I don't spend a lot of time with my family in general. I think the main reason is that I'm the crazy-progressive-political relative, but part of it is that I'm a lesbian -- one who doesn't blend and pass quietly as an unmarried lady with a lady roommate who happens to come along to family events. Few people are overtly rude, but the expectation that I not make waves is very strong.
The period beginning with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year's is the busiest long-distance travel season of the year. This means that many of us will see relatives for the first time in many months. Use holiday family gatherings as an opportunity to look closer, listen harder and determine if your help is needed.