Straight Talk Advice


Christmas shopping frenzy “on steroids” far adrift from “O Silent Night”

Dear Straight Talk: The winter holidays seem to be a stressed-out “what am I getting” and ”what am I buying” nightmare and I wonder if these once-sacred holidays hold any meaning at all for young people. (Maybe the…


Yikes! Christmas with my boyfriend and his teenagers

Dear Straight Talk: I’m going to my boyfriend’s house for the special day of Christmas. His boy, 15, and girl, 13, will be there. We’ve been together nine months now and I’ve only met the daughter once for five minutes,…


Shopping that doesn’t support slave labor puts “Christ” back in Christmas

Dear Straight Talk: I enjoy hitting the mark with holiday gifts. I have three teenage grandchildren and two in their 20s. Please advise as to top gifts. Also, do kids read books anymore? If so, what are some favorites? —Grandma…


Family gatherings an opportunity for inter-gen bonding and support

Dear Straight Talk: I'm hosting several sets of parents, grandparents, teenagers and college students for Thanksgiving. The young people tend to divide off, many staring into their devices, while some elders stare into the TV. What…


Teen suffers post holiday blues

Dear Straight Talk: It's the day after Christmas and I'm so depressed. We do this whole thing at my grandparents where my relatives buy all this stuff and we spend the day pretending we are so thrilled with what we opened. I just…


Thank-you letters good for Auntie, good for kids

Dear Straight Talk: Each year I give my niece and nephew an expensive gift of something they want or need, often including money. If I'm there, they say thank you but I've never once received a thank-you letter. I know young people…


Holiday shopping guide: The “straight talk” on what young people want & need

Dear Readers: It's time again for our direct-from-the-source teen & twenty shopping list! As usual, please resist buying stupid stuff just because other kids have it. Definition of stupid stuff: video games, "smart" phones,…


Gift giving in blended family not that complicated

Dear Straight Talk: My friend thinks she doesn't need to get her stepdaughter much for Christmas. She says "Emily" will get gifts from her own mom, and her kids won't get anything from their dad, so buying less for Emily only balances…


Let’s keep up the straight talk

Dear Readers: Since 2004 Straight Talk has been bringing you the "straight talk". We are a small, independent nonprofit writing some of the straight-talkin'est youth news found anywhere. It's ironic that we live in a world overloaded…


Holiday shopping list for teens ‘n twenties

Dear Readers: Here it is again, folks, the "teen-n-twenty" shopping list that's direct from the source. I probably sound like a broken record, but I continue my progressive advice to "think outside the box" (or in this case the flat…

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