for my business
by brittany taylor | December 7, 2017
Technically, my mom is Jewish, so technically, I’m Jewish. When my mom was a little girl, though, her mom felt bad about all the other kids celebrating Christmas, so they started celebrating Christmas—a very commercial, Frosty-and-Santa Christmas.
Today, my family is all about Christmas—and for us, there’s nothing religious about it. Instead of celebrating the birth of Christ, we embrace the spirit of the season of giving. It’s all about family and friends, kindness and community. And Fraser firs.
I have friends (and family) with all sorts of different traditions. Some are every-Sunday Christians who are very serious about their Christmas celebration. Some are Christmas-and-Easter Christians who stick a midnight mass in the middle of their holiday festivities. Some are very Jewish and some are sorta Jewish. Some are Festivus-celebrators and some are Solstice-celebrators and some are just not into the whole holiday thing at all.
In my book, this time of year is very much a come-as-you-are period. In business, though, this season that I adore makes me second-guess how I present myself, my beliefs, and my experiences. It’s the one time of year that potentially pits one of my core values—inclusivity—against another—storytelling.
So, how do I create a holiday content strategy that lets me balance both?
A behind-the-scenes look at how I created a holiday content strategy for 2017
While I’m gung-ho about my commercial Christmas, I get that my December jam isn’t to everyone’s taste.
That realization makes me pause when I create holiday content. Do I tell stories and examples and puns about the holiday that I’m familiar with? Do I broaden my focus to be more general while also sacrificing my personality? Do I toe the line of appropriating other people’s celebrations? Do I risk offending the more religious among us? Do I ignore the season entirely?
Here’s how I made my holiday content strategy.
So many of the holidays we celebrate around this time of year, whether it’s Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or New Year’s, focus on community, generosity, and moving forward as better people. These shared sensibilities make it reasonable to consider the season as a whole, in certain contexts.
I felt comfortable doing that when discussing behaviors, attitudes, and best practices surrounding this time of year. While our celebrations may be different, many of our intentions, hurdles, and frustrations are similar.
I’ve built my business on stories. There was no question that when the holidays approached, I would draw on my own experiences to bring color, emotion, and personality to the content I shared. The conflict came when I needed to choose between going general or specific.
I chose specific. I chose to talk Christmas, to dig in to what I love most about December 25 and the weeks that lead up to it. Why? Because the more specific you can be in storytelling, the more realistic it becomes for the reader.
And also: Christmas is just…me. I’m a bright, bubbly, Santa-hat-wearing, commercial-Christmas person, and I want to share that side of myself with you.
I don’t proselytize. I don’t think we all have to find joy in the same things or experiences. But I do want to share the joy I feel during this time of year—and I think that honest emotion is infectious, regardless of what you celebrate this month.
When I was writing this holiday content prompt post, I outlined the piece intending to draw from Christmas and from other traditions. I had them all listed at the top of the document. I was on-board.
And then I started looking for inspiration, and I began to feel uncomfortable. It felt disingenuous of me to pull from other religions and cultures for a post that was rather glib, just so I could call myself inclusive.
I went with my gut. I cut the other prompt ideas and chose to go 100-percent commercial-Christmas.
The conversation we’re having right now is important. Finding a balance between my own beliefs and traditions and those of others I want to welcome is priority for me. I want to be myself and share myself while being inclusive and culturally sensitive and open-minded.
This season, it turns out, is a hard one to find balance in. Here, I addressed it head-on.
Just because I’m a Christmas person doesn’t mean I intend to shun other celebrations. My goal is to help you communicate with your audience and tell your stories. That means showing you how to develop content strategies, brainstorm blog post ideas, and get specific about your own experiences in the content you share.
And to do that, I need to meet you where you are. So, no matter what you celebrate and when you celebrate it, I’ll be studying up (and maybe inviting a few others in as guest experts) to help you do your thing better in the years to come.