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How Do the Holidays Affect Your Organization?

Interviews by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

“The holidays impact my coaching and consulting business because after mid-November, people want to ‘wait ‘till after the holidays’ to schedule our work. This means a slower final six weeks in my year and a predictably busy first quarter to follow.”

Leslie Rose McDonald,
president Pathfinders CTS, Inc., Liverpool

“It’s not one of our busiest times of the year. We do get quite a few personalized Christmas card orders, but other than that, most of our business customers have used up their budgets, and the last thing they are thinking of is ordering printing. For 40 years I have not found a way to get people to put printing on their Santa list, but they should! The bright side is, after a very busy rest of the year, we are able to let our overworked staff enjoy some less hectic time to refresh and re-energize for the coming year.”

John Henry,
CEO, Speedway Press, Oswego

“We see increased store traffic with the addition of Christmas trees and wreaths. We also sell a lot more fruit baskets since they are a great gift for someone who is hard to buy for and make a great last-minute gift. Beverage sales also increase a great deal with holiday cheer.”

Maria Johnson,
owner C’s Farm Market, Oswego

“As our business picks up due to the colder weather and snow, people are wanting to get away on vacation. We found that many specials and offers come out this time of the year for different vacation hotspots. We can pass this savings on to our clients. And another big seller is our gift cards, the perfect gift for any person. We love the holiday season.”

Sandra Shue,
manager Canalview Travel Service, Inc., Fulton.

“Holidays can be a challenging time for those we serve, particularly those who have experienced a great deal of trauma in their life. They may be disenfranchised from family or other support system, challenged with depression or other serious mental health disorder or don’t have the resources to provide the type of celebration that floods advertising and media outlets during this time of the year. OCO employees work hard at helping our clients celebrate, create plans for being connected to a support system during the holidays and often host special holiday celebrations for clients with the assistance of many generous businesses, churches and civic groups that make this possible. We cannot do it alone and are grateful to those who help us serve a special meal, shower families with special gifts or just spend time with someone who is alone.

Diane Cooper-Currier,
executive director Oswego County Opportunities, Fulton.

“CiTi BOCES is a family and the holiday season is a time to come together. We have students and families who may not have enough to eat or gifts for the holidays, and we do our best to fill in those gaps. We have a breakfast for lunch and weekends program that staff contribute to throughout the year to purchase food items to send home with students in need on the weekends. Staff ‘adopt’ families in our migrant education program to purchase gifts for the holidays anonymously. These are just some of the things that spread good cheer throughout CiTi during the holidays.”

Naomi Himes,
public relations coordinator CiTi BOCES, Mexico

“Our business is very seasonal in design. It picks up in April and runs through October. There’s not a lot of demand for bus tours in the winter months. Most of our business has already gone to Florida by autumn.”

Richard Oneil,
owner and travel agent Travel Choice International, Syracuse   

“The holidays are a busy time for boarding and grooming.”

Marie Schadt,
owner K-9 Grooming and Pet Motel, Oswego

“Any time of the year is rewarding to be a banker. The holidays are no exception. During the hustle and bustle of the season, the bank is usually one of the first stops before our customers head out to do some shopping or spend time with family and friends. We enjoy hearing all the wonderful stories, sharing in the memories, offering our support and providing festive events at our branches. The holidays are a busy time at the bank that we look forward to each and every year.”

Deana M. Michaels,
Fulton market manager, Pathfinder Bank, Fulton

“The only impact of the holiday season is for year-end income tax planning for my clients. That keeps my staff and I quite busy at the end of each year.”

Randy L. Zeigler,
certified financial planner, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Oswego

“The holiday season does not slow us down in real estate because there are many buyers trying to close on their new properties for the end of the year for tax purposes. The new year finds buyers starting to look in the market when they know what kind of a refund they will be having for a down payment. It remains a stable market all through the holidays.”

Bill Galloway,
owner and real estate agent Century 21 Galloway Realty, Oswego

“During the holidays the Oswego County Prevention Coalition works hard to address underage drinking that has a tendency to rise with school breaks and an increase in social gatherings.”

Tyler Ahart,
project coordinator at Oswego County Prevention Coalition.

“The holiday season is an opportunity for us to work with our clients to improve their financial wellness by helping them budget for expenses many incur this time of year. We also assist clients in developing plans to pay down their holiday debt. Some examples include using a credit card that offers valuable rewards, such as cash back or miles or using a debit card that automatically transfers money into a savings account. The holidays are a great time of year to review all of your financial accounts and develop a plan for year-round financial wellness.”

Stephen Fournier,
Central New York market president, regional retail leader KeyBank, Syracuse