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Have A Stress-Free Holiday Season

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RALEIGH — The relatives are starting to arrive. The refrigerator is filling up with festive food. Presents are stacking up under the tree, but still there is so much to do. The pressure is on to finish all those last-minute errands.

Some call it the holiday hustle. Others call it the Christmas crunch, but the frustrations of the season are starting to set in.

Charlene Edwards, a shopper, tried to do some last-minute shopping but got caught in the rush of the crowds.

"I thought I would get here early enough to miss the crowds, but I didn't," Edwards said.

Another shopper, Zua Moore, plans to have her husband help out during the holiday season. "He is going to vacuum," Moore said. "Then, I'm going to cook because I haven't done much yet."

Dr. Diane Occhetti says her calendar tends to fill up this time of year with people who are overwhelmed by the pressure to perform.

"Hurry, hurry, hurry to get this, and to do that," Occhetti said. "People try to see how much they can pack into this short holiday time."

Occhetti also says a dose or two of humor always helps.

"It's my favorite time of year," said Gaylene Goodwin, a holiday shopper. "I'm waiting for Santa to come."

Occhetti says the best advice is simply to slow things down, lower your expectations and simply enjoy the experience.

"Focus on that rather than the commercialism, rather than trying to get the right present," Occhetti said.

Reporter: Julia Lewis

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