Christmas in Social Media: What do People Look for on the Internet?
There are two types of people in this world – those who buy Christmas gifts in advance, long before we actually enter the festive period, and those who wait with it until the very last moment. With less than a week to go, there still is quite a lot of time to have a look around for presents. Unless you are a person like me (or a lady from a tweet below) who always struggle with gift ideas.
Im really struggling to find Christmas presents for people 🙁 can anyone recommend any websites or anything that would make a good gift?
— // (@_lorenhorrobin) 7 December 2016
Where do people look for inspiration for gift ideas, or any other ideas, in general? It’s fair to say quite a lot of them go to social media, obviously. I decided to have a detailed look at what has become one of my favourite phrases in 2016 and started monitoring “can anyone recommend” alongside keywords such as “Christmas”, “gift”, and “present”. To give you a little bit of an idea on some statistics, this is how the discussions were divided across different media.
These are not just gifts people are in search for before Christmas
Being an avid Twitter user and a Redditor, these were the two platforms I particularly focused on. As you can see, mentions found on both of the websites constitute nearly a half of all the collected results. While browsing them, I realized people look for a lot more festive-related recommendations than just gifts. After all, Christmas is all about this special atmosphere, family, the feeling of togetherness. Now, let me ask you a question: can you imagine Christmas without a Christmas tree? Neither can I. And this was the subject that came second in terms of a frequency of mentions. I don’t know how about you, but I always was in the #TeamRealChristmasTree. No matter if it’s spruce, fir, or some other tree you decorate every year, you simply know nothing can beat the smell of this little piece of forest in your house. I reckon this could be one of the reasons people below looked for the real trees, then.
My first Christmas in Teddington can anyone recommend a good place to buy a ‘real’ tree which won’t break the bank? @Teddington_Town ?
— Robyn Smyth (@RobynSmyth) 2 December 2016
Hi WM ? can anyone recommend where to get a real Christmas tree in the gorey area plz x
— Wexford Mammys (@wexfordmammys) 4 December 2016
There are also people who are after cut-your-own tree farms where they could cut the trees themselves.
However, there was an exception that proves the rule – this man who definitely belongs to the opposing, #TeamArtificialChristmasTree side.
Can anyone recommend a good artificial christmas tree from amazon?
— mnqcook (@mnqcook) 26 November 2016
One can never have enough of Home Alone
Two other, very common questions were related to movie or book recommendations people could enjoy during this holiday time. Movies have undoubtedly been this pop culture element many people love and associate with Christmas. They introduce uplifting mood, remind about the values related to Christmas, bring back the memories of magic we used to all feel back in the day. To my surprise, there was no mention of Love Actually, the best Christmas movie ever made.
However, when it comes to mentions of this timeless classic, those answering with recommendations did not disappoint.
Christmas is also the period to slow down a bit. Those who are normally too busy finally have enough time to read. The problem is, however, when similarly to gifts inspiration, one has no idea of what titles are worth reading.
Can anyone recommend a wonderful book to read over Christmas? I will repay this kindness with thank you pints and gratitude.
— Carlo Magliocco (@Carlo_Magliocco) 5 December 2016
Can anyone recommend a good anthology of winter / Christmas ghost stories? In the mood to be spooked a little…. #Christmas
— Tangledfox (@Tangledfox) 8 December 2016
Gifts, gifts, gifts
What was the most intriguing part of this research, though, were the present recommendations so many people are in search of. Even if they have ideas on what kind of gifts could they get, those are always unspecific and the majority of people need a second opinion to eventually pick a particular item. The questions were extremely diverse, ranging from football biographies, electric violin or local-related gifts for family abroad.
It wasn’t very much different on Twitter. Whether you use social listening software or manually browse the hashtag search results, you’ll definitely find some inspiration. A wide range of ideas includes jewellery, a set of speakers, personalized notebooks, watches, or even a bread baking course.
Can anyone recommend a bread baking course for a Christmas Gift? Dublin area. @ArunBakery @firehousebread @RealBread
— Susan (@susan__fogarty) 2 December 2016
Since we all know that at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve animals gain the power to speak, no wonder there are people in need of cute outfits for their beloved dogs. On the day they have actual conversations with their owners, they can’t look just as ordinary dogs, right?
buying my dogs Christmas present can anyone recommend me some treats/cute outfits for them?!
— alex (@lebanesepeach) 14 December 2016
Toys are also on tops of pet owners’ Christmas lists.
Can anyone recommend any strong toys suitable for a #Weimaraner at Christmas (know about Kong toys) #woofwoofwednesday
— Olivia Lauren-Lee (@FineWeim) 14 December 2016
What I personally love the most about this holiday is that magical vibe and the feeling of togetherness I have already mentioned. After all, it’s about spending this festive period with the loved ones, family, and friends. Nice surroundings are something people look for, too. Visiting Christmas markets, listening to and singing carols, watching light displays, these are all elements people enjoy together and remember for a long time. The case is no different for those searching for Christmas atmosphere and they also turned to Twitter and Reddit for this purpose.
Can anyone recommend any Christmas markets to go to today? Happy to drive you wherever for festive cheer.??
— sally (@ohitssally) 11 December 2016
Oh, and this perfect That ‘70s Show Christmassy reference!
Can anyone recommend anywhere fun in London for Christmas drinks and food/nibbles in December? #ChristmasParty pic.twitter.com/a5zylwRqYF
— Jade Callan ?? (@JadeCallan) 30 November 2016
We’re heading closer and closer to the Christmas day and there will probably be even more social media mentions related to it. If you’re still looking for gift ideas, there’s still enough time to have a look on Twitter, for instance, and find some inspiration. Don’t know what book to read so that you could feel that Christmas mood? Social media got you covered. Whether you browse through other people’s posts or ask a question yourself, you’ll surely find plenty of options to consider.