Have a Merry Have a Merry IN­STA XMAS

Post im­ages of home-made baubles and dogs in antlers if you wish, says beauty vlog­ger Sali Hughes – but re­mem­ber to #stayinthe­mo­ment

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - Style Tips -

Some time in late Novem­ber, per­haps early De­cem­ber, Elf is on TV again and some­thing strange hap­pens on so­cial me­dia. Self-pro­mo­tion is over­looked as the open­ing cred­its of Will Fer­rell’s film about Santa’s gi­gan­tic helper roll, and Face­book et al. gid­dily de­clare Christ­mas open for busi­ness.

Since my first Christ­mas on so­cial me­dia, just un­der a decade ago, I’ve seen dozens of new tra­di­tions take hold. Whether it’s live-tweet­ing a new TV com­mer­cial or com­par­ing cracker jokes, users in their mil­lions cel­e­brate the fes­tive sea­son with their vir­tual friends. But us­ing so­cial channels over Christ­mas can be fraught with faux pas and poster’s re­morse, so it’s ju­di­cious to have some ground rules.

If you find your­self sit­ting with your rel­a­tives try­ing to cope with Un­cle Clive’s sex­ist jokes with­out burst­ing a blood ves­sel, seek so­lace in like-minded fol­low­ers by all means – but al­ways stop at nam­ing names. Any­thing on­line ex­ists for­ever, few peo­ple de­serve to be shamed be­fore a global au­di­ence and, be­sides, Christ­mas is a time for tol­er­ance – even if your fam­ily didn’t get the memo. If you are post­ing fes­tive snaps, do it sen­si­bly: it isn’t wise to show the world your house is un­oc­cu­pied, or to show o‡ ev­ery gift in an on­line Christ­mas cat­a­logue for bur­glars. Present-post­ing of any kind can be risky, in fact. I love see­ing fes­tive In­sta­gram im­ages of socks, books, bub­ble bath and Toblerone, but jewellery, hand­bags and other lux­u­ries most peo­ple can’t a‡ord? Not so much.

New Year’s Eve is a great time to join in the cel­e­bra­tion with on­line friends – and a joy­ous re­minder that you’re not the only one who chose to avoid the New Year’s Eve bus­tle by stay­ing in and watch­ing romcoms in your PJS. In fact, so­cial me­dia be­comes one big, lazy house party where you can re­lax, chat and laugh with­out hav­ing to clean up af­ter. A re­view of your year on Face­book is a nice idea, but re­sist the urge to make a braggy list of ac­com­plish­ments.

You can, how­ever, ig­nore grinches com­plain­ing about Christ­mas tree pic­tures on Face­book. Bah, hum­bug! to them. See­ing chil­dren hang home-made baubles is won­der­ful. Like­wise, dogs in antlers, cats rolling in wrap­ping pa­per, dads snooz­ing in wonky pa­per crowns – all are just the ticket. Just don’t sour the mood with on­line ar­gu­ments about Don­ald Trump. In­stead, pledge to fo­cus on the fact that you have no work and no diet re­stric­tions for the next three days.

But for good­ness’ sake do all of this sober. If your fin­gers are so sticky from drink­ing eggnog that they’re mak­ing typ­ing a chal­lenge, you’re too drunk to be broad­cast­ing on the In­ter­net. Al­co­hol and so­cial me­dia don’t mix. Which is one of the many rea­sons why, apart from the odd happy 10-minute burst, I make sure so­cial me­dia doesn’t play a piv­otal role in my Christ­mas. On­line fes­tiv­i­ties are a joy, but no sub­sti­tute for qual­ity time with old friends, kids I adore, and the hus­band I found… on Twit­ter. w&h

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