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No family is perfect, but if it seems the imperfections are amplified this time of year, it's because they are.

"The holidays actually increase family dysfunction," said Phoenix psychologist Dr. Ron Lavit.

Lavit, who helps families in crisis, said he gets a lot busier this time of year.

"I don't want a put a number on it, but I am busier dealing with conflicts," he said.

Lavit said if extended family is brought together in a single place where personalities might clash and grudges might exist, then you have a recipe for disaster.

Lavit said the best thing for children, family and yourself -- if you find yourself really stressed out -- is start learning how to forgive and start communicating with people you trust.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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