Whether you're a 10- or 25-man raid team, the holidays can put a dent in your progression and the willingness of raiders to put in those extra few hours or cut their raiding time close to family time. Here are a few tips and suggestions for dealing with holiday raiding and guild members who just don't have the fire during the coldest months. Don't let the holidays break up a good thing.
Be accommodating. Guilds and guild leaders need to be accommodating to players during the holidays. Many WoW players are college kids or younger and usually don't have a say where they are going for the holidays, what they are doing with their families, or what their schedules are going to be. If you're a guild that requires sign-outs or sign-ups for raids, make sure that people know early to post their holiday schedules or make it known when they won't be around.
If you're a 25-man group, go 10-man. Can't field your usual 25-man raid group to tackle new bosses in Dragon Soul? No problem! Do it on 10-man. 10-man raiding was implemented and designed to make raiding accessible to larger guilds that can't field everyone or smaller guilds that prefer a lighter roster. If 10 people are around and want to do content, do content. Don't be afraid of the 10-mans.
There's always the Raid Finder. So you can't field 10 people either. Everyone is at Grandma's house eating delicious food, unwrapping presents, and helping Uncle Jim into his cab for the ride home. Groups in Raid Finder have been surprisingly and happily successful, fun, and polite. Sure, you run into your bad apples here and there, but the general consensus so far is that Raid Finder is the tops, ya see? Real swell. Pull your remaining vacation-less guildies into a Raid Finder group and make some new friends.
Don't try progression raiding over Christmas. The simplest way to deal with raiding during the holidays is don't raid at all. Take a week off, kids. Run 10-man old content for achievements if you really want to do something productive and have the people around, but don't push yourself too much. You'll only make yourself angry or frustrated that the right people didn't show up, heads aren't in the game, etc. Of course they aren't -- it's the holidays! No work! Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but most people are usually affected by it.
At the end of the day, just taking a break might be the best thing for your raid group. Dragon Soul isn't going anywhere. You're most likely not part of the Race to World First (the movie is now free for a limited time -- you should watch it). You don't want to rush around for the holidays. Guild leaders of the world, maybe we should all just not raid progression on Christmas.
It's the season of giving, friendship, and understanding. Don't get mad at your 16-year-old hunter because he couldn't show up due to Aunt Margaret's homemade everything. There is a whole bunch of factors that you won't be able to control this holiday season, so don't let that tear your raiding group apart.
Happy holidays, everyone. Don't take things too seriously.