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PACEspectives: Holiday Edition

News Story

Do you feel it in your fingers? What about your toes? The holidays are all around us, and this month’s PACEspectives is bringing us good cheer with tips and advice for a wonderful season of celebration.

This year, PACEspectives has tackled everything from phones and planned obsolescence to coffee in the workplace, to legalized sports gambling. As 2018 draws to the close, Pace faculty and staff reflect on best practices for the holidays; including decoration dos and don'ts, how to embrace your inner businessperson amidst all that shopping, and much more!

How to Make Your Holiday Decorations Truly Stand Out
Cicero Clamor
Associate Art Director

For a start, choosing the right color palette is key. And more importantly, simply sticking with that color palette makes a huge difference.

Whenever I visit the homes of family or friends during the holidays, I almost always instantly notice those whose decorations have a cohesive look and feel to them, which can most simply be accomplished by using a specific color theme. Whether the materials used cost hundreds of dollars or just a penny, having a uniformed and similar color palette goes a long way.

Using only two to three colors of varying shades garners a distinct and cohesive quality, as opposed to using 20 different colors and creating a mosh pit of chaos.

Healthful for the Holidays
Christen Cupples Cooper, EdD
Founding Director of Nutrition and Dietetics
College of Health Professions

My number one tip for the holidays is to remember that this time of year is meant to be joyous and celebratory. Be empathetic with yourself and mindfully savor reasonable portions of holiday foods that are meaningful to you. If you only get Aunt Linda's pecan pie once a year, eat a piece and enjoy it. Curb the typical humdrum snacks that you can munch on anytime, like boxed chocolates and packaged cookies.

My second holiday tip is to skillfully navigate the buffet table at office parties (and the leftovers that end up in the break room for days afterwards). Clients often tell me that buffets, with their seemingly endless choices of nibbles, trigger them to overeat. When at a holiday gathering, focus on catching up with colleagues, not the food. Position yourself in a spot conducive to conversation, not to grabbing a handful of chips or refilling your eggnog.

My final holiday tip is to make sure you prioritize your own health, including mental health, during the holidays. Many of us go crazy trying to cover all basespresents, decorations, and festivitiesat the expense of our own fulfillment. Don't hand over your exercise time or your quiet mealtimes. I like to say: Enjoy the holidays from the inside out. Feel joy on the inside, share it with others as you visit, and dine and share good times together.

Is All That Shopping Giving You Business Ideas? Test Them Out!
Bruce Bachenheimer
Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Lab
Lubin School of Business

One of the most important things for entrepreneurs to achieve is customer validation: proof that you have targeted the correct customer segment, identified a real need, and are providing a product or service that actually solves that need. The definitive form of customer validation is getting someone to open their wallet and actually make a purchase.

The holidays tend to be a time that people are more inclined to try something new and spend impulsively, so get out there and take advantage of the opportunity. Whether you make a sale or not, learn as much as possible about the market and your customers.

Picking the Perfect Gift
Rosemary Hartofilis
Safety Communications Manager
Department of Emergency Management

I ALWAYS make my gifts surprises, and I try to make it something they’ve casually/briefly mentioned in the past. I take mental notes all the time and usually have their gifts picked out by the summer (I know, I’m extremely weird).

It’s the happiest time of year for me to make my friends and family happy with something personal and special to them; something that makes them feel loved and cared for on a personal level.

What’s the Deal with Regifting?
Caitlin Grand
Assistant Director, Pace Path

Regifting, in my opinion, isn’t always bad or rude. If it’s not something that has a practical or sentimental value for the receiver, and a gift receipt wasn’t given, why not let it bring joy or usefulness to someone else?

Spite and snobbery are an exemption to this though; just because it’s not the newest model or Aunt Marge still thinks you’re 12 and like the “Chicken Soup...” books doesn’t mean you should write it off and regift it. It might be the exact thing you need, and didn’t even realize it!