Quick Hits

Parents want the holidays to be magical for their kids and sometimes that can lead them to overdo it with the gifts. But we’re not doing our little ones any favors by setting their expectations so high and teaching them to manage them is important. Some moms and dads have found that using the “rule of four” helps do that.

SO what is the “rule of four?” It’s super simple - you give your kid four presents: one they want, one they need, one to wear and one to read. That’s a drastic change from the pile of presents some children are used to, but it’s a much more reasonable approach and fans of the practice say it really helps.

“Less really was more. The kids actually had a more enjoyable holiday than years when we spoiled them,” explains Megan Brunson, mom of four. “They really played with those things, and they used them more, compared to when they’d get 12 things and they’d get bored with half of them after a couple of days.”

Here are some other ways to say “no” without ruining the holidays, according to psychologist Dr. Robin H. Gurwitch:

  • Start managing expectations early - Explain to the kids that you’re downsizing the presents to save for a vacation or to make sure you have money for the things you need all year.
  • Explain your family’s rules are different from other families - If your kid expects Santa to bring anything on their wish list, let them know Santa checks with parents first and you’ve asked him to only bring four gifts this year and that some things are off limits.
  • Don’t have them pick from a catalog - It puts ideas in their heads, so ask them to come up with their own ideas about what they really want.
  • Get the grandparents onboard - If your kid wants something pricey, see if aunts and grandparents can go in on it together and make sure relatives respect your “rule of four.”
  • Swap toys for experiences - Create new traditions together and maybe put family activities on your wish list, like building a snowman together.
  • Get the kids involved with charitable giving - Let them help choose a gift for a child in need, or which cans to donate to a food pantry.

Source: Moneyish


Amazon gathers together the most popular items people are searching for this holiday season on their “Most Wished For” page.  They break things down into toys and games, movies and TV, electronics, books, video games and CDs and vinyl. Popular items on Amazon’s “Most Wished For” page include: 

Source: USA Today


This week WW is introducing members to what they’re calling the WW Freestyle Program, which is supposedly easier to follow and encourages healthier eating.  Under Freestyle more than 200 items are now zero points, including eggs, corn, all fish, all seafood, skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey breast, non-fat plain yogurt, beans, peas, lentils and tofu.  Participants in a six-month trial of the new plan found they experienced an average weight loss of 7.9%, plus 93.6% of participants said they felt healthier, and many indicated they felt a reduction in food cravings and hunger.

Source: Weight Watchers


WalletHub has just come out with their list of the Safest Cities in America, and they weren’t just looking at crime rates.  The site judged 180 cities across 35 key indicators of safety, including home and community safety, natural disaster risk, and financial safety.

Ten Safest Cities In America

  1. Nashua, NH
  2. South Burlington, VT
  3. Warwick, RI
  4. Columbia, MD
  5. Gilbert, AZ
  6. Fargo, ND
  7. Lewiston, ME
  8. Plano, TX
  9. Portland, ME
  10. Brownsville, TX

On the flipside, Fort Lauderdale, Florida was deemed the least safe city in the country with a score of just 43.17 out of 100, with the area getting particularly low marks for home and community safety, as well as financial safety.

Ten Least Safe Cities In America

  1. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. San Bernardino, CA
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Detroit, MI
  6. Little Rock, AR
  7. Orlando, FL
  8. Chattanooga, TN
  9. Baton Rouge, LA
  10. Jackson, MS 

Source: WalletHub

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