Make sure stress doesn't put a damper your holidays

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- There is no way around holiday stress. 

The fact is, no matter who you are, the holidays will only intensify who you really are and how you deal with stressful situations.

Larry Winget is the Pitbull of Personal Development.  

"So if a person is a wonderful person all year 'round, then they will be even more wonderful during the holidays," the award-winning, best-selling author explained. "However, if a person is a jerk most of the time, the holidays will only make them more of a jerk."

He shares five easy ways to get through the holiday season and remain calm.

1.  Have realistic expectations. 
If your sister is a drama queen and has ruined every Christmas in the past,  chances are she is going to do it again.  Expect people to be and do what they have always done.   In other words, don't go to a dry well over and over expecting there to be water in it.

2. Don't fuel the problem. 
We all know just what to say and do to throw gasoline on the fire with our pain-in-the-butt relatives. 
Do yourself and everyone else a favor and don't be tempted.

3.  Be selfish. 
If the situation drives you nuts and you get upset being around them don't be around them.  This is your holiday, too.   And if you say, "But I have to be there," then limit the amount of time. Cut it as short as you possibly can. 

4.  Fix yourself first
Chances are that someone thinks you might be that person who is less than pleasant. Think about that and correct yourself.

5.  Relax.
It will be over soon and you can relax for a whole year!  Enjoy the holiday and don't let it bother you too much.