Every school communicator knows what I’m talking about!
Okay, I’ll admit that non-cliché and non-overused words and phrases also trip me up during the other 11 months as well, but hear me out.
December always presents special challenges for us.
Trying to come up with unique ways to extend “sincere” holiday greetings to our general school audiences is dang near impossible.
As school communicators, we’re all about “target markets,” not broad, loosely defined ones.
This is why I like to shop in card stores.
If you know your “target,” it’s easy to find your spot-on message.
No one has to waffle, doubt, or risk offending someone.
Holiday cards are grouped by category and clearly labeled:
Cards with thin slots for gift cards and money,
and Cards that inform the recipient to not even bother looking for a gift.
There are no gray areas.
It’s this or that.
But our school universe is not so simple.
Many school communicators when charged with crafting a holiday message for their general community would find less anguish in walking on hot coals.
But we do our best.
Somehow we’re convinced that the right holiday message is out there somewhere waiting for us to reel it in if we just keep fiddling with various word combinations long enough.
And valiant it is!
The attempt means we’re still willing to dig deep and mine for additional ways to convey the magic and wonderment of the holiday season.
But not everyone is.
Whoever wrote the message for this bag obviously took the easy way out.
It’s understandable, of course.
Maybe even a little sad.
But it’s not our way.
And this makes our annual December “wording” struggles a good thing in my mind.
It’s proof that the spirit of the season still matters to us – even if it is getting harder and harder to express.