Christmas Blessings From Our Family to Yours
Dec 19, 2018
Seasons Greetings from the Czachor family and ASD team! As we welcome Christmastime here at ASD, we wish you and your family the same excitement and joy we feel during this time of year. Recently, a great blog post written by the OGR described Funeral Directors as “the unsung heroes of the holidays” – we could not think of a more fitting title for such a dedicated group of people who extend themselves more to their profession than all of Santa’s elves combined.
Funeral directors are busy all year long, but during the holiday season, a spike in the death rate is coupled with heighted emotional responses from grieving relatives. Funeral directors have many added responsibilities this time of year and even less time than usual to complete tasks. Despite these challenges, funeral professionals across the nation go above and beyond to make the holidays brighter for those in their community.
There are many different ways a funeral home can offer their help to others during the holidays. Sending a heartfelt letter can help bereaved family members feel less isolated in their grief. Displaying colorful decorations and twinkling lights will remind families that a funeral home is a welcoming haven they can visit anytime they need support and a friendly conversation. Hosting a fun holiday event or inviting Santa for a visit encourages the public to socialize in the funeral home, which creates an atmosphere of positive associations where families can feel comfortable sharing stories and reflecting on the past.
For other funeral homes, Christmas is a time to encourage generosity within the community by inspiring others to make donations to an important cause or participate in a charity event. Another wonderful way directors help others this time of year is by hosting a Holiday Memorial Service, Tree Lighting Ceremony or Candlelight Vigil that is open to all families served by the funeral home during the year. This allows the bereaved to gather together to honor their loved one and share experiences with others who understand their grief. It also gives families a place to come where their feelings of loss are acknowledged and recognized.
Families who are suffering a loss need to understand they are not invisible and not alone, and these funeral homes have done a tremendous job promoting that message within their communities. We believe funeral directors should be acknowledged for their commitment everyday and especially around the holidays. Click here to read about some of the different ways funeral homes help others during the Christmas season. We hope their stories inspire you. Be sure to leave us a comment to share with us what holiday traditions your funeral home takes part in.
We'll Be Here For Christmas, You Can Count On Us
ASD understands that being on call on Christmas is a reality for many funeral directors. We realize that the time you have with your family is often interrupted so you can help others in their time of need. But just because you must be available at all times does not mean you should have to be interrupted with every incoming call your funeral home receives on such an important day. As usual, ASD will have staff available 24-hours a day to assist you. We can screen your calls according to your specific preferences and contact you only if a death or urgent situation occurs. With the upcoming holiday approaching, our goal is to provide you with the peace of mind you need to spend this special time with friends and family.
The days of feeling caged by your phone lines during the Christmas season are over. ASD is here to set you free.
For this reason, here at ASD we don't start talking about Christmas a week or two before the day arrives...we begin looking ahead more than a month in advance. With responsive plans and a close eye on the upcoming schedule, we can forecast well ahead of every holiday to provide the most consistent and reliable service available. Christmas, New Years Day and the entire holiday season is fully staffed with back up support so you can enjoy those days knowing that your phones are protected. Our employees are committed to working on the holidays, which is why last year on Christmas Day we answered 86 percent of all calls on the first ring and 95 percent by the fourth ring. Every year, we create a special holiday schedule that includes all of our Call Specialists. While our operators work shorter shifts, scheduling everyone increases the overlap of employees to ensure our office is never under staffed.
We understand holidays may impact how you respond to your messages. Our custom-built systems allow us to update your ASD account based on your needs any time, day or night. Please let us know if you have any special On-Call schedules for the upcoming holidays. We have systems in place to assure you are only being contacted for messages of the utmost importance to you.
These calls include:
► Death Calls Prearrangements & Pricing
► Families calling regarding current services
► Near Death situations
► Calls from other Funeral Homes
► Anyone requesting an immediate call back
If you would like to be called ONLY for the situations listed above, please advise our Call Specialist when checking out that you should be reached for CODE YELLOW calls. All other calls will be available via the website, mobile app & voicemail system. If you have any questions or would like to customize your holiday instructions, please contact ASD Supervision 24/7 at 800-868-9950, fax instructions to 800-595-3956 or email operations@myASD.com. You can also click here to learn more about the different checkout options we provide to meet your changing needs.
ASD's 7th Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest
For the 7th consecutive year, ASD employees wore their favorite Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Sweatshirts to celebrate the holidays!
