As the holidays come to a close, it is appropriate to think about how gatherings affect our characters.
In every group, there are those who are arrogant and annoying. Whose views are outlandish or selfish or ill-formed. Who criticize everyone and everything that does not match their personal views. When such people are present, tension consumes the very air, making it nearly impossible to breathe.
Fortunately, the majority of those who come to celebrate with us are like-minded. They arrive, hoping for a good time. For warmth and shared stories. Good food and drink. Hugs and kisses and welcoming words.
For this task, you must create a gathering and people it with real-life characters. It cannot be a completely harmonious group, as then there would be no conflict.
Write a scene in which someone creates a bit of a stir. Either he drinks too much or bad-mouths a missing relative or starts an argument. Or perhaps she refuses to acknowledge someone who speaks or brings a dish that no one is able to eat or has wrapped gifts for everyone but one.
First, think of the setting. Then the conflict and the characters. After that the story will fall into place.