December Will Power


Q1: The season for giving, and receiving, is upon us. But I don’t always enjoy receiving gifts.  What can I do? 

A1: This season, tell those who insist on giving you presents what you want. Maybe instead of a new gadget or toy, they can give you the gift of their expertise, like teaching to how to make that cake of theirs you love so much, or helping you with your budget.

Maybe they can just give you the gift of time, like shopping, sharing a meal, or going to a museum.

Make sure they know it’s them you appreciate and value, not the gift. Build new traditions around spending time together rather than gift giving.

Don’t let presents ruin the holidays for you. Instead, use them as a time to strengthen bonds and friendships.

Q2: I stopped by my Dad’s house after work and he was eating cookies for dinner.  Can you tell your 82-year-old father he can’t eat cookies for dinner?

A: 2 From an early age, we learn what we like and work hard to do what we want. And it doesn’t change as we age. If it’s not related to a diminished capacity to care for oneself or another bad situation like money, maybe not. But it can be hard to stay silent. This is the person who taught you not to ruin your dinner with snacks or eat ice cream for breakfast!

Remember, if it’s not related to an inability to care for themselves or some other more serious underlying issue, you’re dealing with a grownup. And grownups have the right to choose. 

“This is the second year I’ve needed assistance because of a theatre closure due to a hurricane. She remembered speaking with me the previous year and we actually shared a laugh about me needing to move from this hurricane ridden state. She made me feel like I was not a burden for needing assistance twice. The social worker was a ray of sunshine when you are going through hard times.” — PAF Member


Ecclesiastes 3 begins with the words, “To everything there is a season. . .” And every season has its own unique qualities and requirements.

“When we fail to make seasonally-appropriate adjustments, both our physical and mental health suffer,” according to the article The Life Experiment: Seasons. [1]

One way to stay healthy during the changing seasons is to understand their unique qualities. Summer’s longer days and shorter nights signal us to be more active and eat more raw fruits and vegetables. We tend to be more social and need less sleep.

The shorter, darker days off winter signal our bodies to eat more protein and starches, to sleep more, and stay indoors.

For optimal health, contributor Dallas Hartwig says, “Assess whether your current activity program syncs well with your current dietary plan and sleep patterns.”

Pilar Gerasimo says to find one appealing change to match nature’s cycles and stay healthy.


 “Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know “why” I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.” — Will Rogers

Buck Up Buckaroos!


Holiday spending can put a serious dent in your financial life and create tremendous stress. Use these 8 tips to avoid breaking the bank this season [1]:

  • Set a budget. Make as a list of who you want to buy for, including children’s friends, teachers, the mailman, etc. Set an amount for each person and stick to it.
  • Be decisive. Once you have purchased a gift for that person, cross him off your list.
  • Search the where and when for the best deals.
  • Buy what you came for and leave. Resist the temptation of impulse items. 
  • Buy online. Use sites like and to make sure you’re getting the best deal. And don’t forget to factor in shipping costs.
  • Don’t forget the extras, like gift wrapping, cards, and postage
  • Pay with cash to avoid overspending.
  • Consider giving handmade gifts, time gifts like cooking or cleaning, or set up a secret-Santa style holiday.

Be smart, buy smart, and end the year on financial track.


Your Monthly Cowpoke Joke

My friend boasted he had the body of a Greek god.  I had to explain where Buddha actually comes from.