Queen's University

Holiday experts


Financial stresses on lower to middle-income families during the holiday season
Margaret LittleQueen's Political Studies Professor Margaret Little can discuss the stresses (financial and otherwise) associated with the holiday season for families on welfare - more specifically, single mothers on welfare. A published author on the topic of poverty, she had this to say when asked about the financial stresses for lower-income families during the holiday season:"I am deeply disturbed by the abysmal welfare rate. It does not allow parents to properly provide for themselves and their children. This makes holiday season particularly stressful. Hydro costs are rising over the winter months. Mothers are worried about providing adequate winter coats, boots, hats etc. for their children. On top of these extra costs they desperately want to provide presents for their children, presents they cannot afford. They don't want their children to miss out on the joys of this holiday season and yet there is no extra bonus on the welfare cheque to pay for presents and holiday food. They feel ashamed when they do not have the money to provide presents for their childrens' teachers and friends, for the class skating party, and all the extras that come with celebrating the season."Margaret Little mjhl@post.queensu.ca
Holiday planning for blended and divorced families
Nick BalaQueen?s family law expert Nick Bala can discuss legal issues associated with custody and access at this time of year. With the holiday season approaching lawyers? offices and courtrooms see a huge increase in the volume of separated and divorced parents attempting to settle child custody and visitation issues. According to Prof. Bala, the parents in the courtroom are those who have the most difficulty co-operating. The question remains, are they thinking most about their children or about themselves? What steps should separated parents take to deal with issues around the holidays, to increase their children's happiness and reduce stress on themselves? On a systemic level, should Canadian be adopting new concepts and approaches to better resolve issues between separated parents.bala@post.queensu.ca613-533-6000 ext 74275Socially responsible gifts
Jay HandelmanQueen's School of Business marketing professor, Jay Handelman, can discuss the socially-responsible marketing tactics and the impact such tactics have on consumers. He can also offer gift suggestions to the socially-conscious consumer. Dr. Handelman is the co-author of Community Oriented Corporate Social Responsibility: Consumer Evaluation of Community Attachment (Advances in Consumer Research, 2003) and author of "Is Corporate Reputation Enough? Moral Legitimacy as an Alternative Measure for Corporate Social Responsibility" (conference paper, 2003). jhandelman@business.queensu.ca613-533-3213December and small business
John PliniussenQueen's Business expert John Pliniussen, authority on new venture innovation and Director of Queen's Business Consulting can comment on how the December holiday season puts all aspects of small business performance through its paces. This short season provides:

  • the best time to make sure your staff and store atmospherics connect emotionally with clients because there are only three reasons people buy anything: emotional, practical, and social. Emotional reasons account for twice that of the other two!
  • a peak sales cycle period that will help determine annual profitability;
  • the best time to connect emotionally with customers and build loyalty;
  • a good time to experiment with new items because demand will be strong;
  • a good test for client service processes since complaints, returns and queries will be highest; and
  • the best period to gauge how well the inventory management system performs (stock outs vs. excess inventory).

Dr. Plinuissen specializes in e-commerce strategies in e-marketing, selling, and creativity and innovation. He led the development of Canada's first marketing education portal and designed a new series of Internet-based case analysis tools. He was also Strategy Director with www.hotbanana.com; and one of a handful of Canadians to ever be awarded the Edwin-Appel Prize for Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College (Cambridge, Mass.), the world leader in entrepreneurship education.JPliniussen@business.queensu.ca*John is out of the country and is reachable via e-mail only

The Christmas story
Richard AscoughRichard Ascough, associate professor of New Testament with Queen's Theological College. He can speak to the historical reality behind the Christmas story and current interpretations of it.He is currently researching the dynamics of religious interaction and community development in small religious associations in the Greco-Roman world, to explore modern theories of Christian origins. In a separate line off research, Prof. Ascough has an ongoing interest in how religion intersects with film in terms of mythmaking, worldview and the creation of self or group identity. He can also speak to issues surrounding the search for the historical Jesus and the current state of the documentary evidence for early Christianity.
(613) 533-6000 ext. 78066


Alissa Deley, 613-533-6000 ext. 77513, deleya@post.queensu.ca
Lorinda Peterson, 613-533-3234, petersn@post.queensu.ca
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Last updated at 8:46 am EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
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