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UC Davis sources for media on holiday traditions and events

By Karen Nikos-Rose on December 11, 2015 in

Gender and children’s toys

Sociology lecturer Elizabeth Sweet can talk about the gender marketing of children’s toys; historical trends in children’s toy advertisements; the history of gendered toys; and the societal implications of gender-based toys and products for children. Her research explores historical trends in the gender marketing of toys and how they correspond to larger systems of gender inequality. See the story UC Davis did last year on her research: Contact: (530) 902-8870,

Family relationships and sibling rivalry

Katherine Jewsbury Conger, professor of human development and family studies, can talk about the dynamics of sibling and parent-child relationships across the lifespan; and the consequences of economic hardship for family functioning and individual health and well being across generations. Contact: (530) 754-1216,

Save energy on holiday lights

Michael Siminovitch, director of the California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis, says this is the season to replace holiday lights with LEDs that come in vibrant colors, are cool to the touch and use less than a quarter of the energy of old-style incandescent lights. He can also discuss using timers for indoor and exterior lights and replacing interior incandescent/CFL with LED lamps. He says a wide variety of new LED technology is available, so be sure to look for the highest color quality LEDs in the marketplace. Contact: (530) 747-3835,

‘Wonder and Delight’ at Christmas

Dolph Gotelli, professor emeritus of design, and a founding member of the UC Davis Department of Design and the founding director of its museum, is well known for his vintage collections and exhibitions on Christmas, often calling himself “Father Christmas.” He opened this year a museum to house his collections, The Museum of Wonder & Delight, in Folsom (Facebook). He serves as creative director and curator. He is a renowned collector and lecturer on the subjects of play, childhood toys and games, international celebrations and all aspects of Christmas. Contact:

Keep your pets safe through the holidays

Karl Jandrey, an associate professor of clinical small-animal emergency and intensive care at the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital, cautions pet owners to pay special attention to safeguarding their animals during the winter holidays. For example, chocolate, holly, poinsettias and tinsel can be extremely harmful if eaten, and pets may be electrocuted if they chew through electrical cords attached to lights and other holiday décor. Contact: (530) 574-7691, (Jandrey will be away from campus Dec. 19-29).

Media contact(s)

Karen Nikos-Rose, Research news (emphasis: arts, humanities and social sciences), 530-219-5472,

Media Resources