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Text to Vote: 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Decoration Contest

Looking for holiday texting inspiration? Learn about text-to-vote contests and get into the texting spirit with other holiday texting ideas!

Kids Creek 12 Days of Christmas image from Facebook
May 21, 2024
Marco Raye
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Reading time about 4 min

The holiday season is a joyful time to celebrate family traditions, and for many, that includes exploring the local community to marvel at elaborate holiday scenes that neighbors have poured their heart and souls into creating. Holiday scenes with intricate decorations are seasonal staples for many Americans, so much so that many communities host annual competitions to determine who did it best.

One Michigan community decided to nurture their neighborhood’s holiday spirit by taking their decorating competition to the next level with an SMS text-to-vote contest. For over five years, the Traverse City 12 Days of Christmas Decorating Contest has leveraged EZ Texting to determine a contest winner. We’re excited to share more about their story and throw in some additional resources to help you get into the texting spirit.

Kids Creek 12 Days of Christmas Decorating Text-to-Vote Contest is Born

Kids Creek 12 Days (previous winner) of Christmas Decorating Contest

It all began in 2017, in Traverse City, Michigan, with resident Richard Odell, the former president of the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Leelanau School. Odell dedicated months to constructing set pieces representing the 12 Days of Christmas. Together with the help of neighbors, they assembled iconic holiday pieces—including decorative swans, drummers, gold rings, and a partridge in a pear tree, just to name a few. Their efforts resulted in over 10,000 visitors coming by car, bus, and bike in under two weeks to see the merry display.

Since then, Odell’s initiative has grown into an annual neighborhood holiday decorating contest that involves students and staff from at least a dozen local schools. Using front yards as blank canvases, groups come together to paint, string lights, build sets, and reimagine beloved scenes of goodwill.

Picking a Holiday Winner Using SMS Texting

Kids Creek 12 Days of Christmas Decorating Contest

Let’s face it, people love winning things! And we’re not talking about fruitcakes or frankincense. With a $1,000 first-place prize on the line, the Kids Creek 12 Days of Christmas Decorating Contest turned to EZ Texting for an easy and organized voting solution.

Determining a winner was never easier than with text to vote. In 2020, contestants simply placed a laminated sign in the corner of their holiday display. That laminated sign includes the keyword “XMAS1,” “XMAS2,” “XMAS3,” and so forth that more than 250 passers-by used to text in a vote for their top choice. You may be familiar with this type of voting system from shows like The Voice and American Idol. Voters stay warm in their vehicles as they drive down Traverse City’s Spruce Street and take in the holiday displays, which encourages more visitors and voting.

The text-to-vote contest winners walk away with bragging rights and awards, but it’s the Traverse City community that ultimately wins by coming together to forge lifelong memories.

Find Your Holiday SMS Texting Inspiration

Kids Creek 12 Days of Christmas Decorating Contest

SMS text-to-vote contests are one of many ways to drive engagement during the holidays and year-round. The truth is, because it’s agile, personal, and immediate, texting has quickly become the primary communication channel for mobile phone users. So, if you want to continue engaging your audience this holiday season, let the following resources inspire you along the way:

  • Let us take the guesswork out of growing your contact list with the 2022 Guide to Holiday Texting. Here you’ll find loads of helpful holiday texting resources like:
    • Holiday texting templates (SMS and MMS)
    • Holiday marketing campaigns
    • Black Friday SMS tips
  • Limited-edition Winter Holiday MMS Templates are festive picture templates you can quickly download and start sharing today. Take a look through our gallery!

Drive Event Engagement Using SMS Text Messaging

These days people view their mobile devices as an extension of themselves, and as such, use these devices for anything and everything, including as a microphone to lend a voice to a friendly community competition as in the case of the Traverse City 12 Days of Christmas Decorating Contest.

Now you have an example of how text to vote SMS contests attract and nurture engagement, so how will you use SMS text marketing to creatively reach your audience drive connectivity? Start for free today before it’s too late to engage with the boosts in holiday traffic this year.

Happy holidays from everyone at EZ Texting!

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