Aside from the warm and fuzzy feeling of hosting friends and family, that sense of giving and making people feel welcome (until at least day 3 when that intense cauldron of the same food - turkey again, the same company, the same games, and the same conversation all take hold), it seems there are other, more physical benefits in getting ready for a houseful of people.
We are all familiar with that frantic rushing around, making this, making that, preparing things, making sure that when people have arrived they have a great time. Maybe, we under-estimate the amount of physical effort (as well as mental) which is actually involved.
Upon checking my Fitbit for the past week, I noticed great consistency in activity during days we were hosting people, preparing and clearing up afterwards. The interesting statistic, was the day when we were hosted all day - suddenly activity dropped, and actually, we began to feel even more tired.
This may explain why we suddenly feel exhausted at the end of each day of hosting, and need even more sleep - its not just the turkey and pudding which cause this. Even more interesting in my accidental study is when that tiredness catches up on a 'down day' - when we are hosted, and is evident on the graph (Tuesday).
Activity keeps us going, and maybe we shouldn't feel too bad about perfecting the Quality Street Sweep as we subtly grab another hazelnut caramel on the way past the tin - but only when we are hosting and preparing. The discipline is needed when we are being looked after all day, and our hosts want us to enjoy everything on offer.
Sometimes, awareness is all we need!