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You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!

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Why are people so mean during the holidays?! I can understand the stress, the pressure to pick the perfect gift, but the reason for the season is peace and salvation, people!

Annoyed Woman Driving Her Car
We all deal with holiday stress a little differently, depending on our personalities. I, for one, de-stress by sipping a glass of wine and zoning out on the lights of our Christmas tree once the kids are in bed. But others? I think they de-stress by terrorizing people in parking lots, malls, convenience stores and tree lots.

It all started on Black Friday. I think the "black" in the phrase has a two-fold meaning. Yes, the store will be making money that day, but the customers will also be straight-up angry. And for what reason? As I walked past the throngs of shoppers waiting in lines longer than Santa's naughty list, I noticed that there was something in the air: People were turning into scrooges and grinches almost instantly.

The holidays are a time when most of us deal with family and friends that we haven't talk to in ages. There's pressure to be perfect and show how great the year has been. So it's no wonder that there is a 100 percent chance of emotional outbursts at nearly every holiday gathering. Combine that with overly sugared children, overdrawn checking accounts and the five pounds of extra cookie weight you put on, and it's enough to make anyone cry.

What's the secret to staying sane during the holidays? My personal trick is to remember to be thankful for EVERYTHING -- a bed, a home, my family, the fact that I'm waiting in line because I have enough money to buy a present. The reasons for thankfulness are endless. All you have to do is look around.

And if you happen to see two shoppers fighting over a parking spot as "Deck the Halls" plays faintly in the background, flash them a cheery Christmas smile. It's contagious.

next: No 'Twilight' for Christmas?
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