by Alexandra Owens
Getty ImagesThe winter holidays are the most wonderful time of the year...or they're cringe inducing, stressful, and likely to drive you to the brink of insanity. We've gathered a few tips from the experts on how to deal with inevitable tensions.
Prepare for disaster. Hash out any issues in advance so they don't feel as raw when you ring the doorbell. "Call [your relative] a month before and say, 'I know we're bickering, but I can't wait to spend time with you. Let's figure it out before the holidays, or agree to disagree and pick it up again afterward,'" suggests Gail Saltz, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. You'll avoid the stress of the conversation hanging over you while you're trying to enjoy the parade.
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Stay sober. Cap yourself at one, says Saltz. There's nothing quite like alcohol to make you ignore the olive branch and say