As a Catholic the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas isn't just about shopping for me. It is a time of anticipation, prayer and contemplation of my personal gifts and how to use them in the year ahead. No matter what your faith tradition is, these weeks of the year are a time that many of us yearn to draw near to that feeling of hope, peace, joy and love the season is synonymous with.
Sharing social media posts to help people to focus on the spiritual aspects of the season is a great way to remind followers of the real reason for the season. So I am sharing 30 specific posts that you can create now to share everyday from Dec 3 - 24. These are not in a specific order so don't use it as a checklist.
1. The most indelible symbols of Advent for the Catholic Church are the wreath and candles. Capture pictures of the preparation of the wreath for display and create posts asking people to share how the candles are being lit within their home. You can even promote sales.
2. Create cover photos on Facebook and Twitter celebrating the season.
3. Share pictures or video of the candles being lit every week of Advent or in the case of the Jewish faith every night of Hanukkah. (Make sure if it is a family that you have authorization to use their image on your pages)
4. In the Catholic tradition the color of vestments for celebrating mass that the priest wear change from green to purple and gaudette. Share pictures of the seasonal vestments and create posts that can be informative or festive in tone.
5. Create a single or list of hashtags that you will share on your posts through the season.
6. Share a daily devotional message from a book, create a video series or Instagram story.
7. Add your Christmas season events to your Facebook page, create graphics depicting the events that can be shared on Instagram and Twitter.
8. Create posts to promote the communal penance services at your parish and share the posts of other parishes in the area or create a graphic that lists all the services in the area.
9. Don't forget to share the posts for remembering the feast days of the Saints during Advent. For Facebook share from Bishop Barron's Page, Catholic Saint of the Day, on Twitter the Saint of the Day and on Instagram Portraits of the Saints.
10. December 6th is the feast of St. Nicholas. Have students write an essay on the real St. Nick and the best one is posted on your social media pages. Facebook has the "notes" feature that allows you to create a blog with a link that can be shared on Twitter or your website. You can also create an Instagram story with video or in pictures.
11. The Holy Day of obligation on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception can be a post or you could also do a cover photo change, but it should list the schedule of masses on that day. Also, be sure to capture a still picture of the statue of Mary in your church to create the posts. It is always more engaging to depict posts with imagery from your unique church building or campus.
12. Design a theme! Here's an example #Countdown2Christmas or #12Days2Christmas
13. Capture still pictures or video of the school Christmas show rehearsals and make sure the date and time for shows is listed.
14. Capture still pictures or video of the choir practicing Christmas Carols.
15. Spark engagement by asking followers to share their fave Christmas Song!
16. Another post sure to spark engagement is to ask what their Christmas Wish is..
17. Post the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services times.
18. Share the behind the scenes of decorating the liturgical environment or for other faith traditions the interior and or exterior of the church.
19. Create a call for Volunteers to help with decorations.
20. Another engaging post is to share close-up pictures of the Christmas Trees and Poinsettia plants in the church. Then invite followers to share pictures of their favorite ornament on their tree.
21. Share pictures of the Nativity scene at your church with baby Jesus missing and ask followers to share pictures or video of their family tradition of placing baby Jesus in the Nativity scene.
22. Another engaging post could be the simple question "What Will Be YOUR Gift to Jesus?"
23. If your church can't figure out a way to share a daily devotional or you want to supplement what you share, encourage your followers to sign-up for DynamicCatholic.Com/Advent17 Best Advent Ever video series.
24. Issue a daily or weekly #AdventChallenge from the shepherd of the church to the flock.
25. Create a graphic with a verse or two from the Gospel message.
26. The four main weekly themes of Advent are Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Share a post for each week starting with Hope. Your post should have the hashtag #Hope, #AdventHope with a question or scripture like Isaiah 9:2 written across the picture of the candle lit in your church.
27. #Peace, #AdventPeace picture of candle lit with a question or scripture like Isaiah 9:6-7 or John 14:27 written across the picture of the candle lit in your church.
28. #Joy, #AdventJoy picture of the pink candle being lit with a question or scripture like Isaiah 65:18 or Galatians 5:22-25 written across the picture of the candle lit in your church.
29. #Love, #AdventLove picture of candle being lit in your church with a question or scripture like Deuteronomy 10:17-19 John 13:34-35.
30. Picture of Jesus lying in the Crèche with a Merry Christmas message like "Come Let Us Adore Him".
I hope these tips will help you to design an amazing Advent Calendar filled with posts to celebrate the season and spark engagement for your church community this year!