outsider can be jarring.
I myself have been learning the ins and outs of the in-law relationship for the past six years. While my boyfriend has a very loving and caring family, they operate and communicate very differently than mine. This can be especially hard to handle around the holidays since I’m accustomed to my family’s traditions.
I can only imagine that Kate struggles with this as well, but it must be compounded by the fact that holidays with the Royal Family are extremely formal and rigidly scheduled. In fact, back in 2011 at an Imperial War Museum event, Kate told a guest that she was nervous about the numerous outfit changes expected of her on Christmas Day, which is no less than five including one ball gown! This must be quite a contrast to Kate’s fun and informal family gatherings where her father dresses up in silly costumes to surprise the family each year.
As we head into the week of Christmas, I wanted to share some tips on making the best of a sometimes difficult situation with your significant other’s family inspired by Kate:
Know Present Protocol
Are you going to be expected to exchange gifts with your in-laws? If so, is it a gift for everyone or just the family in general? And finally, how much should be spent on a gift? Gift giving can be difficult, so plug your other half for the details. For her first Christmas with the Royal Family, Kate hit the nail on the head with her Christmas present, gifting jars of homemade strawberry jam and plum preserve since the family frowns upon luxury gifts.
Dress To Impress
Does a day with the in-laws involve lounging by the fire or will you be expected to dress for a formal dinner? Kate knows there is no better way to fit in and display your confidence and commitment than dressing your best. Even if it means bringing a few changes of clothing, plan on dressing appropriately for the family events. Looking the part will help you to feel at home with your adopted family throughout the day.
Deflector Shield On
I can only imagine when it’s your job to produce an heir and a spare the types of prying questions one would receive at family get together, and I’m sure Kate handles them with ultimate class. Remember, your private business is just that, private. So don’t feel the need to respond to every rude question sent your way. Just smile and respond in a kind tone that, “You’d rather not discuss this as it’s a private matter and detracts from the festive celebration. Now who needs a refill on Egg Nog!”
Take a Moment for You
Even if you are an extrovert, all this family time can start to wear you down. Feel free to excuse yourself for a walk out in the snow or to take a warm cup of tea to quite corner and call your own family. It’s important to know when you are close to your edge and get a breather so you continue to present your best self. I’m sure Kate and William use their outfit changes as a moment to take a breather and relax.
But no matter what, enjoy your holiday and time with your loved ones!! Merry Christmas!