Business Schedules during the Christmas Holiday Season

The Christmas holiday season has many implications, but one of the most prominent is shopping. Consumerism rises significantly between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and retailers are struggling to keep up with hordes of shoppers, long hours and increasingly busy schedules.

The winter holiday season is one of the longest holiday seasons of the year, and businesses all over the world often change their policies and services in an effort to meet unusual or urgent demands during this period. In fact, Puerto Rico has one of the longest Christmas holiday seasons in the world; it extends all the way to Three Kings Day. Banks and other companies on the island have tweaked their schedules to accommodate both staffers and customers during this time. Doral Bank, for example, announced that it would be open throughout December 24th and 31st, and would be closed during the first week of January.

Many businesses have decided to remain open for 24 hours prior to Christmas in hopes of appeasing last-minute customers. Short shopping hours combined with the stress of planning holiday celebrations make 24-hour availability extremely valuable, especially as time runs out.

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New Year’s Eve Ideas for Couples

New-Years-Eve-Date-Ideas-0.5-300x300New Year’s Eve may be one of the most romantic holidays, but arranging an evening that meets expectations, sends sparks flying and meets the budget can be challenging. Many couples want to have a date night, but are not sure how to go about that. Here are a few wallet-friendly but truly romantic options:

1. Find a local show and give the NYC-style a try. Dress up, grab a few drinks, and then dance the night away to some great music. Choose a venue that is convenient, so that your evening isn’t ruined with a long commute home.

2. Stay home. Dress up, light candles, and have a romantic dinner in your own dining room. Set the table, dim the lights, play some music… Slow dance in the living room, make some cocktails, exchange massages, or watch a romantic movie together.

3. Take a walk down memory lane. Make a list of places from throughout your relationship, and spend the night visiting each one and reminiscing. Reserve seats at an old favorite restaurant, walk through the park, visit the place you first met… Close off a solid year together by remembering why you are together in the first place.

4. Rent a cabin. If you’re nature lovers, or want a break from city life, look online for some last-minute deals on some romantic cabin getaways. Some will even let you bring pets, which is a great way to save on pet-sitting expenses.

Take Advantage of Seasonal Downtime with Online Exhibits

1914a-item-pageWinter’s gloomy weather can get depressing, and people tend to stay indoors and become less active during this season. However, in many areas, the cold weather opens up opportunities that are often overlooked when the sun is shining. Museums, art shows and traveling exhibits are a great way to stay busy, learn something and stretch your legs without having to spend much time in the rain. Many such museums and foundations also offer online explanations and virtual tours, and interesting displays are only a click away.

The Shapell Manuscript Foundation, for example, recently released 10 new manuscripts from their archives onto their website, including two written by President Millard Fillmore. The University of Delaware Library also received a collection of World War II manuscripts, which are now accessible through their Special Collections web page. Gloomy days are a perfect time to enhance your knowledge of American history, as well as learn about other cultures and traditions throughout time.

You can even enjoy events that are happening in other countries. For example, a new visitor’s center was recently opened at Airman’s Corner, less than two miles from the famous Stonehenge landmark. The facility features ancient construction tools and other artifacts that hint at the lives of Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples.

“At last, visitors to Stonehenge will be able to get a sense of the people who built this monument, of their lives, their deaths and their ceremonies. Visitors will, for the first time, learn the astonishing history of the stones and will see objects, many never seen before, that will bring the stones to life,” explains Dr. Simon Thurley of English Heritage. “Instead of just a stopover or a quick photo opportunity, we want our visitors to step back in time and into the shoes of those who created and used this extraordinary place to marvel at original everyday objects they used, to talk the surrounding landscape as they did, and to sit in the dwellings that they would have built. It makes the real encounter with the stones themselves so much more exciting.”


Phoenix Ancient Art Features Must-See Exhibition

If you’re into antiques, history and art and you live in New York or are visiting, the most recent Phoenix Ancient Art exhibition is a must-see. Entitled “Sacred Scents and Flames from the Ancient World,” the display will appear at the New York gallery from December 12th, 2013 until February 12th, 2014.

LAMP REPRESENTING A DOVE, Roman, early Imperial period (PRNewsFoto/Phoenix Ancient Art)

As president and co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art, Ali Aboutaam explained, “The exhibition gives a fascinating opportunity to see an important selection of ancient lamps and the incense burners and to explore how the ancient civilizations of Pre-Classical and Classical world designed their lighting devices. From the very beginning various religions worshiped the eternal, divine flame, and even the most powerful kings had to pay a tribute to a flame. Incense which is closely linked to fire and flame quickly became the important element in the liturgical ceremonies in various religions. An Islamic bronze censer shaped as a feline, which is dated to the 11th century A.D., is a masterpiece of the bronze cast technique; its surface is an openwork in the shape of floral motifs, which allowed the perfumed smoke to escape and spread.”

The exhibition has approximately 80 items showing different shapes and materials including gold, silver, bronze, glass and more. They show an historic span from the second half of the 3rd millennium BC until the 14th century AD. The exhibit sheds light on the way that such lamps were used in ancient cultures including Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Judaic, Byzantine, Islamic, and Chinese.

As Ali Aboutaam continued,

“Beside sensational gold and silver incense burners, elaborate and also expensive bronze lamps, there is a great number of rather simple clay Roman lamps which were apparently affordable for many at that time, but what an amazing information a contemporary collector can get looking at their reliefs. The bucolic scenes inspired by Virgil’s verses; a libation onto a small altar accompanying by a music; the images of Capitoline deities, the gladiatorial fight – it is like the life of the great Rome is reviving on these small representations.”

Campañas Publicitarias Hacen Llegar el Mensaje

Las campañas publicitarias son siempre una forma interesante de ver lo que la empresa está haciendo y cómo se presenta al público. Doral Bank anunció recientemente su nueva campaña publicitaria llamada “estire su dólar con Doral”. Esta campaña se centra en los beneficios que se ofrecen a través de sus cuentas de depósito y de los productos que ayudarán a los clientes.

Como Katiria Resto, el Director de Producto de Doral Bank, dijo: “Como una institución bancaria queremos informar a nuestros clientes y las comunidades que servimos, las opciones de cuentas de cheques que ofrecemos junto con los beneficios que funcionan para ellos. Con las cuentas que ayudan a estirar ese dólar, queremos ser los proveedores de soluciones de banca que puedan ayudar a nuestros clientes centrarse en disfrutar de su día a día”.

Como parte de su campaña, explican que tienen un Doral Diario que es una cuenta de cheques sencillo con $0 por cargos por servicio durante seis meses. También tienen una cuenta de cheques Doral Mas que paga más interés.

La campaña de publicidad trabaja para explicar cómo estas cuentas ayudarán a la persona promedio a estirar su presupuesto. Están utilizando la campaña a través de medios impresos, televisión y radio.

English Translation