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5 Ways to Share Holiday Photos Apart from a General Social Post

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It's the most wonderful time of the year! From Thanksgiving feasts and turkey trots to winter breaks and holiday gatherings, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate in the coming days and weeks.

It’s a season when we all try a little harder to spread some cheer, dish out an extra dose of kindness and snap oodles of pictures with family and friends … to share with loved ones near and far.

As we head into this hectic, but hopefully joy-filled winter, this Trepid Tech Mom is here to offer a few alternatives to posting our private holiday moments and memories with loved ones as a general post on social media.

Don’t worry. There’s a bonus option at the end for when we want to send public well wishes to friends and followers all over the World Wide Web.

So, start streaming that festive playlist on Spotify (it’s FREE!). Grab a delicious, toasty beverage. And cozy up in a comfy chair. Together, we’re going to cover the 5 ways to share holiday photos apart from a general social post.

Get the pic, then get in the moment.

First things first, let’s make sure throughout these special holiday moments that we so proudly post on social media that we, of course, snap a few photos … and also take in the moment and put the smartphone down.

It sounds cheesy, and that’s okay. It’s still important.

The holidays are a time for loved ones near and far to gather together, probably overeat and also enjoy one another’s company. This is all made harder when devices are competing for our attention.

Of course, we’ve got to ask everyone to say, “cheese” for a group picture. Let’s all go ahead and get a photograph of people at the holiday table. And we can’t forget to capture some candid images of our crew together.

But for the most part, let’s all try to put the smartphone down.

Our holiday highlight reels can be shared later, and we can check the festive status of friends some other time once things calm down.

I love the new Thanksgiving Story ad from Publix that reminds us all that “in a world that moves so fast, it’s important to slow down, take time, and make memories with the ones you love.” Check it out:

And if you are hosting the holidays this year, consider inviting guests to a #DeviceFreeDinner! Upon arrival, encourage loved ones to stash smartphones in a dedicated place. This way, devices are not on lock-down yet it makes everyone think twice before pulling it out to check an app/social network/etc. “real quick” (it’s never quick, is it!?). No cheating, hosts have to participate as well :)



A holiday #DeviceFreeDinner can look different in every household. Many families have different social media policies, and it’s very safe to say there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Some groups gathering this time of year have loved ones far away which means there is dedicated time for FaceTime and phone calls (we do the same in our family). In other cases, technology brings families and friends together for game nights, living room dance parties, slideshows or movies, and more.

No matter what we celebrate in the coming days and weeks, let’s all remember being present in the moment is a (FREE) gift that means a lot.

Okay, now, on to the list!

1. Get on board with shared spaces.

‘Tis the season for shared albums and spaces. Or at least it should be, according to this Trepid Tech Mom! Shared spaces allow us to showcase photos and videos with specific people — and they, too, can offer their images. There are many popular spaces loved ones can use (often for free), it’s up to each group to decide which “space” fits their needs best.



Shared spaces are only as secure as the person(s) behind the device or login. Allow me to explain:

Example 1 — Depending on settings, images in shared spaces are often available for download and, thus, can be shared freely once uploaded. If photographs are not meant to be put on social media or shared with others via text/email/etc., make sure everyone is aware of that expectation. If wishes are not shared, no one will ever know.

Example 2 — A “shared with” individual may forget to log out of a computer and walk away, choose not have a touch ID or passcode enabled on their smartphone or tablet, or allow multiple people to use their device. In these situations, our family photos are vulnerable to anyone intentionally (or unintentionally) allowed access.

2. Fine tune Facebook Lists and/or set up “Secret Groups.”

Facebook is a favorite place for many when it comes to photo sharing. Here are two ways to limit a post’s audience:

First, Facebook Lists allow us to post an update for specific newsfeeds only. Think of Lists as a “mass email” where we don’t necessarily send the message to everyone in our contacts, but rather certain contacts for which the note is intended. Make sense? We talked about Lists a bit in the October blog, “Meaningfully Manage Facebook Friends with Lists” (focusing on Restricted Lists). Well, we can also create custom Lists to organize Facebook friends into family or close friends, and then establish desired privacy settings for each List. I won’t go into Lists much here, but I will remind us all of this quote from the National Cyber Security Alliance:

“Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal.”

Second, Facebook Groups offer a space to interact with only specific people. Think of Groups as a one-stop-shop or conference room for everyone in the Group. Make sure if/when setting one up it is established as a “Secret” Group (not “Public” or “Closed”). From there, it’s as simple as giving the Group a name and adding desired members. Then, only “members” can access the Group.



