News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
(513) 529-1950 fax

Holiday Story Ideas 11-98


Happy Holidays for Retailers

This year's holiday retail outlook is about as bright as it can be,

says Jack Gifford, professor of marketing at Miami University. Low levels of unemployment and inflation should lead to increased consumer spending.

Retailers, however, aren't getting carried away in anticipation. They've been careful to keep inventory under control, Gifford says.

He is an expert on retailing and two years ago was named to the American Collegiate

Retailing Association Hall of Fame.

Gifford can be reached at(513) 529-1207 or by e-mail:

And I resolve to ...

Exercise, lose weight, quit making resolutions?

Though most people are full of good intentions when they make their New Year's resolutions, many don't follow through because they aren't taking the next step--they don't change their behavior, says Robert Weinberg, professor of physical education, health and sport studies department at Miami. "The resolution is well and good, but it's just words."

It is not enough to say: "I'll lose 20 pounds." To make the resolution stick,

a person needs to concentrate on how to achieve the goal and make the necessary

sacrifices. Merely thinking it doesn't make it so. "Just because you have the

right attitude it doesn't mean the behavior will change," he says. "There's a low correlation between attitude and behavior."

Weinberg can be reached at (513) 529-2728.

Holidays for Women: Toil and Trouble?

Though women enjoy the holidays, many find it a particularly stressful

time. Wives and mothers especially feel compelled to take primary

responsibility for all of the holiday rituals, says Val Freysinger, an

associate professor of physical education, health and sport studies at Miami University. That means not only cooking, cleaning and decorating but also shopping--generally not just for her own relatives but her husband's, too.

Women are typically the social organizers, the ones who nurture relationships and maintain social networks, she says.

Another reason that women try to play

superwoman, especially at this time of year, is that they remember the kind of

holidays their stay-at-home mothers used to make. "While never easy, taking

that on today is even more challenging because of the time the majority of

women spend in paid and nonpaid employment," Freysinger says.

Freysinger can be reached at (513) 529-2710.

Real vs. Artificial Trees: A Green Perspective

Artificial trees are made to last and do so, even after people discard

them for newer models--making every day Christmas in many of the nation's

landfills. Don Kaufman, a professor of zoology at Miami University, says that

real trees don't pose much of an environmental problem, provided they come from a tree farm.

Though they are eventually cut down, their growth helps the environment and new trees are planted to replace the old.

A good alternative to both, however, is a living tree that you plant

after the presents are opened and baubles removed, Kaufman says. Of course it

isn't convenient for everyone, but if you have the space outside, it's worth

considering. And don't worry about planting out of season. "December is a

good time to plant trees," Kaufman says. Just make sure the ground isn't


Kaufman can be reached at 513-529-3195 (or leave a message at (513) 529-3100.

The Mystery of the Magi

Though the familiar Christmas carol speaks of "We Three Kings," the Magi

were actually astrologers, according to Edwin Yamauchi, a professor of history

at Miami University.

Some scholars have argued that the visit of the "wise men" to the baby Jesus,

as told in the Gospel of Matthew, is everything from a distorted reflection of

the trip of Tiridates, the Arsacid ruler of Armenia who visited Rome in order

to receive his crown from Nero, to a reinterpretation of the shepherds' visit

in the Gospel of Luke. But after researching the subject, Yamauchi concludes that the story of the Magi should be taken as a historical episode, not as a literary creation.

Yamauchi can be reached at (513) 529-5141.


© 2012 | Miami University | 501 East High Street | Oxford, Ohio 45056 | 513.529.1809 | Equal opportunity in education and employment | Privacy Statement