Instagram etiquette at Christmas: how to avoid festive social media no-nos.

You’ve decked the halls. You’ve stuffed the turkey. You’ve wrapped for Great Britain and Father Christmas’ brandy and mince pie are ready and waiting for the big man. Now it’s time to enjoy the well-deserved break from work and the rigours of the daily routine.

But remember, the devil makes works for idle hands – and since this is the 21st-century, what do underused digits do? Why, they turn to social media, of course. This year, avoid festive faux pas online with our handy guide to Christmas Insta-etiquette. After all, no one wants to emerge from Christmas not only several pounds heavier, but several followers lighter. It’s a minefield out there, so allow us to be your guiding light this Christmas. No need for thank us; you’re welcome.


DO save a tree and use Insta instead of a Christmas card to express your season’s greetings.

It helps the environment, saves you money and doesn’t cause your hand to become claw-like after writing personal notes to 200 of your closest friends.

DO post a snap of your family in Christmas jumpers.

But note: refrain from smug. Silly is good; pouting is not.

DO post your high street bedecked in Christmas lights.

Sure, we’ll have seen a few on our feed, but it’s only for a few weeks of the year and, let’s face it, pretty lights are never not magical. Do, however ensure you get halfway decent shot that conveys the romance of it, and isn’t just a blurry mess.

DO post a super-chic lifestyle shot...

of your carefully curated wrapping kit laid out in front of you – but bear in mind that, according to Vogue magazine, pictures that include faces get 38 per cent more likes than those without.

DO post stories of carol singers if you come across an especially good choir.

Who isn’t put in a better mood by a festive sing-song?

DO post a list of Christmas films that you’re making it a priority to watch this holiday.

It’ll be super-helpful to any of your followers casting around for ideas.

DO post pictures of your excited kids

(If you’re ok with putting your kids on Insta, of course). Always heartwarming. Less so when it’s your forty-something brother-in-law.


DO NOT post pictures of you exercising on Christmas Day.

December 25 is about peace and goodwill to all men and, er, overeating. Please don’t make us feel bad about ourselves. Not today.

DO NOT post pictures of your Christmas lunch.

Unless you are Jamie Oliver or a food stylist, your Christmas lunch is probably just like everybody else’s, is it not?

DO NOT post pictures of a big old stack of presents you’ve been given.

No one likes a show off.

DO NOT stay glued to your phone all day on the big day.

If you look up from your device occasionally, you might well find that all those people you’ve been avoiding all year actually have something interesting to say.

DO NOT over-post.

The golden rule at this time of year and always. Nobody wants to see multiple shots of the same thing. Neither do they want to see several posts from you in one day. Self-absorption is not a good look, no matter the time of year.

DO NOT post mawkish or trite sentiment –

or, god forbid, motivational sayings – about the year gone or the one to come. Just no.

DO NOT post anything you may regret the next morning after one too many.

Step away from the phone, unless it’s for a blurry selfie of you and Great Aunt Joan sloshed on sherry together. That we enjoy seeing.

November 2019