Tips for the unemployed to stay sane during the next two weeks

Unemployment isn't a disease that needs a 12-step program, but let's face it, being broke and trying to feel festive around the holidays don't exactly go hand-in-hand. Which is why a California business coach got my attention.

Deborah Gallant normally commands big bucks for telling people what they need to do to start up a business or grow the one they already have. She has first-hand experience dealing with professionals who got the axe in the recession during the past year: Her husband was laid off from his big-deal job in finance 16 months ago and is still looking. She also coaches people who are frustrated with their job search. And she does that for free. Heck, she's even helped me for free.

Gallant runs a free group hug every Tuesday morning called the Conejo Jewish Support, held at Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks, CA. You don't have to be Jewish to attend and nobody expects you to actually cry or bare your soul. She arranges free speakers about different aspects of the job search, serves free coffee and has one rule: When you get a job (notice, she says "when" not "if") donate a few bucks from your first paycheck to the coffee kitty. The woman is Santa with a New York accent.