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Extended Family Relationships

Most families visit their parents and in-laws during annual vacations but there are only few families, who know how to have fun with in-laws and have a loving atmosphere when all extended family members meet together during holiday time. Extended family relationships need to be nurtured too. Planning ahead for family and social events, saving money for buying gifts from the beginning of the year and allotting finances for holidays can protect you from last-minute headaches. Taking an initiative give you more control over the family events and get-togethers.

You may suggest dates or time of the year when you would like to visit your parents or children and coordinate them with what is convenient for all the other family members too. Keep the weather conditions in mind. Once the date is decided, book the tickets beforehand. You may also suggest family activities and even organize them but make sure that there is at least one enjoyable activity for each family member in your agenda. You may go for sightseeing in nearby areas, go for shopping together, visit games, theatres and operas or just do something at home. The parent in-laws may prefer more time for resting then rushing outdoors all the time. Get inputs from all the family-members.

Perhaps some family members may be given the freedom to opt out of activities that are not suitable for their age, they are not interested in or are expensive for them. You may rotate the venue from your in-laws home to your home or some other family member’s home. Rotating venues give you new places to visit, new albums to see and whole new menu to discover with the host family. There must be time for grandchildren and grandparents to mingle together and taking happy family photographs is a must. Make a few traditions and keep them alive every time family gets together.

Contradicting traditions can be avoided or only one set of traditions are followed at one holiday followed by another set the next time. While it seems to be courteous to sit and talk to out-of-town relatives for almost all the time, a few hours alone with your spouse can fill more happiness for the rest of the time with extended family. In-laws who do not understand that you both need privacy may be explained gently. Tell them that refreshed minds and hearts are good for stronger relationships and happy memories. Meeting parents, children, siblings and cousins, can be fun. All you need is a little tact and lots of planning.

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