Look Hot for the Holidays

‘Tis the season of opportunity – a time when festivities that require you to mingle (ack!) likewise give you a chance to: a) Find things (a lead to your next job; a new spin-class buddy; the love of your life); b) Explore a new interest (wine-tasting? catering?); or c) Volunteer for a worthy cause in your community. Yes, holiday socializing involves a leave of absence from ankle pants, jeans and layers, but not to worry – our favorite TV “girlfriends” …

Black Friday Trends and Tips

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, seems to be starting earlier every year. First we saw stores opening to hordes of shoppers at 4 a.m. Friday, then at 3 a.m., a few years back. Now some big-box retailers aren’t even waiting that long. They’re opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, hoping families will eat and run to the nearest mall. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter So what …

Thanksgiving: the Music of Memory

We sang with a muscled verve never to be denied. It thumped through the small Oakland house like the drums of an anthem-and in a way it was. The song was “The Three Caballeros,” and we were three indeed, a soldier and two Marines, and we were brothers. We sang it on Thanksgiving Day. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter That first rendition was offered on the holiday Thursday sometime in the late 1950s. Eddie, who had been …

5 Tips to Curb Holiday Travel Costs

Holiday travel these days is a Santa-sized hassle and it can be a real budget buster as well. To curb your travel expenses, consider these tips: Leave your wheels parked at home. Since most rental cars nowadays come with competitive rates and unlimited free miles, it may pay to rent a car — and prolong the life expectancy of your own wheels. You might also be able to save on gas costs by renting a more fuel efficient car than …

Grieving Through the Holidays

  Christmas is upon us and I am both relieved and apprehensive. The holidays this year are especially difficult for my family because they are the culmination of our first year of grief. My niece, Shaelee, lost her life to suicide on Jan. 4 at the age of 19.  She suffered from bipolar disorder for much of her life. It has been a rough year – to say we miss her terribly is such an understatement.We also have the challenge of ongoing grief and loss as my …

Gifting Made Easy

Are you starting to feel the anticipation and anxiety of the Holidays? Well are you? No matter how much you plan, prepare, prod the spouse or pout the holiday season still makes most of our blood pressure rise sometimes between December first and the twenty fifth!  I have heard of every remedy imaginable to prevent this roller coaster of emotions, but honestly none of them work. However, now after living over a half of a century, I might just have the …