I have YET to figure out why holiday "family gatherings" are such a big deal. Most ppl I know who go to large family gatherings, either spend the week before complaining about how much food they have to make (if they host) and frantically cleaning, OR they spend the week after complaining about how horrible the food/company/clothing/conversation was. 1 set of holidays with my in-laws (and their insanely huge family) made me so grateful for my parents and their very low-key holidays.