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Blog: Blog2
  • Writer's pictureDebbie Goldfarb

Marketing on traditions — making the most out of the most wonderful time of the year

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

“Dear Santa, just leave your credit card under the tree.”

Thanksgiving brings with it the beginning of holiday celebrations. And this year I finally got up the courage to fly to St. Louis and visit my family.

Coming home felt especially poignant after last year’s disconnection and isolation. Me, my sister, and my nieces, had a blast catching up and stuffing ourselves with traditional holiday food: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, See’s Candies chocolates, and my sister’s “to die for” pumpkin pie with pralines…Yummy! Then of course we have continued to celebrate in our more or less traditional American-Jewish fashion.

Watching Christmas movies

As kids — we would watch Holiday Inn, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Meet Me in St. Louis & Miracle on 34th Street. As we entered our teens — we watched first run movies at my grandfather’s movie theater called The Uptown seeing holiday classics like Babes in Toyland, Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And, of course during our college years and beyond we continued this holiday tradition seeing well known films released on Christmas Eve (Trading Places, Love Actually & Serendipity). Now, the tradition still continues (albeit at home) watching Hallmark, Netflix and Prime Amazon Christmas films endlessly.

Eating Chinese food

Like any Jewish-American, we would break out the chopsticks and feast on Chinese food on Christmas. My favorites… hot-and-sour soup, egg rolls, beef lo mein, orange chicken, beef with broccoli, and of course the fried rice. The savoring of Chinese food has become a ritualized celebration (and the only restaurants open) of solidarity, unity, kinship, friendship, respect for all ethnic groups and minorities.

Santa Claus

Honestly, my first memory of ole St. Nick was from seeing him riding his sleigh at a Macy Day’s Parade. That shouldn’t be surprising — as Santa Claus was introduced and immortalized as part of the Xmas story by Macy’s since 1861. But still, as children, me and my sister wrote him letters before Christmas (shhhh…don’t tell anyone) and left a glass of milk and a plate of cookies on Christmas Eve for the big bearded man in a red suit.

Wearing ugly sweaters

Even as a Jewish American — I own (and have worn) ugly Christmas sweaters…I know it’s obnoxious and tacky, but also kind of fuzzy and wholesome. But how can I resist not having some in my closet — you know the ones — wooly multi-colored (red, white, and green) pullover with a snowman, tinsel, a reindeer and candy canes. I mean how can I not embrace this fashion equivalent of a Hallmark Christmas movie and later immortalized by Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”?


Whether I wanted it or not — I can’t count the number of times I have caught an unexpected smooch under the Mistletoe…Good excuses or not — this sprig of green with its berries has always brought a world of surprises and unplanned awkward moments…. so typical of the holiday season, right?

For many of us, the holidays evoke images of all these things and more. But as a marketer it’s important to realize that these traditions don’t resonate with everyone. To make the most of the busy holiday season, business owners must go beyond knowing the conventions to stand out from the crowd.

Take note that despite the pandemic holiday spending in 2020 grew by 8% to $790 billion in sales. This year holiday spending has been increasing at an unprecedented pace to yield well over $900 billion.

Here’s a few holiday marketing tips to help make it a truly jolly season for you and your brand.

  1. Truly understand your audience figuring out what makes your target audience tick is necessary for building a loyal customer base–especially around the holidays.

  2. Use social media as a leverage — consumers flock to social media during the holidays to connect with family and friends. You have a unique opportunity to get your business in front of them.

  3. Be a storyteller — one of the more effective ways to connect with your audience is to wrap your message in a story that transports people, simplifies information, and provoke an emotional response. Use narrative to share your brands history, challenges, successes, and value propositions.

  4. Make sure you can be found on your local listings and keep your business information updated. Consumers search online for the products and services they need especially for the holidays.

  5. Network, network, and network some more. Take advantage of the in-person parties. Although there are ongoing health and safety precautions this will be the best opportunity to meet potential customers, business partners, collaborators, and mentors.

  6. Support a cause — this always makes sense (but, more so during the holiday season) especially if you’re marketing to Millennials to build affinity with your brand.

For more business tips, check out my other blogs and email for help with marketing and branding for your small business.

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