DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband’s parents are visiting soon. How do I prepare for their three-day stay?
How should I prepare my home, how often should I cook, should I buy new sheets, plan activities? Should I buy them gifts? I do not want to look like I am trying too hard.
GENTLE READER: Why not? In-laws love that sort of thing.
Three days is a good amount of time to make things special for them, but also not to schedule every minute. Plan to make most meals, if possible, but leave room for them to invite you out or make their own plans. Suggest a few activities that might be to their liking, but similarly do not over-schedule.
Presents are unnecessary, although tokens like chocolates on their beds, or items related to the city or their interests, are always charming. Sheets need merely be clean, not new.
In short, Miss Manners recommends that you make every reasonable effort to make your in-laws’ visit comfortable, trying your best to ignore critiques -- or to seek them.