25 Last-Minute Christmas Ideas

25 Last-Minute Christmas Ideas

December 1, 2014 by

We’re all familiar with last-minute Christmas shopping. I’m one of the worst when it comes to Yuletide procrastination. Some of us don’t even start buying gifts until Christmas Eve.

However, last minute is not a good policy when it comes to Christmas planning at your church. Because it takes a good deal more time to successfully orchestrate church events than it does to pick up some tacky sweaters from the department store.

There are only 25 days until Christmas. That is not enough time to build a Christmas campaign from scratch. (Well, maybe a small campaign, if you like long hours and stress, which we do not endorse.) It is, however, plenty of time to get the word out about said Christmas campaign. It’s even enough time to add a little more to your Christmas plans.

Here are 25 last-minute ideas to promote your church’s Christmas events and services:

  1. Develop a Christmas landing page on your website. This gives you one specific place to compile all relevant holiday information, such as a complete calendar of events. This way, you only have one URL to share and one page for visitors to learn anything they need to know.
  2. Just like we decorate our homes for the holidays, give your social media accounts a holiday makeover. Change out profile or cover photos to ones consistent with your Christmas theme. Or even just add snowflakes or Santa hats.
  3. Try adding original content to your social media accounts daily to serve as a continued reminder that the holiday season is upon us. It could be as simple as quoting appropriate Bible passages leading up to Christmas.
  4. Create a Christmas promo video. OK, that sounds like a lot of work, right? It doesn’t have to be. Consider ways to make short videos. Single camera, your pastor inviting people to your Christmas services, 30 seconds. Simple.
  5. Encourage people to share their favorite family traditions on social media. Collect some of the best ones and share them during services (with their permission, of course).
  6. Add audio clips of songs you will be singing on Sunday or cell phone videos of kids singing in the choir. Not sure what to record? Grab 15 seconds of choir practice as a teaser.
  7. Want to go a step further? Record a rehearsal and offer a Christmas song for download. It’s a fun, free way to get people in the spirit. (Remember copyright laws. You probably need to stick with a public domain song.)
  8. Pay for some Facebook ads. You can closely target them and only pay for clicks, so you get more bang for your buck.
  9. Post Throwback Thursday photos of Christmas at your church from years past.
  10. Create momentum with a series of countdown photos on social media.
  11. Set up a photo booth where church members can take intentionally awkward family photos, which can then be shared on social media.
  12. Create original social media graphics with worship times that can be easily downloaded and shared by your church members.
  13. Join the Anglican Communion Churches in celebrating Advent with you camera phone.
  14. Compiling an Advent devotional helps remind people for the true meaning of this holiday season. In lieu of print copies, also consider sending out daily devotionals via email.
  15. Even with today’s technology, word of mouth is still one of the best marketing tools available. Encourage your congregation to invite members of the local community to a service.
  16. Creating Christmas survival boxes filled with candy and gift cards can be a great way to show members and guests alike that you care for them during this stressful season.
  17. Print business card sized invitations that your congregation can easily pass out to friends. Make sure to include worship times, a street address and your church website.
  18. To sweeten the deal, attach the invitations to a packet of hot chocolate. We know how effective church visitor gifts can be.
  19. Caleb Price Productions created this interesting short-film that can be used by churches of all sizes to promote Advent. And there are lots more. Floodgate Productions is offering a free Christmas video, and here are even more.
  20. Remember that most people enjoy tradition during Christmas. Emphasize tradition in your promotion. Don’t go for the trendy design, fall back on something classic.
  21. Invite your neighbors. Make sure your neighborhood knows what’s going on at your church for Christmas—put up yard signs or banners with the dates and times. Then go the extra mile and invite your neighbors personally.
  22. The community bulletin board is an overlooked outlet. Print up fliers and put them up around town. Coffee shops, libraries, college campuses—even Jimmy Johns and Panera—have bulletin boards for community notices. Just be sure you get permission first.
  23. Community service is a powerful way to show how you care for your community. Consider adding a service component to your events. Maybe it’s something simple like collecting socks for the homeless at your services. Maybe it’s something small that your staff does. Maybe you share about it online to encourage everybody to give back (or maybe you don’t—bragging doesn’t go over well.)
  24. Invite one person yourself. You’re doing all this work to promote your church’s Christmas services and encourage your congregation to invite people. Who have you invited? Take a moment to think of someone and invite them. Call them up, send them an email, write them a note.
  25. So you get all these people to come to your Christmas service. What next? You got them in the door, now how are you going to get them to come back? Think about what you’re going to do after Christmas and how you can bring those visitors back.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think about these last-minute Christmas promotion ideas? Do you have some ideas of your own? Are you planning on using these ideas or any others?

God Rest Ye Stressed Communicators: Planning Christmas for Your ChurchMore Christmas Ideas:


Post By:

Robert Carnes

Robert Carnes is the managing editor at the Orange Group and also serves as an assistant editor here at Church Marketing Sucks. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. Previously, he worked in communications at two United Methodist churches in Metro Atlanta.
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3 Responses to “25 Last-Minute Christmas Ideas”

  • Kathy
    December 2, 2014

    Loved some of these! But, Santa hats?

    Happy Advent!

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  • Tim
    December 3, 2014

    One cost effective option we went with last Christmas season was having yard signs with information about our Christmas Eve service printed on them. It cost around $100, but since we never change the date or time, we can reuse them every December.

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  • Eric Dye
    December 5, 2014

    Great list, Robert!

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