Social while social distancing? How to plan for the Holidays

The season of giving is nearly upon us, and depending on who you are, “community” is likely at the forefront or in the back of your mind. Most of us love gifts and spending time with family, but giving either materials or time to strangers isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of ‘fun.’ 

As a kid, ‘fun’ was all the holiday season was really about, but now that you’re older– it’s kinda hard to miss all the action happening behind the jingle bells. And yes, undoubtedly, the holidays this year are going to be a bit different thanks to social restrictions, but community service, gift giving, seasonal sales, friends, and family members aren’t going away. 

  • There are still plenty of people both in and outside of your life that are worth celebrating.

  • However, we’ll be the first to admit that change doesn’t come easy.

  • And none of us are used to the holidays, a time of the year that’s always been pretty consistent, to now have more than a few uncertain aspects. 

  • It’s perfectly okay to need a push in figuring out how to try to maximize these unique circumstances.

At this point in 2020, social restrictions are looking different from country to country, and state to state, but there’s no denying that all of our social lives took a hit during quarantine

Social goals for the holidays

At Pingster, loneliness ‘slumps’ are a no-no. We’re all about pulling together to make every single day a great, social one. Here’s how you can do just that throughout these next few months.

6 Social Goals for the holidays

1. Virtual Holiday Get-Togethers

If you’re anything like the average person, you’re probably slowly tiring of seeing colleagues, friends, and classmates through a screen. But Zoom, Google Meet, and other video calling software have been life-saving (in the most literal of senses) throughout this pandemic. 

Sure, they don’t offer the most personable of experiences, but they’re 100% the safest of all alternatives. And we don’t know about you, but most of us aren’t fans of Turkey and gravy with a side of risking our health.

Despite how much numbers have dropped in your area, if they even have, the coronavirus has not gone away. Social gatherings are still not safe, with eating posing an ever higher threat — since mouths are open and masks are off. 

So take it from us and all the health officials; keep your gatherings virtual. That may mean hosting them yourself, which’ll make for a whole new social goal in itself. 

Don’t sacrifice all the fun and cheer of the holiday season for your safety.

Holiday Season

 Celebrating the season in an unconventional way still counts as celebrating

You may think that’s disappointing, but there’s nothing more disappointing than closing out the year without any celebration. 

2. Giving to a local food pantry

If we’re being honest, the whole year is a great time to donate food to people in need. But, since you’re here for the holiday season in particular, we can’t think of a better time to support a local food pantry.

You may look forward to this season for all the gifts and whatnot, but there are some people who look forward to this season for the influx of edible donations. People who struggle to provide meals for themselves and their family. 

A “season of giving” entails more than just indulging the people you care about with personalized trinkets (though that is a big part.) It’s also about giving to those who aren’t able to give something back. 

Afterall, “gift giving” at its core is about not expecting anything in return. We do it because it not only makes others feel good, but it also makes ourselves feel good. 

So if you’ve got a bit of food to spare, locate your nearest food pantry and drop off a donation. You can search using Pingster’s built-in search feature to locate pantries closest to you. Snap a photo of the mission while you’re there and encourage others on the platform to help out as well.

3. Small business gift shopping

Chances are the last thing on your mind is supporting the economy in a way that requires you trying out unfamiliar businesses. We get it– familiarity is safe. It’s reliable. 

But… so is buying from not-so-familar businesses. Who are the ones who really need your help to keep doing what they do. 

Instead of automatically heading to Target and Walmart for quote on quote “budget shopping”, try out one of your local small businesses. The ‘mom-and-pop’ shops are the ones who really took a hit during COVID19. 

Or opt for buying from a small online business over automatically flocking to Amazon (though we know it’s tempting!) And even if you do shop the aisles of Amazon, make sure to give shops with fewer sales the time of day. Of course, without ignoring reviews and ratings.

Holiday Season
  • If simply keeping everyday people out of unemployment isn’t enough incentive, then bear in mind that small businesses often offer more personal experiences and impressively high quality goods

  • Most really value their customers and are happy to put in a bit of extra effort to ensure a positive experience. 

  • To find either online or local businesses, check out Pingster. If there are nearby businesses that post, you’ll know who they are and where they’re located. All you have to do is click and Pingster automatically opens up a GPS to guide you to their location. 

Plus, if you own a business or know someone who does, then make sure to take advantage of Pingster business accounts. Include any business info in the bio, add in coupons, and post photos for 100% free.  

Market to a local or international audience and turn the holidays into both a business and social success!

4. Calling someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time

Reconnecting with someone can definitely be a scary thought. However, if it’s someone that you’re glad to have had or currently have in your life, then a call should be more exciting than anything else. 

I’m not talking about calling up an ex or one of your old professors (unless you actually want to.) You’re not calling out of some obligation to check off this goal on your bucket list. Genuinely call someone that you’d be okay with having an hour-long conversation with. 

Holiday Season

Like maybe a great aunt or high school best friend. Elderly folks would most likely really appreciate the call since their automatic high-risk diagnosis meant staying indoors even more than usual this year.

It’s great to touch bases with someone you care about at literally any point in the year, but set an intention to make sure it gets done before the new year rolls around.

Believe it or not, just your voice could be all the gift someone needs. It’ll make them feel better, it’ll make you feel better, and you’ll get to go into 2021 knowing you have a new confidant just one phone call away.  

5. Smiling (with your eyes!) at strangers

Smiling is such a simple way to brighten up someone’s day that it’s a shame face masks have to cover them up. Of course, health always comes first so we’ve all been forced to convey facial expressions using…well, other parts of our face.

Learning how to ‘master’ the art of smiling with your eyes can be a real skill in social situations. So why not practice now that mouths are being hidden in so many places?

  • And hey, if you’re fortunate enough to live in an area where COVID19 numbers have gone down enough for citizens to not wear masks, then by all means smile with your mouth.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of your smile. Most of us are so accustomed to “minding our own business” that walking by without a glance is second nature.

  • We’re probably all guilty of actively avoiding eye contact with a stranger at some point or another. However, getting a bit out of one’s comfort zone never hurt anybody.

You don’t have to greet them, or wave, or try to make conversation. Literally just smile. That’s all it takes.

6. *Bonus* Try out a new Social Network

Even the biggest of social media addicts admit to spending the majority of their time on one or two platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter normally reign at the top.

We’re all so used to seeing the people that we know as we scroll through our feeds that we can’t even think of a logical reason to try out a new, lesser known social network.

  • Like perhaps, one that would be more niche-based. As in a virtual community of individuals interested in the same thing. Be it a hobby, job, or something else.

  • Social media kinda gets a bad rep in the world of productivity, but it can be such a useful (and fun!) tool for finding inspiration and making new friends. 

  • We’ll assume that since you’re here, looking at a post on social goals, you must be at least at little interested in community endeavors. Most “people persons” are afterall. 

So go ahead and check off this goal by downloading Pingsterthe #1 social network for lovers of traveling and local communities. Every single image shows a geolocation, with photos taken near users displayed first. So now you’ll know where to complete these social goals before you even step out the door.

Final Thoughts

So are you ready to blossom into that social butterfly you were always destined to be? We know we are.

With just a little extra effort, this can be you (and your business’!) best holiday season yet. Make sure you follow Pingster on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to keep up with new posts!

Pingster Username: cierrasmith
Display Name: Cultured Simplicity

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