PHOTO WITH SANTA Taking your child to the mall so he can tell me what he/she wants for Christmas is one of my favorite ways to pass the time. Scoring an adorable photo of her sitting on my lap can bring tears of joy. But not all kiddies are game. Some take one look at this fat old guy with that big white beard…and freak out. Santa’s tip: Days before, let your child see Santa from afar. When you come back for the actual photo, your child will be more familiar with the idea. And please help Santa clean up any presents your child leaves behind. HOLIDAY POOR HOUSE I know I can’t bring all the gifts needed for a perfect Christmas—not enough room on my sleigh. It is not worth getting into debt at Christmas. Many of you are living with little to no savings. Before you go reaching for that credit card, ask yourself is it all worth going into debt just for little Travis to have the latest digital watch? Santa’s tip: Consider a lean Christmas this year, then start stashing away money from every paycheck into a savings account designated specifically for Christmas spending. You’ll be surprised how fast it will add up and how nice it is not to be in debt. TIME OUT The holidays move pretty fast —me and the Elves know all about that. To do lists are calling your name. You have to be there, cook that, buy this, clean that,… no wonder you are feeling stressed. Santa’s tip: Take some time out for yourself. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Go and read your book for 20 minutes. Breathe. Stay away from your social media sites. These little breaks will clear your head. HOLIDAY CHEER Acceptance, tolerance, patience and understanding are all needed this time of year. This election year has many of us feeling less tolerant of others. We need to get back to being nice to others. I’ll let you slide with that bowl full of jelly crack, but watch who you offend. You don’t want to get on my naughty list. Santa’s tip: Give to a charity. It doesn’t matter where or how much, give something. Food banks are a great place to donate canned goods and many organizations collect toys for children, such as Toys for Tots. If you have nothing to give, volunteer some time to a charity. Santa needs your help.