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52+ Free, Fun, & Festive December Marketing Ideas

November 25, 2021

December is almost here! The Starbucks holiday cups have been released, we’re preparing to stuff our bellies with turkey and pie, and we’re gearing up for winter holidays and the start of a new year.

While December brings fun, family, and food, it can also leave business owners and marketers feeling pressed for time—and resources.

december marketing ideas: funny family photo

Idea #1: Take the best Christmas card photo ever.

But with the right strategies and promotions, you can make your December marketing a breeze and spend more time relaxing with your loved ones. So in this post we’re giving you:

  • A full list of December holidays, awareness causes, and national days.
  • Over 52 creative ways to use them in your blog, social media, emails, and more.
  • Real examples from businesses just like yours.

We hope this post inspires you and leaves you feeling a little less stressed during December. Read on to finish out the year strong!

December awareness

Here are the December awareness causes you can use for cause-based marketing.

  • Business planning 
  • Car donation
  • Drunk and drugged driving (3D) prevention 
  • Human rights
  • Safe toys and gifts
  • Spiritual literacy
  • Operation Santa Paws
december marketing ideas: operation santa paws

It's also national tie month, pear month, root vegetable and exotic fruits month, and bingo's birthday. Who knew?

December national days

There's a full list of December national days at the bottom of this post, but here are some highlights:

  • Rosa Parks Day (Dec 1)
  • InterNinja Day (every Dec 5)
  • World Trick Shot Day (first Tuesday in December)
  • Cat Herders Day (Dec 15)
  • Underdog Day (Third Friday in December)
  • Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day (first day of winter)
  • Make Up Your Mind Day (Dec 31)
  • Universal Hour of Peace (Dec 31)

Merry December marketing ideas around holidays & observances

Should you decide to go with any of these ideas, you may also want to decide NOT to use generic copywriting! Use this guide to cliche-free, emotion-filled holiday copywriting so you can stay authentic and stand out above the noise. 

Free Shipping Day

Free shipping is a big deal to customers. A LOCALiQ consumer survey found that only 20% of people will pay for shipping. If you have an e-commerce business, consider joining in on Free Shipping Day on December 14 by offering free shipping on all purchases.

december marketing ideas: free shipping day

Don’t forget the #freeshippingday hashtag on all your social posts promoting your offer!

Ugly Sweater Day

There’s nothing that attracts customers like a fun attitude, so take advantage of the festive spirit! Embrace the ugly sweaters on Ugly Sweater Day. 

Here are some dress-up ideas for your business this month:

  • Grab some reindeer antlers or wear Christmas pajamas if it’s appropriate for your business.
  • Daycare centers can have fun dressing up and encourage a pajama day for students!
  • Business professionals can have fun with a holiday-colored tie or socks to get in the holiday spirit.
  • Post pictures of you and your employees in your ugly sweaters and offer a discount to anyone who visits in their ugly sweater.
december marketing ideas: ugly sweater day instagram post

Of course, don’t forget to post on social media with the appropriate holiday hashtag.

Gingerbread House Day

Did you know December 12 is National Gingerbread House day? Participate in this fun and festive day—here are a few different ways:

  • Hold a gingerbread house decorating contest with your employees. Post the finished products on your social sites and have your audience vote for their favorites.
  • Ask your audience to share pictures of their gingerbread houses to their social sites and tag you. Choose a winner to receive a special holiday promotion.
  • Create a gingerbread display at your business for people to (safely) take pictures in front of.
  • Share healthy alternatives for gingerbread houses if you’re a healthcare business or dentist.
  • If you’re a bakery, create a build-your-own gingerbread house kit for people to buy.
december marketing ideas: gingerbread house facebook post

No matter how you participate, make sure to use the #nationalgingerbreadday hashtag!

National Flu Vaccination Week

Healthcare professionals are urging people to get their flu shots this year. What better way to get the word out than to participate in National Flu Vaccination Week? 

Here are some ways your business can get involved:

  • Share information on where people in your community can receive a free flu shot.
  • Post pictures of you and your team members getting your flu shots or after your flu shots (extra points for a fun and festive bandaid!).
  • Reshare resources from reputable organizations about the importance of the flu shot.
  • Healthcare businesses can share videos from their professionals about the flu shot.
december marketing ideas: flu vaccination week

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By participating in this awareness week, you can show your community that you care about their well-being. And, it’s a great reminder to get your flu shot, too!

