Family gatherings around the holidays can be stressful to begin with, but sometimes throwing in dietary choices other than the accepted mainstream diet may add to the stress. This is just a fact of life. As a vegan you will have to get used to "adjusting your expectations" about food, people, restaurants, society, and, of course, yourself. One of the best lessons I learned when I went vegan was the big family gatherings, no matter how much they were celebrated for the food (for example: Thanksgiving dinner) it really wasn't the food that was the reason for the season, so to speak. I realized, or maybe remembered, that togetherness, conversation, love, fun, laughter, and just an all around good time is why we humans gather. So next time you are at a Christmas party or birthday party and there are slim to none vegan options, just remember why you are really there. It will help those stomach grumblings fade away.
With the above said, I also want to stress the importance of getting the right nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and just food in general every day. This will take some planning, but it is necessary. I learned that looking at menus ahead of time and planning on what I was going to eat was crucial. Also, figuring out ahead of time what the food options were going to be also sometimes means bringing your own food or snacks, and occasionally eating before the event. Obviously you can control what food you have and make at home so that's not an issue. The problems mostly arise when you have been invited to an event that someone else has planned. I recommend always offering to bring a dish of some kind to whatever the gathering might be. For one, it is very polite, and two, it guarantees you have at least one dish to eat.
Make sure you go over to my Recipes page to check out some of my favorite recipes and links to some of best vegan bloggers and recipe makers I have found.