I won't go into the "how" of making tamales, other than to say that it is a lengthy process one should not begin on a whim. It took me 2 full days in the kitchen, but the end result was wonderful, delicious and bountiful. (If you're looking for a how-to, here is the guide I used.)
I actually really enjoyed the process of making such a traditional food from scratch. In the era of McDonald's and food that comes wrapped in plastic-covered, serving-sized units - it feels nice to make something people have been making for hundreds of years.
I also enjoyed the communal aspect of making tamales. My mother, sisters and two nieces all jumped into the tamale assembly line at some point. I've heard in Mexico that each family has their own, unique tamale recipe. My family and I are already working on our own family-recipe for our next tamale venture.