First day of winter

While it seems like it’s been cold for the last couple of months, the first day of winter actually falls on December 21. Celebrate with a simple picture on your social media pages, a winter promotion, or with some special treats—to go—at your business location to celebrate.

december marketing ideas: first day of winter facebook post

Don’t forget Hanukkah!

Many businesses focus all their December marketing energy on Christmas and New Year’s and leave out a very important holiday: Hanukkah! Make your holiday marketing inclusive by adding Hanukkah decorations to your location, running special promotions that target your customers who celebrate Hanukkah, and by wishing them a happy holiday on your social pages.

december marketing ideas: hanukkah instagram post

Or Kwanzaa!

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the U.S. every year that celebrates African heritage. It has seven principles:

  • Unity
  • Self-determination
  • Collective work and responsibility
  • Cooperative economics
  • Purpose
  • Creativity
  • Faith

Use these as inspiration for your thought leadership and core values-focused content!

December promotion ideas to gift your audience

These promotion ideas will make your audience shout with glee!

Host a live (or virtual) party & giveaway

Events are a great way to market your business during the holidays. Have an open house and extend your business hours one evening. Invite local customers and other businesses to stop by and mingle. Serve some food and drinks or get them donated by another local business! A party or open house is a great way to ignite some word-of-mouth marketing and build solid partnerships.

december marketing ideas: virtual party invite

Encourage everyone to pour a glass of their favorite beverage and award some prizes for those who attend.

Send holiday cards (with a promotion!)

There’s nothing more fun than getting mail around the holidays. Gather your contact list and send out holiday or New Year’s cards from your business to them. You can create a traditional holiday card with a picture of your employees and a simple greeting along with a promotional code to encourage them to visit your business during the holidays.

december marketing ideas - promo direct mail

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Customers like to be appreciated, and a holiday card can keep your business on the radar of customers—new or loyal—so that your business comes to mind when they need your services. More sales promotion ideas here!

Run a holiday Instagram giveaway

Instagram giveaways are popular throughout the year, but they can give you a real boost in December around the holidays. Think about the goal for your Instagram holiday giveaway—are you trying to get more followers, increase awareness for a specific product or service, or just spread some cheer to peoples’ feeds? From there, determine the right giveaway for your business.

december marketing ideas: instagram giveaway example

Here are some holiday Instagram giveaway ideas to help you get started.

Host or participate in a toy drive

The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to those in your community. Host or participate in a toy drive and encourage your customers to do the same.

Here are some ideas for your toy drive:

  • Set out a large box for customers and community members to drop toys in.
  • Offer a promotion for customers who donate to your toy drive—you can give them a coupon for their next visit, a percent off a purchase, or a stamp on their customer loyalty card.
  • Partner with other local businesses in your area to get the word out about your toy drive and encourage them to leave a box out at their business.
  • Share photos of your participation on social media and tag the charity you’re working with.

If you’re looking to participate in a toy drive as a business rather than host one, you can still take pictures to share on social so you’re getting the word out about how to help children this holiday season.

december marketing ideas: toys for tots

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For a list of toy drives, check here.

Create a photo opportunity

You’re busy during the holidays. Save time and money with user-generated content during the month of December. One easy way to do this? Stage a photo opportunity at your location (or outside of your location) by inviting Santa to come or by setting up a winter wonderland for customers to post in front of.

december marketing ideas: remax santa instagram post

Everyone wants a picture with a gigantic polar bear, so give customers the opportunity to market your business for you by having something fun to take pictures with!

Pick up some props like Santa hats or tinsel garlands and let customers go to town. Make sure to include a hashtag with your company and share, retweet, or regram customers’ photos on social media.

December marketing ideas to close out your year stronger than your Aunt’s eggnog

Here are some more ways to promote your business in December and increase your holiday sales!

Update your Google Business Profile

Holiday shoppers are going to be turning to Google for all of their holiday needs, whether for gift ideas, home cleaning, appliance repair, travel, safety, and more. Make sure your business information is up to date so you can get found on search.

Be sure to:

  • Verify your contact information
  • Update your holiday hours
  • Upload photos of your seasonal products and services
  • Create Offer and Event posts
december marketing ideas: google my business holiday post

There are many ways to optimize your Google business profile to stand out in search and attract customers—and no better time than now to do it!

