We all seem to have an idealized fantasy about delightful holiday gatherings and the joy that is supposed to come from being surrounded by loving family and friends. And at the same time, we know that these events can be rare, and are completely absent from some people's experience. Mariana Caplan takes a realistic, warm, and open-minded look at some of the problems that can come up during holiday get-togethers and offers clear-headed solutions to nearly all potential problems. For example, heading home for the holidays is not always the best thing to do. Caplan details the pros and cons of going home for a major family holiday, offers advice on how to approach the choice, how to explain your decision without hurting others' feelings, and how to avoid feeling guilty for staying away. You will recognize yourself as well as your friends and family in this book, and you will discover that it really is possible to create something close to your dream holiday no matter what your circumstances are.