Monday, December 19, 2016


As I am busy preparing for the upcoming holidays, I asked my kind friend, the advise columnist, Pearl Clutcher, to share her social media expertise. Heed her wise words for a happier Christmas Facebook experience.

Dear Pearl:
How many times is one required to like a photograph posted to Facebook? For example, if a proud mother posts a cute picture of her children on Santa's lap, and we like that photo, must we also like the same photo when the grandmother, the aunts, and the first cousins-once-removed post the same picture? It seems to me if I've already clicked the "like" button once, I should be off the hook and not have to repeat that tedious chore over and over, again!

Liked-Out Lately
Do think of a "like" as a participation ribbon - everybody gets one. I have my personal secretary reserve one hour per day on my social media appointment calendar in which to like all photos, including those of  plates of food and patio furniture covered in snow.  Liking a photo on Facebook is akin to keeping your house clean. No one will notice when you do, but if you don't? My dear! You WILL be side-eyed. 

Dear Ms. Clutcher:

My sister has been using the same picture of her Christmas tree as her holiday cover photo for the last five years.  At first, I assumed she was so OCD that she hung the Christmas ornaments in the exact position year after year. But, as the dog they put down two years ago continues to appear in the shot, I'm calling foul! This is cheating. The rest of us work very hard to frame, shoot, then filter our tasteful, yet festive, cover photos. This example of willful laziness is a blight on our family! My question is this. Would it be shallow of me to send her the same Jacquie Lawson holiday e-card year after year as a means of getting even?


You Can Call Me Petty
And Petty, you can call me Al. (Just a touch of late-70's humor to lighten the mood.) Though I often insist my dear readers pass no judgment on profile or cover photos, the holiday cover is the exception. How are we to spread mirth if we don't virtually welcome people into our homes via a central image that displays our magnificent decor and a pictorial map of all our worldly goods? Rather than getting even by abusing the genteel nature of the Jacquie Lawson card,  I advise that you suggest to your sister that if she can't get it together enough to take a photo suitable for the cover of a Plow and Hearth, you will simply unfollow her on Facebook! In that regard, you will  be doing her a Christmas Kindness!

Dear Miss Pearl:
One of my Facebook friends simply REFUSES to go along with the "Make Baby Jesus Your Profile Picture" project! It's the most darling little endeavor begun by my sorority sisters at Ole' Miss to show our support for our troops in the trenches fighting the War On Christmas. Now, bless her heart, she is a Jew. Still, as my Mawmaw always said, "When in Rome, Georgia, do as the Rome, Georgians do!" I even reminded her that Jesus was a Jew, but that just got her britches in a twist. Miss Pearl?  I have half a mind to unfriend her and her citified ways. What do you advise?

Miss Laura Belle DuPray

Oh my! This is, indeed, a pearl-clutching dilemma.  Though Jesus was most certainly a Jew, and I dare say it's possible that the wise men performed a bris right there in the manger,  it's a rather indelicate negotiation tactic with regards to the War On Christmas. Suggest to your friend a compromise. If she uses the Baby Jesus as her profile picture for one day, you  shall, in return, host the Menorah or the Shofar as your own for a grand total of 8 days. Surely, this seems magnanimous. This is the type of Peace Treaty that will bring those in the trenches home for the holidays - all of them.


If I see one more post of that Pentahoax group singing Mary Did You Know, I'm gonna barf. It's like, I open up my Facebook page, and it's one huge Christmas carol. Clutcher, I can't take it. I signed up for Facebook to play Candy Crush. I know cat videos and politics come with the territory, but I never expected that my feed would turn into the freakin' Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade every day from October 'til January! If I want my days to be merry and bright, I'll take up cocaine. Now, tell your readers to knock it off. Some of us have more important things to do than learn our Elf name or share cookie recipes.

It is true that this is often a difficult time of year for many.  I am going to gently suggest that before you fall to sleep this night, you self-suggest that you experience a dream in which you are visited by three ghosts. When you awaken, you will find yourself keeping Christmas very well. If that does not work, steal all the entirety of Christmas from a small town of green people, after which you will experience an epiphany which will enlarge your heart by three sizes. (Please consult a cardiologist before attempting.) If neither of these things relieve your holiday-induced outrage, Peppermint Schnapps should do the trick. Lots of it. In fact, I just might join you.

Happiest of Holidays to all who read here!

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