Thanks for your respect and sympathies. Its hard to do a pot luck with my family on Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law will make things, but they haven't come the past couple of years because my nephew (13) is bored to tears at my house. They've been going to her family's dinner where there are other young kids.
My younger sister can't cook but she'll help cleanup (big whoop), and my nephews are just freeloaders and do nothing. They might bring wine that they drink themselves. I always put up with it all because I wanted to maintain the family, but the younger generation in my family just wants to show up and eat. They really don't appreciate all the work that goes into it and that its a time for people in the family to chip in.
I agree with you that the holidays become a sad reminder of the past when you get older. Its so true. All of my older family is gone and the younger ones don't care about family. This year I'm ending the tradition by not having Thanksgiving. Its the end of an era for me. It's time for the young people to step up or have nothing. I'm done.