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Enjoy diverse perspectives from West Michigan women.

Any day now, you will find all 11 of us at our local dollar store for the evening. Everyone will have their own baskets and will probably be using their coats to keep their precious purchases secret. There will be covert maneuvers and whispered plans between siblings. As the all-knowing mom, I will become the keeper of my children's secret wishes, which I dispense conspiratorially to their siblings as needed.

11 Tips for Putting the FUN Back into DysFUNctional

It's time, y'all—time for the elves to show up in my mailbox. Really, they have been shoved in a basket in my laundry room since last December and my 10-year-old has already found them. Damn it. I couldn't decide if that was the perfect time to spill the truth, or try to make the magic of the elves last a bit longer. For the sake of the younger sisters, I decided to try to make it last longer, but I do not like the elves. Not one bit.

The field of direct sales or direct marketing has taken off like wildfire. We all want our friends to be successful, to thrive in their chosen careers and to financially support their families. But when those careers come knocking on our virtual doorstep, a once positive, supportive relationship could change—and that doesn't have to be the case. Many sales consultants generate abundant sales without ruffling any social media feathers.

We all know what comes after the cooking, football watching, eating and chatting associated with Thanksgiving: Shopping! In years past, this shopping took place on Thursday night and spilled over into Friday. There was no shopping mandate, no online edict coupled with a catchy name telling us to spend money—it was just tradition.

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