The quintessential holiday scene – if not children eagerly unwrapping presents from under the Christmas tree – normally involves a family gathered around a table covered with home-cooked food. The reality is that, for the rest of the year, families don't routinely convene during mealtimes.
Significant areas of the country have experienced heavy rains this year, leaving government officials to grapple with the problem of how to safely handle excess stormwater. In the Philadelphia area, for instance, with two months left to measure, the 2011 rainfall total is within one half-inch of its record 56.45 inches.
The holidays bring many motivations to buy, buy, buy. Beyond the sale prices and must-have items is something greater for consumers to consider, says Saint Joseph’s University sociologist Keith Brown, Ph.D.
“Many consumers sincerely want to make a difference in the world through shopping,” he says. “Consumers like to give gifts that have a story about where the product came from, who made it and how the producer benefitted by selling the object.”
While the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control recently announced that Internet bullying has increased by 50 percent, the reality is that Internet bullying is still relatively less common than other forms of bullying, according to Sally Black, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health services at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, who studies bullying. She cites name-calling, exclusion and physical abuse as more common forms.
Whether your holiday tradition involves a buffet brunch or a sit-down dinner with seven fishes, abundant amounts of food will be featured. And with the cost of food outpacing the rate of inflation over the past year, entertaining your crowd will be pricey.
As the public flips its calendars from October to November, December remains only one thin calendar page away, which means movie studios begin rolling out their holiday releases within the next several weeks. The question of whether or not these new Yuletide pictures will ever match up to the classics of old remains to be seen, but some films have a better chance than others, based on a number of factors.
No matter our religious or cultural background, we have all felt pressured during the winter season to frame a picture-perfect holiday experience. Whether it is to serve a flawless Thanksgiving dinner, create a Martha Stewart-inspired holiday home or to give (or receive) a much-desired gift, many feel a stressful frenzy ascending as the leaves continue to fall and the temperature drops.
Think you’ve seen that holiday commercial before? That’s because you have – maybe even as long ago as the 1980s. In a move to touch the nostalgic hearts of consumers this holiday season, businesses like Toys R Us are recycling the old in order to captivate younger audiences and remind their parents of times past.
While students look forward to the holidays as a chance to unwind, 'tis the season to "network before they need work," advises Brett Woodard, director of the Career Development Center at Saint Joseph’s University. Students should use this time purposefully, he says, to "plant seeds" for their career search by deepening existing relationships and expanding their network with new contacts.
This holiday season consumers are thinking small. So small, in fact, that the space under the Christmas tree may appear a bit empty for some on Christmas morning. However, market researchers are seeing an ongoing trend of quality over quantity, and this holiday season looks to continue that trend.