Don’t be shy—get personal on social!

Your business is built by real people, and your customers want to connect with you! By sharing a glimpse into the lives of your employees and yourself, you can help build a connection with your audience.

Share pictures or stories of your family and holiday celebrations on your blog and social media profiles. Do you have a favorite holiday memory that inspired you to open your business? What about a family recipe or tradition? Share yours on Facebook or Instagram and ask your followers what theirs are.

Here are some ideas for personal stories you can share on social media or your business blog:

  • Bakers can share a video or recipe on their blogs.
  • Photographers can post their family Christmas pictures on Instagram or Facebook and encourage others to do the same.
  • Personal trainers should encourage clients and potential clients to join them on holiday road races through social media.
  • Makers can share the inspiration behind a specific product.
december marketing ideas: personalized facebook post

Sharing this type of content through your social channels and on your website will help you build engagement—and it’s a fun way to connect during the holidays!

Create a gift guide

A gift guide is a great way to get your name out there and provide a helpful service to your community. We know that people will be searching for holiday gifts online this year more than ever, so write a blog post or social post about gifts for moms, dads, kids, and friends!

The gift guide can include some of your products, but the best way to sell your business is not to sell it at all. Instead, showcase items that are related to your industry:

  • Gift Guide for Accountants (tech gadgets, ties, fancy pen)
  • Gift Guide for the Home Decorator (Christmas pillow covers, gold candlesticks, electric candles)
  • Gift Guide for the Fitness Enthusiast (ice cleats for running outside, winter hat with Bluetooth headphones, Epsom salts for tired muscles)
december marketing ideas: holiday gift guide example

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People are always looking for gift ideas, so show potential customers how helpful you can be!

Share 12 days of tips or products

Take inspiration from the 12 Days of Christmas and feature a tip or product of the day on your blog or social media feed.

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Fitness-related businesses like personal trainers or health centers can give an exercise of the day to fight off gaining holiday weight.
  • Flower shops can feature a wreath or bouquet of the day featuring different holiday colors or flowers.
  • Restaurants and bars can showcase a cocktail of the day for the holidays.
december marketing ideas: 12 days of tips

You could also run a different deal or offer for each of the 12 days. This will keep people coming back to your social sites each day, which can increase engagement on your pages.

Decorate your location for the holidays

Nothing gets people in the holiday spirit like some festive décor. Take some time to string some lights inside and outside of your location, hang some garland, and out up a tree and menorah. If your location is in an area with a lot of foot traffic, you can also create an eye-catching holiday window display to get people to slow down and check out your location or come inside.

Now is the time to have a little fun and make your business a welcoming place during the busy holiday season.

Take customers behind the scenes

Show customers what your business is like during the holidays with video marketing! Are you a busy baker who is making cakes and cookies? Take customers into the kitchen with a video of preparations for the holidays.

People are curious by nature and giving them a sneak peek of new products or behind-the-scenes action will set you apart from your competitors!

Stay top-of-mind with email marketing

During the holidays, people get busy. Remind them about your business with email marketing. Your email communications can include special promotions you’re running, a round-up of local holiday events in your community, or just a simple reminder to visit your business in the New Year. Make sure your holiday email subject line stands out so people will click your email!

Here are some ideas for your December email marketing:

  • Dentists can send an email about the best and worst holiday treats for your teeth.
  • Fitness businesses can send an email about ways to stay healthy during this busy month.
  • Mental health professionals can send an email about ways to de-stress during the holidays.
  • Restaurants can send an email about special catering options they have available for family dinners.
december marketing ideas email example

People are looking in their emails during the holidays—in fact, 75% look at their email specifically to find deals and discounts. So, take advantage of that this month by emailing your holiday promotions.

Refresh your online reputation & get more reviews

A good reputation is important for your business year-round, but this might be an ideal time to put a little extra focus on getting reviews for your business.

Take some time to ask your customers for reviews, respond to all your reviews, and make sure you’re managing the most relevant places where customers are reviewing your business—including Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook.

Use these tips to ask for reviews.

Finalize your Q1 marketing plan for next year

Once the holidays are over, January will come quick—make sure your marketing is prepared by taking a look at your marketing plan for 2021, or at least for January. Outline any business goals and objectives you want to accomplish next year and determine what’s needed to help you reach those goals.

Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • What marketing strategies do you absolutely need to run throughout the year to help you maintain business or grow? Think: your website, SEO, PPC, and more.
  • What marketing strategies do you want to try to reach new audiences or engage with your current audience?
  • Are there any gaps in your marketing plan that you need to fill—like a channel your audience frequents that your business isn’t marketing on?
  • How will you measure success for your marketing in 2021?

These questions will help you solidify your marketing plan as you look ahead to the next year.

The month of December can be stressful for business owners and marketers, but with a few creative and simple ideas, like the ones listed above, you can maximize your business’s exposure, connect with your audience, and set your business up for success in the new year.

Interested in more marketing ideas for every month of the year? We can help with that.

 

Full December national day list

As promised, here's the full list so you can find December marketing ideas relevant to your niche. List is brought to you by National Day Calendar

December 1

Rosa Parks Day

Pie Day

Eat a Red Apple Day

Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day

Day With(out) Art Day

Package Protection Day – Wednesday after Thanksgiving

 

December 2

Fritters Day

Mutt Day

Special Education Day 

 

December 3

Roof Over Your Head Day

Faux Fur Friday – First Friday in December

Bartender Day – First Friday in December

 

December 4

Cookie Day

Dice Day

Sock Day


 

December 5

Bathtub Party Day

InterNinja Day

Repeal Day

 

December 6

Pawnbrokers Day

Microwave Oven Day

St. Nicholas Day

Miners’ Day

 

December 7

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Illinois Day

Cotton Candy Day

World Trick Shot Day – First Tuesday in December

December 8

Brownie Day

Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day


 

December 9

Pastry Day

Weary Willie Day

Christmas Card Day

 

December 10

Dewey Decimal System Day

Lager Day

Human Rights Day

Nobel Prize Day

Salesperson Day – Second Friday in December

 

December 11

App Day

Noodle Ring Day

 

December 12

Ambrosia Day

Ding-a-Ling Day

Gingerbread House Day

Poinsettia Day

 

December 13

Cocoa Day

Violin Day

Pick A Pathologist Pal Day

National Guard Birthday

 

December 14

Bouillabaisse Day

Alabama Day

Monkey Day

 

December 15

Cupcake Day

Bill of Rights Day

Cat Herders Day

Wear Your Pearls Day


 

December 16

Chocolate-covered Anything Day

Barbie and Barney Backlash Day

 

December 17

Maple Syrup Day

Wright Brothers Day

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – Third Friday in December

Underdog Day– Third Friday in December

 

December 18

Twin Day

Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day

Wreaths Across America Day – Changes Annually

 

December 19

Hard Candy Day

Oatmeal Muffin Day


 

December 20

Sangria Day

Mudd Day


 

December 21 

Crossword Puzzle Day

Humbug Day

Maine Day

Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day

Winter Solstice – Day Between December 20 and 23

Flashlight Day – Day of Winter Solstice

French Fried Shrimp Day

Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day – First Day of Winter

Yule – Day of Winter Solstice

Anne & Samantha Day(also June. 20, 2020)

 

December 22

Date Nut Bread Day

Forefathers Day – December 22 (Unless on Sunday, Then Following Monday)

 

December 23

Pfeffernusse Day

Roots Day

Festivus

Re-Gifting Day – Thursday before Christmas

 

December 24

Eggnog Day

Christmas Eve

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December 25

Pumpkin Pie Day

A’Phabet Day or No “L” Day

Christmas

 

December 26

Candy Cane Day

Thank-you Note Day

Whiner’s Day

Boxing Day (Canada)

 

December 27

Fruitcake Day

 

December 28

Short Film Day

Chocolate Candy Day

Card Playing Day

Holy Innocents Day

Pledge of Allegiance Day


 

December 29

Pepper Pot Day

Tick Tock Day

 

December 30

Bicarbonate of Soda Day

Falling Needles Family Fest Day

Bacon Day

 

December 31

Champagne Day

No Interruptions Day – Last Work Day of the Year

Make Up Your Mind Day

Universal Hour of Peace 

 

stephanie heitman wordstream author

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the managing editor of the LOCALiQ blog. She loves talking to business owners and sharing stories about how marketing helps them grow. When she's not keeping up with the latest in online marketing, she enjoys watching reality TV with her husband and their two pups.

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