Our 7th Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest is now in full swing over on ASD’s Facebook page. Voting will remain open until December 27th. While one of our entries has a very tree-mendous lead, it is still anyone's game! Click here or on the image above to visit our Facebook page and leave a comment to help us decide which one of our employees wore the most creative "ugly" getup.
Team ASD is Getting Grace…For Christmas!
Santa came early to ASD and we’re excited to share that all of our employees are Getting Grace for Christmas this year. Each member of the ASD team was a gifted a copy of the Getting Grace DVD (in addition to their annual Christmas bonus). We believe this is a movie that everyone should see to better understand the work and lives of funeral service professionals. By sharing Getting Grace with all of our staff, we are hoping the film’s positive portrayal of funeral directors and powerful message will reach more families this holiday season. Click here to learn more about this inspiring movie.
A Tribute To Funeral Director Santas
This year, we wanted to shine a red and green spotlight on a few funeral directors that definitely deserve to be on the nice list. These Kris Kringles bring smiles and Christmas joy to their communities by trading in their funeral director apparel to don Santa’s famous red suit. To be a funeral director, one must be able to wear many hats and manage multiple tasks at once. So it’s no surprise that these funeral directors are able to step into the big man’s shoes and take on the role of St. Nick! (Featured: Todd Wilson of Wilson Family Funeral Home in Minneapolis, KS, John Condon of John P Condon Funeral Home in Leonardo, NJ, Todd Harra of McCrery and Harra Funeral Home in Wilmington, DE and David Fry of Fry Funeral Home in Tipton, IA.
TEAM ASD Creates Christmas Cards for Seniors in Local Nursing Home
ASD’s conference room was recently transformed into the North Pole during a special Christmas Crafting Team ASD Event. Our employees channeled their inner Kris Kringle to create Christmas cards and mementos that were sent to Seniors living at Harlee Manor, a local nursing home and assisted living facility in our community. More than 200 Christmas cards were handmade by ASD staff and their families during our Team ASD event. Many senior citizens living in nursing facilities report feeling lonely and isolated. We’re hoping these heartfelt messages from the ASD Team will bring smiles and Christmas cheer to the individuals who receive them. Special thanks to our Operations Director, Ric Cusumano, for organizing this Team ASD activity.
Click here to see more photos.
Looking for the Perfect Gift For The Funeral Director In Your Life? We've Got You Covered
To celebrate the Christmas season, we’ve compiled a list of unique and distinctive gifts we think most directors would appreciate. We’ve updated our list for 2018 to replace out-of-stock items with brand new gift ideas you can get for the funeral director in your life. While some of these products are meant to bring laughter, others are thoughtful items you can give to show a director how much you appreciate them. Whether you’re shopping for your spouse, parent, sibling, or a co-worker, we have no doubt you’ll find something special on this list for the funeral director in your life. And if you’re secretly shopping for yourself, don’t worry, we’ll take it to the grave ;)
12 Days of Christmas: Funeral Home Remix
We rewrote the "12 Days of Christmas" to apply to a typical day in the life of a funeral director. Hope you enjoy!
ASD’s #FuneralDirectorFacts Holiday Image Shared More than 200,000 times on Social Media
An information graphic created by ASD has certainly struck a cord with thousands of funeral directors on social media. The image was created to spotlight the sacrifices made by funeral directors who work on-call during holidays to provide support to their communities. Many people outside of the profession are unaware of the many ways funeral professionals devote themselves to others. ASD shares #FuneralDirectorFacts to help educate others about the dedication of directors. Each fact focuses on a different way funeral directors go beyond the call of duty to serve families.
With Christmas approaching, many funeral directors are prepared to miss holiday celebrations at home if a family in need requires their services. ASD wanted to highlight this sacrifice and create an information graphic that funeral directors could feel proud to share. We are thrilled that so many funeral professionals have related to our #FuneralDirectorFacts. The graphic has now been shared online more than 200,000 times! Watching a positive funeral director image go viral is a thrill for us at ASD.
From everyone here at ASD, we extend to you our blessings for a joyous Christmas and prosperous New Year! We hope you enjoy every magical moment of the holiday season with confidence knowing your phones are always protected. Please don't hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do to make the holidays brighter for you and your family. Our supervisors are available 24/7 to make any changes or updates.
About The Author
Jess Fowler is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD's company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess.Fowler@myASD.com