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Holiday help

Mizzou experts lend a hand with everything from hall-decking to smart shopping

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  • Story by Karen Pojmann
  • Photo by Shane Epping
  • Published: Dec. 8, 2008
Holiday poinsettias

Among Mizzou's holiday helpers, Tiger Garden sells colorful poinsettias and offers on-site decorating services.

Feeling the holiday stress?

Before you hit the eggnog, come to fisticuffs with a Wii-wielding fellow shopper or consider fashioning your tangled mess of twinkly lights into a noose, take a deep breath. And take some help from Mizzou’s downright elf-like team of experts.

Deft decorating

A quick trip to Tiger Garden, the full-service floral shop run by MU's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, can propel you into a new decorating dimension. Cull plants from the dazzlingly multi-hued selection of poinsettias to spruce up — or even Tiger-ize — drab digs. 

Not up to the hall-decking tasks yourself? Outsource! For a mere $60 per hour, you can hire two Mizzou students to do it for you. The Tiger Garden staff can create floral flourishes in the shop and put them up in your home or business or do all the tree-trimming, wreath-hanging and other beautification — anything within reach on a 6-foot ladder — using your own decorations.

The service is available through Dec. 19. After Jan. 1, workers can take decorations down for you.

Savvy shopping

To help stave off shopping stress – which the shaky economy can exacerbate – MU Extension gives tips on keeping spending sprees in check. Extension Associate Suzi McGarvey has advice on everything from making a list and checking it twice to becoming a master of timing. Read it here.

If you’re shopping online, MU Extension financial-education specialist Carole Bozworth can help keep you Web-wise with these tips on protecting your financial information and spotting online-retailer red flags.

Need a philosophical perspective on stocking-stuffing? Check out Marsha Richins’s Corps of Discovery lecture. The Trulaske College of Business professor explains the roots of materialism, the role it plays in our culture and what we can do to keep it under control. 

Respectful reveling

Embracing diversity this time of year doesn’t mean living in constant fear of the political-correctness police. But it might mean boosting your awareness of friends’ and coworkers’ cultural backgrounds and personal preferences when planning festivities.

As Robert Baum, chair of the MU Department of Religious Studies, points out, a little education and sensitivity can make for a more inclusive – and merrier – party season. Check out his celebration suggestions.

Hassle-free feasting

If your schedule doesn’t allow for whipping up a braised rack of lamb or a batch of individually monogrammed sugar cookies, University Catering can help out, whether you need a dozen snickerdoodles or a three-course sit-down dinner party.

Small-business owners can forgo the office punch bowl and instead take part in the Dec. 18 networking-friendly multi-company Micro Business Holiday Party catered by MU Executive Chef Daniel Pliska.

Cool concert-going

What holiday season would be complete without music? Along with the already-sold-out Dec. 9 performance of “Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller” the University Concert Series presents “Christmas from Dublin Starring the Three Irish Tenors” Dec. 12 in Jesse Auditorium. Got a Ruben Studdard fan on your gift list? Tickets are still available for the Dec. 14 performance of Ain't Misbehavin', starring Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis.

Taking in a show might give you a chance to relax — at least for a couple of hours.

Read more in:  Beyond CampusFamily & Community

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Last updated: June 6, 2013