On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...an Instagrammed pic of a Starbucks peppermint latte?
I certainly hope not. Please, please don't fall into the common yet unbelievably disappointing traps social media set for us all during the holidays: The desire to complain, the need to Instagram pictures of whipped cream on coffee, the office holiday party photos (um...yikes). There are better, more heartwarming ways to digitally spread the holiday love this season. I humbly submit to you my list of suggestions:
Keep the negativity out of your posts. Instead of telling us what you hate about the holidays, tell us what you love. Tell us who you love. Tell us what you're thankful to be celebrating.
Put the spotlight on someone else. Share someone's work. Give someone a public compliment. Use your platform to celebrate someone else, not celebrate yourself celebrating someone else.
Ask someone else to take your selfie for you. Let someone else's eyes other than your own frame you for the world. You just might be surprised by how different you look.
Go dark for a bit. We know you'll likely be with family and/or friends, opening presents, eating food. You really don't need to live-tweet it. If you're documenting every last minute of your holiday via social media, it better be because you're trying to raise awareness of a worthy cause. And by "worthy cause," I don't mean your Star Wars collectors' items.
Write someone a recommendation. A solid professional recommendation is truly a gift that keeps on giving. It's even more appreciated when the recipient didn't ask for it and wasn't expecting it.
Take the time to comment. Chances are, someone you know blogs. Have you ever taken five minutes to leave a thoughtful comment on their writing? If not, now's as good a time as any to start, and keep it going all year.
Visit a blog you've never visited before. Blogs commonly fall short of the glory when it comes to maintaining a consistently high readership, especially if they're not tied to any sort of business plan. Yet, every day, someone out there is sitting down and writing something insanely good, then posting it to the internet for anyone to read for FREE.
Create a Pinterest board for someone. "If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you"....all the stuff on this Pinterest board. So what if you don't have a million dollars? The appreciation for the thought is what really counts.
Honor someone with a meme. It's literally as simple as typing "Jake thinks Sally is the coolest chick to ever roam the universe" into a Someecard and posting it to Sally's wall. Imagine how awesome Sally will feel when she sees that.
Create a hashtag for someone. #stuffjanelikes. #whatIloveaboutjim. #AmyRules. You get the idea. Then, get other people to participate.
Make your own holiday video message. Get the whole family involved. Make it fun. Share it with people you love. Heck, share it publicly with strangers. Offer up some good old G-rated entertainment this holiday season.
Send someone an email. Say all the things you've been wanting to say, but just couldn't find the time. It's the next best thing to writing someone a letter, or simply calling them up and arranging to meet face-to-face.
What would you add to the list?