December Blessings

December is one of the most exciting yet emotional times for families of high school and college-age students. It is the month when 12th-grade students anxiously await news on their college applications and choices for September 2023. First-year college students return home having experienced the college grading system and the reality of being independent. For 9-11th grade and younger, it’s about the start of winter sports, Christmas concerts, dancing in the Nutcracker, and the anticipation of Santa.

Parents, you continue to juggle work-home responsibilities, tweaking the transportation schedule, finishing Santa’s list, and looking forward to 2023.

It is a magical time of the year.


Preparing for Guest
During the holiday, questions arise from visitors that can increase stress levels. Good-hearted aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends will ask, have you heard yet? OR, Did you apply where I went? OR even more piercing, have you started your college search yet? Help your students be ready. If an acceptance has arrived, even if it is not the dream school, hang it on the frig. If the process has yet to end, coach your student to smile and promise to send an update. Announcements are arriving, and more are to come from Admissions and Financial Aid. Comparing offers is next and saying yes to the college is right around the corner.

Adjusting to Winter Break
Disruption, late nights, yes, our college students have returned for winter break. Students return from college ready to eat, sleep and hang out. Ask them about their roommates, grades, and the Fall semester; it could be silence, joy, or tears. Be ready for it all. Be patient in responding and, if needed, consider what alternative plans might be made if returning to college is not in the cards. Plus – tips for students adjusting!

Talk with Your Financial Coach
As the year ends, it is essential to discuss your financial house. You check your vitals at the doctor’s office, and winterize your car. Families of high school college-bound students and those already enrolled should not miss the chance to conduct a year-ending financial wellness check up. Do you know if you will have the resources to pay for college, a post-secondary financing need?  that dream college. Talk to your Tax Preparer, Financial Planner, or CPA. If you run your own business, are considering a divorce or have multiple students bound for college, financial aid rules are changes. Learn your families financial readiness and capabilities. Once you know where your family stands, we can help you find the right education, for the right reason, at the right school at an affordable investment!

Hats off to Melrosekind
Recently I presented at the Melrose Parent University, a great morning full of informational and educational sessions sponsored by the Melrose Education Foundation. I had the pleasure of meeting the coordinators of the wonderful community-based group Melrosekind. They are on a mission to foster the art of sharing kindness. In this season of giving and celebration, I encourage everyone to follow their slogan – tag your it.

CALMING THE WATERS – Have questions? Feeling paralyzed, Everything Starts with a Conversation – Learn more at