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Today's column

Posted by Robin Abrahams  December 2, 2012 07:06 AM

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... is online here. A sample, from my answer to a retired LW who was going to have to scale back Christmas spending on her adult children:

You can do a lot for their peace of mind right now. Talk to your kids honestly and, if possible, together. Discuss your financial plans and whatever other plans you've made. You are secure as long as you scale back expenses--that's good! They will be very happy to hear that. (We worry when you get extravagant with money, anyway.) And the fact that you've come to your children now, to let them know that there are changes afoot in the way you live, will reassure them that you'll be open and willing to ask for the help you need in the future. This is what your children want, far more than lavish gift cards and mail-order booty. The Year Without a Santa Claus might just turn out to be the Best Christmas Ever.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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Curious if you should say "bless you" to a sneezing atheist? How to host a dinner party for carbophobes, vegans, and Atkins disciples—all at the same time? The finer points of regifting? Ask it here, or email missconduct@globe.com.

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