Just when it seems you can’t get any busier….you do.  So this “Marketing Matter” won’t be a long one…although it might be just a little different from what you’re used to doing.

But first, a little insight about my favorite Christmas song.  “Christmastime is Here” is by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and is featured in the classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”  As a musician, I’ve always been moved by an interesting juxtaposition in the song’s chord structure.

The second chord of the song, when the children sing the word, “here,” is an Eb9#11.  If you simply play all notes of that chord individually, it sounds “pretty,” until it gets to the top note.  Then it sounds dissonant…and “incorrect.”  However, it is bookended by the same chord, an Fmaj7, which is one of those “pretty” sounding chords.  The effect is when the chords are played as the song progresses, the dissonant note becomes not only “pretty” sounding, but elevates it to “gorgeous.”   It’s a great lesson in how dissonant, incorrect or broken things can be made beautiful by what surrounds them…just like a mosaic.  And, just like all of us, together, acting as a community, rather than operating from an individualistic, “I want what I want when I want it” mindset.

Christmastime means you’ve probably been receiving a lot more mail recently, too.  If you analyze it rather than just sort and open/toss, you’ll notice there are five kinds:
1) Bills;
2) Junk mail/advertisements;
3) Subscriptions;
4) Christmas Cards; and
5) Window envelopes from every organization you’ve ever contributed to asking for a year-end contribution.

Typically, we open the Christmas cards, and are very selective about what “gift requests” we will open.

So, why not combine them?

Next year, send your constituents a Christmas card, but also include a P.S., saying that if the recipient finds themselves with an abundance at the end of this year (or an “in the spirit of the great gift we celebrate this month,” message), then sharing a little of that abundance would be much appreciated.  You can even enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.  You know your card will be opened, people usually read the P.S. first, and you’ve made it very easy for them to get the gift back to you.

And make sure it’s a Christmas card – with a religious message, if you’re a Catholic or Christian school.  No “Happy Holidays,” “Seasons Greetings,” or “Winterworld of Sparkle.”  If you’re a faith-based school, your duty is to evangelize and spread the Good News.  If you’re not doing that, you’re not “walking the talk” that is core to your school.  Such an action makes parents wonder, “Hmm..why is a Catholic/Christian school sending out a “Seasons Greetings” card?”  If your reason is because you don’t want to offend anyone, look to Jesus and his example.  Did He offend anyone?  Yes indeed.  Did He endure pain?  Yes indeed.  Is He victorious over all of it?  (I think you know the answer to that one….).

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2006-2021 (Original Publication Date: 20061211)