Several personalities make this an annual feature. The idea of Breaking and Entering Christmas is to bring the holidays to families who are experiencing some misfortune in their lives.

This article explains how to conduct the promotion Breaking and Entering Christmas. Including:

  • An explanation of the promotion.
  • How to get entries and screen them effectively.
  • Telling the story on the air and in video.
  • Examples of great radio shows that do it well.

Breaking and Entering Christmas

Warning: Before launching this promotion, know that doing it right is a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

If you’re ready to jump in, here’s how to do it:

  • Choose one family. Just one. Resist the temptation to do it multiple times. Go big on just one family.
  • A day or two before Christmas, show up at their homes. Your team will break in and fill the house with truck-loads of food, necessities, and gifts carefully selected to fit their situation.
  • All of it will be documented via video. You should also air most of it live on the air. (Yes, it will be long and will break format).
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These moments are tear-jerkers and will produce excitement and gratitude of the families and listeners.

Getting The Entries

Important: Solicit via online entries and do it early. Start much earlier than you think necessary. Mid-November is not too early.

Entrants nominate another family. Not their own. This is critical. Have them tell the story in the entry form.

Once a family is chosen, the nominating person must get access to the family home for a couple of hours on the day you break-in. It’s their job to make sure the family is away, and you have keys, etc.

When the family is out, you break in and make Christmas happen.

Telling The Breaking And Entering Story

The key to success is how the story is told. It is dramatic, impactful radio.

On the day of the break-in, start by having the nominating person on to tell you about the family. It’s important that the audience “get to know” these people as much as possible. Take your time and build this up.

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Then send the team out to make

Jeff & Jer did this promotion for years. It was originally Producer Tommy Sablan’s idea. Here’s how it comes off on the air:

Tommy executes the break-in, with his “Hoodlum Buddies”. The combination of danger and suspense (breaking in) with a heartfelt, sensitive act of kindness is powerful.

It’s become such a big promotion, they had no problem getting what they needed for the family. In some years, they left a car in the driveway and $10,000 on the fireplace in addition to gifts and items for the home.

Mojo In The Morning

Here’s another example from Mojo in the Morning in Detroit:


Tommy Sablan has trademarked the name Breaking and Entering Christmas, but generously allows anyone to use it. If you want to execute this promotion, he will even help you with planning and execution. Contact me and I’ll put you in touch with him for details.