The best way I’ve seen privacy settings described was a “courtesy” and not a “guarantee.” As was exhibited by Facebook's recent security incident in which attackers gained unauthorized access to account information from approximately 30 million Facebook accounts, even the best privacy settings can fail us. So, stay on top of privacy settings. And if there’s even one person out there that shouldn’t see it, don’t post it.

Visit to brush up on privacy settings and find out where and how to update them on many popular devices and online services.

3. Touch base via text message.

Texting holiday photos to loved ones gets images into the intended’s hands quickly and with minimal effort. It’s also a tried and true way to share everything from happy holidays Bitmojis and “dancing turkey” gifs to the always welcome question of “what can I bring?” and word that “we’re on the way.”

Pretty sure we all know how to text, but if anyone hasn’t hopped on board with Bitmoji or gotten enamored with Gifs yet, check them out.



Texting holiday pics doesn’t offer a lot of options when it comes to organizing. And if too many images are received, they can eat up a lot of storage (though the settings can be changed on that).

4. Get (nearly) everyone with an email.

The grandparents may not use Facebook. Mom and dad might not be Instagrammers. Siblings keep up with social media, however rarely the same ones. But everyone likely has an email address (and if not, send them the below links to get them hooked up).



Some families and friends create a “shared” email address for loved ones to log in to as a way to send and receive pictures. The idea is to give usernames and passwords to the “chosen ones,” and it becomes a shared space. This Trepid Tech Mom doesn’t do that, so I’ll steer clear of suggesting it. But perhaps that seems like a good fit for your crew?

5. Deliver snapshots and smiles via snail mail.

Getting (fun) snail mail is one of my “very-most-favorite-things” in the world. So is taking an insane number of pictures each day. And yet, as a Trepid Tech Mom, I can’t bring myself to post favorite photos online for friends and family to lavish with “Likes.” That’s why I love customizable greeting cards that quickly and easily feature pic(s) from my phone, a brief message and go directly to mailboxes.

My fave is Ink Cards which offers hundreds of designs and each card starts at $2. From the time it’s ordered, the card delivers within 2-8 days. Scheduling deliveries is also possible.

Another great option for photo cards (and art) is Minted. I tend to use this site for things like holiday cards and bigger gifts rather than individual cards throughout the year (like Ink).

Lastly, Shutterfly offers a ton of fun ways to showcase pictures, too. They have easy-to-create things like photo books, cards and stationery, calendars, and more (photo books make awesome gifts year-round)!



The Ink Cards app is only available via smartphone or tablet. If you’re like me, writing a letter or card is more easily done with a “real” keyboard or even pen and paper. With Ink, we have to deal without, but it’s worth it.

Minted seems a bit pricier, however, from postcards to custom designs, there’s bound to be something for every budget.

Sign up with Shutterfly, and you can get free stuff and promo codes! Just make sure to pay special attention to their expiration dates and shipping fees.

BONUS: Wish “everyone” well with a general social post.

Done safely and thoughtfully, even this one is Trepid Tech Mom-approved :)

If you’re thinking to yourself, “oh, but Trepid Tech Mom, it’s also important for us to wish all our online friends and followers a happy [insert whatever awesome holiday you’re sending well wishes]” … I hear you. I’m with you. And I can tell you it’s possible to spread holiday cheer with a personal twist and without having to post our family’s smiling faces publicly.

There’s this thing called “Canva” that allows us to create beautiful designs and docs sized to whatever our needs (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). It has thousands of free templates that are gorgeous and easy to make and share with or without photos.



We may fall in love with a template or image and find it requires a paid membership. Just keep searching. There are thousands of free ones.

Please note: This Trepid Tech Mom is, of course, not advocating a post that involves family faces in photos (remember those 7 "scary" things our cute pics may unintentionally share?). Furry friends, for sure! Snowy landscapes, love it! Christmas trees, of course! The menorah, most definitely! But let’s think twice before posting our children’s smiling face … pretty please :)

Here’s to sharing our many holiday pics, spreading some serious cheer this season and doing it in ways that keep us safe and thoughtful digital parents (and grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, and loved ones).

However you are celebrating in the coming days and weeks, this Trepid Tech Mom wishes you peace and joy.


Third-party apps, social networks, and even emails, like those mentioned here, stress this Trepid Tech Mom sometimes. If hacked, the family photos so carefully kept within our circle of family and friends could land in the wrong hands (as explained in this brief video, Take a Picture, by Norton). That said, I choose not to live (entirely) in fear and, in place of posting publicly or in social feeds, do utilize a select few apps and online tools. The “Ways to Share Holiday Photos” identified here are just my two cents as to how we can be safe and thoughtful digital parents and loved ones this holiday season and still spread that holiday cheer. And, by all means, share your thoughts as well. To each their own.

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