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Holiday Jobs for Retirees

Most of these opportunities are at a mall near you.

4. Holiday decorator

The nitty-gritty: Do you have a passion for decking the halls with boughs of holly? This job calls for creative flair and a way with bows and bulbs. You'll be making and setting up holiday decorations and displays. You might need to tap into your electrical smarts, too. Sometimes a touch of brawn and a strong back is required if you're responsible for moving large poinsettias, boxes of ornaments, setting up Christmas trees or stringing lights outdoors. You might have to clamber up ladders to get to rooftops and high trees if offering outside decorating services. Expect to get your hands dirty. Demanding clients and last-minute flourishes can be a little nerve-wracking. Jobs range from adorning large offices to retail shops to hotels, restaurants and private homes.

The hours: Potentially long and variable, but brief stints. Early-December to early January. Some late night and weekend work required for installation and dismantling.

Median pay range: $8.14 to $17.23 per hour

Qualifications: Past holiday decorating experience is a plus. Floral designer training helps. If you've got a flair for this type of work, a good attitude, and you're willing to learn, many florists and decorators will gladly train you as you go. Check with local florists and floral departments at grocery stores and event planning firms for openings. If you're confident in your own decorating panache, you might opt to start your own business. You can land clients through word of mouth. Ask friends and family to help spread the word. For starters, decorate a few friends or family member's houses gratis or a bargain price to build up a portfolio or website with display pictures to show to potential clients. If you're interested in floral design after the holiday rush, many vocational schools and community colleges award certificates and degrees in floral design. You'll learn the basics of arranging flowers, including the different types of flowers, their color and texture, cutting and taping techniques, tying bows and ribbons, proper handling and care of flowers. The American Institute of Floral Designers offers an accreditation examination. Whistle while you work tune: Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la.

Next: Spread holiday joy with good food, drink and your smile. >>

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