The quaint Christmas card can seem like an impersonal waste of paper when compared to the awesome greetings you can share with friends via social media. This year alone, Americans will have bought 6.5 billion greeting cards. That’s a lot of money spent on something that will inevitably end up in the trash.
Unless you’re an arts and crafts hobbyist, you’ll probably either fork out for a fancy card or buy a stack of them on the cheap. If, however, you’re in the mood for trying something different this year, simply whip out your smartphone and use the apps at your disposal. You use them to keep in touch with friends anyway, and, with a little creativity, you can share something truly personal. Unlike actual cards, you can send these on the special day of.
Whether creating inspirational Pinterest boards full of Christmas treats or documenting your antics on Snapchat, social media can transform a simple festive message in to something much more meaningful. Read on to find out our top picks for social media alternatives to Christmas cards that your friends and family will cherish this holiday season.
Create festive Facebook family photo albums
Rather than just posting a standard Facebook status wishing everyone a merry Christmas, why not go one step further this year by creating a seasonal photo album. Assign someone with a good smartphone (preferably the one packing the best camera) the task of capturing family portraits. You can even contribute to the food porn cannon with all your best cooking snaps, take photos of the pets in seasonal outfits, and don’t forget to show off the tree and Christmas presents while you’re at it. We’re sure the photos will get better as the liquor starts to flow and, who knows, you may even end up with some great pics you’ll cherish forever. If you decide, however, that you want the images to remain private, simply use the audience selector tool on Facebook to control who can see your album.
Share your fave seasonal recipes on Pinterest
Food is an essential part of every Christmas get-together. If you’re the cook in the family you should definitely check out Pinterest for some seasonal cooking inspiration. If by chance you already use the social scrapbooking platform to find recipes, why not share them with others via your very own Pinterest board. You can further personalise your board by adding your own images and links from around the Web. Finally, if you want to collaborate with friends you can choose to add them to the board so they can share their Christmas-related pins too.
Use Snapchat Stories, selfies, and filters to bring the cheer
For the real-time effect of a personal greeting, nothing beats Snapchat. The videos and images sent through the app will also serve as great respites for your friends stuck at drab Christmas gatherings. This year, why not get inventive by curating your best visuals in the form of Snapchat Stories. Every time you take a festive snap, add it to your Story by hitting the icon with a plus symbol at the bottom of the screen. Snapchat’s Christmas ornament geotag filters flew under the radar when announced earlier this month, but they’re perfect for decorating your seasonal snaps. Remember to activate filters in the settings tab: open the app, hit the ghost icon in the middle of the screen, then select the gear icon to the right, under “additional services” select “manage,” wherein you’ll find the filters option. Meanwhile, for selfie fans, a bunch of festive lenses are also currently available.
Illuminate Instagram with Christmas posts and captions
Tag your friends in a great photo of all the family next to the Christmas tree. Choose an image that best encapsulates your Christmas and turn that into an Instagram post that acts as an Christmas greeting for your friends. It doesn’t have to be just you and your family either; take a look below at Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s post from last year and tell us you don’t think that’s the best Christmas card ever. We wouldn’t believe you if you did.
If you’re still struggling for inspiration, you can always search the app using the #Christmas hashtag to see what others are posting. Extensive Instagram captions are the new form of blogging – as noted by New York Magazine – therefore, make sure you offer a great explanation of the context behind the shot along with a personalized greeting.
Curate an awesome Spotify Christmas playlist to share with friends
If you’ve been skipping Spotify’s great social features, Christmas is the perfect time to correct that. The popular music streaming service allows you to share songs and collaborate on playlists. If you go with the former, you can send a meaningful tune (it doesn’t just have to be a Christmas song) via Facebook, email, or message. Make sure to add some text as a greeting, and you’re good to go. If you’re acting as the Christmas party DJ, you can also share your playlist the same way – or even create a collaborative set with others. Musical messages make an ideal alternative for the audiophiles in your life. Additionally, if you’re looking for some recommendations for an Christmas-themed playlist, you can find a list of the most popular Christmas songs here.