Gingerbread men, mistletoe, and candy canes — oh my. There's a lot to take in during the holiday season, and with new social media features, you definitely won't miss a beat. "What are Holiday Highlights on Facebook," you ask? They're the best ways to relive this festive time of year.
Facebook decided to make the 2017 holiday season all the more sentimental with a variety of options. Want to send a card? The mail isn't necessary — just a Facebook account. Log on beginning Dec. 12 to send a virtual Hallmark to your loved ones. Want to take a fun selfie with friends? Beginning Dec. 15, you'll be able to use holiday effects on your camera, so get ready to channel your inner Saint Nick. Video chatting with your college buds? Reindeer and snowflakes are great additions to the conversation.
Between these options and prepping for the occasion IRL — cooking, wrapping, decorating — it's easy to get caught up in what's going on. Fortunately, Facebook is letting its users take a step back and relive the moment once it passes. On Dec. 28, you can log in and find a personalized collage of your friends' holiday pictures with Holiday Highlights. Anything you missed will be front and center, so don't feel too stressed if you didn't see your sister's ugly sweater party while away at college. If you were forced to spend the holiday without your SO, you can check in on all he or she did during your time apart.
Grab a cup of cocoa (extra marshmallows, of course), find your heated blanket, and start scrolling — Holiday Highlights are waiting.
Recently, the site also allowed users to access their Year in Review. To relive your top moments, visit Facebook.com/yearinreview. You'll be treated to a personalized video that you can share with friends, and it'll highlight what was most important to you this year (technically from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, according to a Facebook press release). It's interesting to take a look back at this type of footage, and let's be honest: You're always curious what will pop up in your feed.
Although these types of features typically highlight fun moments throughout the year, Facebook's Year In Review — which is determined by keyword volume comparisons and daily keyword spikes, among other factors — was definitely emotional and not all fun and games. From natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and the earthquake in Mexico, to One Love Manchester and the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, these highly publicized happenings reflect the difficult times we experienced worldwide.
Though we were met with tragedy and unimaginable circumstances, there was a glimmer of hope. People joined together via social media to help one another when they needed it most, and it was incredibly refreshing to know that a virtual support system has neighbors' backs. Facebook uncovered a story of a man who put together 300 lunch packs for those who had been affected by the damage in Mexico, according to a press release sent from Facebook to Elite Daily. Likewise, a story also circulated about a man from India — thousands of miles from the United States — who helped raise $20,000 via the donate button on Facebook Live to help people who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Though not everything is within our control, we can certainly celebrate the events we planned to the fullest. Kick off 2018 with a bang by following new prompts from Facebook that suggest New Year's Eve events. If you're so inclined to live stream the moment the clock strikes 12, you can add sparkle effects to your broadcast.
Let's embrace the season and all the good we've encountered. Happy holidays.
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