By Cindy Hsu

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This Thanksgiving is extra special for many families that couldn’t celebrate in person last year, but with family gatherings comes stress and a lot of rushing around.

CBS2’s Cindy Hsu talked to some last-minute shoppers at the grocery store.

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“We got brie. We got pasta. We have green beans, some sunflowers for the atmosphere,” shopper Evan Kinnane said.

“I’m making some apple tart thing, so I got lemon curd, which I’ve never purchased in my life,” shopper Ben Walker said.

“My parents are coming up and I’m hosting them here for the first time, so some stress,” Kinnane said.

The extra pressure of the holidays can be tough, especially when it comes to strong opinions on politics and the COVID vaccine.

Psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere says you can set the tone with ground rules, stressing respect and keeping an open mind, but if things get too heated…

“That is the perfect opportunity to change the subject and talk about the food or talk about the football game or even saying, hey, time out, this is getting a little bit out of hand, let’s remind ourselves as to why we’re here,” Gardere told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.

Gardere says planning an activity for the whole group is another way to connect.

“That may include card games or board games or maybe, you know, charades,” Gardere said.

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Upper West Side resident Christina Berishaj will be celebrating with more than 20 family members.

“Thanksgiving is important for us because I’m a first generation, and so my family, my husband’s family, they all came here, immigrated in from another country. To us, it’s super important that we celebrate American traditions and then we combine it with Albanian traditions, so it’s awesome,” she said.

“We’re cooking for my wife and for my dad, so we have the turkey, we have the cranberry, we got the sweet potato pie, we got corn with rice,” Upper West Side resident Felipe Gonzalez said. “I like the three-meat stuffing. I like the veal, pork and beef, and that has to be the stuffing.”

“I bought some greens and most of the things that I came here for today was for my charcuterie board,” Clara Bryant said.

“I got chocolate in here. I have all the things that’s not healthy but makes you happy,” Upper West Side resident William Porto said.

These last minute shoppers shared some of their holiday wishes.

“Happiness for everyone, just happiness. Happiness is the most important thing in your life,” Porto said.

“Stay safe, stay warm,” Bryant said.

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“I wish the world a happy Thanksgiving,” Gonzalez said.

Cindy Hsu