Holiday experts on traditions, shopping trends, and avoiding burnout


York University experts available to comment on gendering of toys, online and in-store purchases, perfectionism and more

TORONTO, December 13, 2018 – With the holiday season fast approaching, York University experts are available to comment on various topics, from mental health and wellbeing to online purchasing trends and appropriate gifts for children.

Tony Burke, associate professor in the Department of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, is the author of several books on early Christian literature, including Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the Christian Apocrypha. He can comment on:

  • The origins of Christmas traditions
  • Apocryphal infancy and childhood stories that have influenced Christian teachings, art, and literature relating to the Christmas story

Natalie Coulter, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and author of Tweening the Girl can comment on:

  • Advertising to children and the tween culture
  • Electronic toys for young people
  • The gendering of toys
  • How Christmas and Santa are used to justify consumer culture
  • Tips for parents on how to talk to their children about materialism

Gordon Flett, professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and the director of the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research can comment on:

  • Avoiding burnout during the holidays and in the New Year
  • Aiming for good enough instead of perfection
  • The gift of mattering to others and what parents should focus on for their children

Alan Middleton, distinguished professor of Marketing in the Schulich School of Business and executive director of the Schulich Executive Education Centre, can comment on:

  • Demographic and attitudinal trends impacting buying for Christmas
  • Evolution of online and in-store Christmas buying
  • The shift in purchase patterns from experiences to product focus
  • The role of charitable giving during the holidays

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Through cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design, diverse experiential learning and a supportive community environment, our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact:

Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097,