I've taken particular care this year to reach out to as many old friends as possible. Between the pandemic and the constant (generally electronic) distractions of modern life, it's easy to become isolated from actual people and instead be caught in a virtual world.
We have hosted more gatherings this year than ever before, and I intend to build upon that a year from now. I think back to the pre-internet age, and holiday parties were the way people caught up with one another. I spent Christmas Eve going from party to party as my mother caught up with old friends who were back in the old neighborhood. I was typically bored, because I'd last seen these people when I was a toddler. I often begged off, but of course part of why I had to come was so she could show me off.
Which was fine, really. Lots of snacks and treats and then Midnight Mass to wrap up the experience.
After Christmas Day, there were the informal parties - ad hoc get-togethers of people in town to play games or watch movies. I'm glad to see my kids doing this. We hosted a considerable party the week before, and I'd like it to become a regular thing because these are what the best memories are built on.
People may stress about family gatherings, but after all that is done and the gifts bought, delivered (and possibly exchanged), the "quiet" part of the holiday is often the most satisfying.