AuntBossy2015Strapped Santa

Dear Aunt Bossy,

I started my own business a few months ago. I have two kids; one headed to college this year and another headed next year. They both have scholarships and grants headed their way, so that is covered. But I can’t afford to do the kind of Christmas they are used to. What can I give them without disappointing them?

Struggling Steve

Dear SS,

Ouch. First thing I can promise you is that these circumstances bother you way more than they will bother your children. (I’€™m assuming you raised them properly.)

Take your budget for their gifts, and, rather than buy them one thing that isn’€™t top notch -€“ if top notch is what you usually do -€“ buy them lots of little things, beautifully wrapped.

For example, everyone should have one of those emergency gadgets to break a car window or cut a seatbelt in case of an accident. A high intensity flashlight is always useful. You might give both of them a button to attach to a keychain that sounds an alarm, if they are threatened. (Do I sound like the Shopping Network?) Speaking of buttons, those tags that locate lost or misplaced items, is something everyone can use.

In other words, get them a plethora of presents, all of which are things that enhance the quality of their lives. You can find many other appropriate and inexpensive gifts by using Google and looking up “€œTen gadgets everyone should have.”€ Or something like that. There are lots of sites that feature these things.

Don’€™t apologize for not spending more money. Starting your own business is a major gift to them as an example of the strength it takes to follow a dream.

Another gift you can give is an adventure. If they are still interested in travelling with Mom and Dad, take them on a trip where you can drive and where there are things you can do together like zip lines, float trips, museums for their special interests, glamping. The choices are endless. Create a beautiful and fun flyer describing this and give that to them.

Have a Merry Christmas, and congratulations on being brave enough to start your own business. Remember when it gets slow, which it always does, especially in the beginning, that even the smallest job isn’€™t your last one. We lone wolves always think we will never work again when we have a blank space on the calendar. It isn’€™t true, and that fear is well worth the freedom of being your own boss.

Good luck. And, join an organization with other people with their own business and reap the benefit of their experience. People are willing to share.

Best, Aunt Bossy


Dear Aunt Bossy,

A dear friend of mine has spent many hours with me complaining about an abusive boyfriend and regularly breaking up with him and going back. Last week I saw on Facebook that she is marrying him. She did not let me know this.

What should I do?


Dear Huh,


You can send her a note wishing her well, but that is it. There are other people in the world who need your advice and support. Find them and put your energy there.

Oh, and you can pray for her.

Best, Aunt Bossy