Holiday Gift Suggestions

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, but every year my spouse and I end up scratching our heads over what to get those on our list. If you are in that boat too, here are a few suggestions I’ve put together.

To teach the kids about money in a fun way, why not get them a game?
A few years back, I collected what I saw as the best money games for kids. Best Holiday Buys to Teach Kids about Money.

I also put together a post on Best Holiday Buys to Learn About Money & Investing.

If you are having a hard time figuring out what to give the parents, why not consider a trip, or even a family reunion. We own a vacation condo and enjoy it most when our kids are there with us. Checkout Homeaway – which lets you: Rent the perfect vacation home.

Maybe you know someone who is using the free (and sometimes not very effective security software. You might get them a subscription to Webroot. It has kept the cyber bugs at bay for us so far! Here is a link for a deal:   SAVE 50% on Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus 2015. Only $29.99 (Reg.Price $59.99) Perfect Protection for online. Limited Time Only!

Treat your whole family to a new TV. Walmart is having some great sales, like this one:
Samsung 55″ 1080p 240Hz Class LED Smart HDTV, UN55H7150 – Was $1,899.99, Now Only $997.99 at!

For those who have everything, what about an experience vacation? Expedia has deals to beaches: Have Some Sun and Visit Sunny Florida! Save Up to 30% on Your Vacation at Expedia!

The very best you can give anyone is the gift of your time and attention. Visit that great-Aunt in the nursing home for a few hours. Go see those adorable grandchildren. Invite the parents over for dinner. Get together with your siblings and catch up on what’s new and reminisce about the good old days.

Disclaimer:  I am part of affiliate advertising programs.  Some of the above links will, if a purchase is made, compensate me with a very small percentage of your sale.  Help support this website!  Thanks.

Stand Up for Independence!


The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Continue reading

Mutual Funds Capital Gains Distributions – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

How would you like to get a December bonus of ten or 20 thousand dollars? It can happen. It happened to us.

When you get your December broker statement showing the end of year dividends and capital gains – after years of saving and investing – it can be a real treat. Typically, the amount generated from the same funds or stocks year to year is fairly consistent, but there can be exceptional years. This year was one of those years.

Big capital gains payouts can be a good thing, a bad thing or an ugly thing. But first, lets level the playing field and explain a bit about mutual fund cap gain distributions. Continue reading

Holiday Time Splits Made Easier

Once you marry, you are blessed with exponential numbers of extended family members – all wanting your time and attention at holiday time.

Keeping your family’s well being and wealth depends in part on family members getting along with each other.  Trying to split time between family units at holiday time can be a major disruptor of your family’s well being.  No one wants to disappoint their Mom or Grandma at Thanksgiving, yet it is bound to happen occasionally. You just can’t be in two or more places at once.

Here are some of the dumber and funnier things that have happened to us when we or our family members tried to deal with holiday family time. Continue reading

Grandma Rie’s 2013 Money Camp – Part One

Grandma Rie's Money CampTeaching the next generation to successfully handle money and personal finances is normally a family responsibility. Although parents bear much of the burden to teach, train and model good personal finance, extended family members can also contribute.

Although my grown children do very well in the personal finance arena, they learned from us by osmosis, without any special or formal training by my spouse or I. When they presented me with grandchildren, I vowed that I would take an active part in teaching financial literacy to them.

As a result, I started a one week ‘Grandma Rie’s Money Camp‘ in 2011 and held our third annual one this year. Continue reading

Andy Williams – Moon River and Me

Ronald Reagan once proclaimed Andy Williams’ voice a “national treasure”. His career was in full bloom when I was reaching my late teens and early twenties. One of my best friends and I used to listen to his albums by the hour together, singing along (badly).

Andy died this year in September of complications from bladder cancer, at age 84 – still going strong in the entertainment industry in Branson Missouri.

Just 3 years ago, he completed his memoir – titled “Andy Williams – Moon River and Me”, saying as the last sentence, “The last chapter of my life is still to come”.

I had wanted to see Andy Williams live at his Christmas show in Branson for the past 6 years, but just hadn’t made the time. Andy was heavily involved in planning for the show for 2012 and in fact was intending to perform in it as well. Although too late to actually get to see him sing, I went this year to the show, because it was the last one he had a hand in planning.

Here is a version of the Christmas show in Branson uploaded to You Tube in 2007.

Continue reading