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December 11, 2013

Purdue Holiday Experts

Smile! Overindulging children with too many holiday photos?

Children are growing up in a digital world where their photos are everywhere, especially during the holiday season. Parents might want to literally change their focus, says Judith Myers-Walls, professor emeritus of child development.

"Children need to feel valued and loved, but they should not be given the idea that they are more important than other family members or that their needs are the only things that matter," she says. "Just as children need to learn limits for their behavior, they also need to learn that there are limits to how often they are the center of attention."

Related news release: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/smile-overindulging-children-with-too-many-holiday-photos.html 

CONTACT: Judith Myers-Walls, jmyerswa@purdue.edu 

Purdue expert: Retailers dealing with 'showrooming'

As the holiday buying season progresses, one trend retailers will have to deal with is "showrooming," says Richard Feinberg, a Purdue professor of consumer sciences and retailing.

Showrooming describes shoppers who go into a store to look at a product, then use a smartphone to search for the item at a cheaper price, often buying on the Internet.

Feinberg says that the amount of showrooming being done is a small part of buying. But because most retailers operate at a slim margin of profitability, if even as few as 1 percent of customers are showrooming, it can make a difference in whether sales increase over the year before.

Related news release: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/purdue-expert-retailers-dealing-with-showrooming.html 

CONTACT: Richard Feinberg, xdj1@purdue.edu 

Purdue engineer: Toys can help develop STEM skills in children

One of the hot topics on social media this holiday season is finding gifts that can help children, especially girls, develop science- and engineering-related skills.

Beth Holloway, director of Purdue's Women in Engineering Program at Purdue University, says toys that help children figure out how to turn their ideas into reality - toys that let them design and build something, for instance - are a great first step in inspiring them to consider a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career.

"Toys like that will help children realize that they can make an impact on the world through their ideas," she says.

Related news release: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/purdue-engineer-toys-can-help-develop-stem-skills-in-children-.html 

CONTACT: Beth Holloway, 765-494-3889, Holloway@purdue.edu     

How to keep the holidays safe for your pets

Whether you are leaving your pet at home or traveling with them over the holidays, planning is the key to ensuring their safety.

"The last thing any pet owner wants on Christmas or New Year's is to rush their pet to the animal emergency room," says Lorraine Corriveau, a pet wellness veterinarian in Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine. "The truth is that many pets can be injured or poisoned during the holidays unless their owners take proper preventive measures."

Related news release: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/how-to-keep-the-holidays-safe-for-your-pets.html 

CONTACT: Lorraine Corriveau, 765-494-7789, corrivea@purdue.edu 

Real Christmas tree sales climb; conservation, tradition cited

Real Christmas trees sales are increasing this year, according to Purdue forestry and natural resources professor Daniel Cassens, who grows Christmas trees on a farm dating to the 19th century.

The biggest growth demographics are young couples who never had a real tree and those who are concerned about the environment.

"Real trees are renewable, consume carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, can be recycled, provide wildlife habitat, and create jobs in rural America," Cassens says.

Cassens has produced a free Purdue Extension pamphlet that helps maximize the real-tree experience from cutting to recycling and all steps in between.

Related news release: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/purdue-specialist-real-christmas-trees-becoming-more-popular.html 

CONTACT: Daniel Cassens, 765-412-6844, dcassens@purdue.edu, dancassens@frontier.com

Cyberforensics expert: Be careful when shopping online

With more than $2 billion of merchandise sold on Cyber Monday alone, shoppers need to be cautious as they increasingly turn to online shopping, says a Purdue cyberforensics expert.

Sam Liles, an associate professor of computer and information technology, says know with whom you are shopping and use credible websites.

"Going to a company that you've never heard of to buy a brand name product that looks too good to be true, likely is too good to be true," Liles says.

Even when shopping from reputable locations, Liles says, it is important to make sure your computer and protection software are up to date and your Internet connection is secure.

CONTACT: Sam Liles, sliles@purdue.edu

Wine expert helps you pick the perfect Hoosier holiday wine

With Indiana now home to the Midwest's largest winery and the state producing over a thousand wines, Purdue wine professor Christian Butzke says it's hard not to find something that appeals to all your guests.

"Don’t stress over your choices - the holidays can be stressful enough without worrying about the wine," says Butzke, who serves as a consultant for wineries across the state. "Pick a few that look interesting to you or come recommended and bring home a variety. That way you have something for any taste and everyone can have a learning experience."

CONTACT: Christian Butzke, 765-494-6500, cbutzke@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: The Purdue University experts above can talk about various topics related to the 2013 holiday season. Any questions can be directed to Purdue News Service, 765-494-2096.

* Smile! Overindulging children with too many holiday photos?

* Purdue expert: Retailers dealing with 'showrooming'

* Purdue engineer: Toys can help develop STEM skills in children

* How to keep the holidays safe for your pets

* Real Christmas tree sales climb; conservation, tradition cited

* Cyberforensics expert: Be careful when shopping online

* Wine expert helps you pick the perfect Hoosier holiday wine