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Five holiday jobs for retirees

Dec 1, 2011, 8:12 a.m.

Are you looking for a way to augment your retirement income so you'll have a few extra dollars to spend on gifts this holiday season? The economy may be struggling, but seasonal jobs are still available... if you know where to look.

Seasonal retail help - Holiday retail workers are still the most plentiful seasonal jobs available. Stores from electronics retailers to candy shops need additional cashiers, salespeople and stock personnel to keep up with the extra shoppers that crowd the stores from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. Pay varies, but usually hovers around $10 per hour. Some stores even offer their seasonal help a store discount. The down side: expect to miss many of those holiday parties and maybe even Thanksgiving dinner. You'll be working.

Web writing work - If you have a talent for stringing words together, writing Web content can earn you a few extra dollars any time of the year. In most cases, you don't even have to leave your home. You just need a computer with a reliable Internet connection and an ability to stay motivated without a boss looking over your shoulder. Depending on your skill level, you can make $10+ per 400-500 word article.

Santa (and Mrs.) Claus - Do you have a way with kids... and perhaps white hair and a beard? Numerous retailers and shopping centers hire Santa Claus look-a-likes to greet the kids and pose for photos during the holiday season. A big plus is that you can generally sit down while you work, although the hours can be long, especially near to Christmas. Expect to make at least $10 per hour, although some stores pay more if you commit to work the entire 40-day season.

Gift wrapping - Do you have a flair for creating an appealing gift package, quickly and efficiently? If so, you're just the kind of employee that seasonal gift wrap departments need. Want to get ahead of the dozens of other applicants? Bring in a sample, wrapped gift to showcase your work. Associates in the gift wrap department are usually paid the same as sales associates.

Catering staff - Do you have past restaurant experience? Are you willing to spend a few weeks with aching feet to earn that extra cash? Working with a company or restaurant that handles holiday parties could be right for you. Most such companies need additional servers, bartenders and bus help from mid-November through New Year's Eve. Expect long hours and pay of around $10-$15 per hour plus tips.

Happy job hunting!

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