, Salem, MA


December 20, 2012

Column: A sleigh full of social media musings

Being on Facebook has its advantages, especially when you need some lighthearted column ideas, and you need them fast because you still have all your Christmas shopping left to do.

Herewith some pressing holiday topics suggested by my ever-helpful Facebook friends:

LED lights. This can be an emotionally charged issue. A few years ago, my husband strung these energy-saving lights on our Christmas tree (yes, I’m talking indoors). He was immediately asked by the chief decorator (me) to soften their glow by removing half of them and installing a dimmer switch adjusted to the lowest possible setting. It is my belief that no women were ever consulted in the creation of these lights, which are best suited to outdoor, remote, wooded locations.

Does having an elf on your shelf promote the idea of Big Brother watching and is this healthy for kids? My children are of the pre-elf generation, but I feel for young parents wondering whether to embrace this new holiday tradition that involves a mischievous toy elf who moves about the house. I don’t think there’s any research yet about the long-term effects of being told an elf ate all your Christmas cookies or finished making your jigsaw puzzle. Heck, I still believe in Santa and worry he could place me on his naughty list at any minute, so I’m probably not the best person to ask.

Yankee swaps. I have a friend who says certain members of her Yankee swap crowd decided they didn’t want to participate in the swap this year because of the sorry gifts they received last year, such as pre-scratched losing lottery tickets or library books that were wrapped up and offered as gifts. And she reports all sorts of unbecoming behavior, like demanding that folks show receipts to enforce the minimum spending requirement. I say to these people, you really need to get in the right spirit. Santa’s watching!

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