It’s that time of year again where many of us will not only be giving gifts, but unwrapping a few of our own. And as with many of the last few years, some of these gifts will be of the connected variety. Connectivity is an amazing gift to give and receive during the holiday, however it’s not one which comes without a few hiccups along the way. Here are a few tips to remember as you and your loved ones push further into digital spaces:

Remember Your Manners

There’s a commercial I saw right as Thanksgiving sporting events were getting underway that showed grandparents reading the Twitter stream of their granddaughter who was lamenting the disconnectivity she’d experience during the holiday visit. The grandparents promptly ordered service via a major internet service provider and the young lady noted by the end of the commercial that it was the best holiday ever.

I bring that up to mention the manners of the young lady. Instead of speaking directly with her grandparents, she expressed her disgust via social media. If there’s a great Scripture that comes to mind, it would be Matthew 18:15. It’s not a problem to be offended at a gift or even someone’s response to your gift, but addressing it should go to them first, not social media.

For younger members of your family who might be receiving new tools/toys, remind them to be humble towards others in their use and apprecation for that gift (Matthew 6:1). Even going as far as showing them the value of donating to others the items they are moving away from.

Remember Good Security Behaviors

In the USA, there has been at least one major security incident each quarter for the past few years. So much so that many people are either exhausted from the amount of personal information lost, or so viligent they are dismissing connectivity entirely. And while there is good reason for both extremes, there are also practices to observe which would minimize the impact of an insecure event.


Image via Google Security Blog c/o @csoghoian

Security is a matter of behavior, not just hardware or software. That being said, take the time with your less-technical friends and family members to remind them to change/update passwords, clean out devices, and even use tools like Google Account to clear out devices from your account that you are no longer using.

Remember Those Who Can’t Give/Receive

Every year, we hear stories about those who might have fallen on hard times right as the holidays began, or even have been enduring a difficult time financially, emotionally, or otherwise. While it is certainly a great thing for our churches and organizations to talk about the many people we assist during this time of year, don’t let that attribution be an ornament you push before others (Matthew 6:2-4).

As mentioned before in the section about attitude, it might also be a suitable display of faith and service to donate your used goods to shelters and persons in your community who might not be as well off. If you will, going down the route of clearing out your coffers so that you have room to receive something new.

Or, if you are the type who is savvy with places like eBay or Swappa, taking the funds gained from those things sold and putting those proceeds towards organizations who will need financial support well after the holliday season has concluded.

What are Your Stocking Stuffers?

Now, these are just a few thoughts about manners which came to mind? What might be some of the lessons you are learning, sharing with your family, or putting into practice anew?