#OurXmas: The Greatest Twitter Extravaganza in The History of This or Any Other Planet (With updates)
December 23, 2011 by William K. Wolfrum
I should be in San Francisco right now. The plans had been made, tickets bought, room and board at the ready. A family Christmas vacation awaited. But then, life got in the way.
It got in the way in the form of a tiny, old Boston Terrier named Max. My wife got Max before we were together and at the tender age of 22. He’s been with her through the ups and downs of life. While we have other dogs and always will, Max is the dog of her life. And now, at the age of 14, Max is winding down. He has congestive heart failure, and has been battling a sinus infection that won’t go away. He still has a lot of life in him, enjoys his normal routine and attacks food. But the fact is, he could leave us at any time and needs care.
So, my Christmas present for my wife this year was to stay in Brazil with Max and take care of him. My wife could never have enjoyed the trip with her family without me here, as she’d have been worried the entire time about how he was and how the caregivers we’d have to pay for were treating him. I’m happy to do it because I love my wife, understand her deep connection wit Max, and I love the little man myself. It has not been a sacrifice. It has been life.
What this means, however, is that I’ll be spending Christmas alone this year. This is not such a tragedy, mind you. My wife will be home in a week and we’ll have our own festivities. But it made me think of all the people who will be alone this Christmas, or are left out of it because they don’t celebrate that holiday for whatever reason.
Which why I – with the help of Barracks O’Bama (@P0tUS on Twitter) – have come up with a plan – tentatively and humbly titled:
#OurXmas: The Greatest Twitter Extravaganza in The History of This or Any Other Planet
Here is the plan: Using the hashtag #OurXmas on Twitter, we invite everyone to come and enjoy a day of fun, laughs and love on Twitter or on participating blogs. It will be a chance to connect with others, enjoy some humor and just have some fun. To sum up simply, it will be about inclusion, humor and holiday cheer.
Here are the basic ground rules:
1) While this has been started for those who will be alone on Christmas or don’t celebrate it, all are invited to be a part of it.
2) Keep religion and politics out of it. You have 364 days a year to make your political and philosophical leanings heard. Let’s make an effort to make everyone, regardless of ideology or belief system, feel included.
3) I will not be policing anyone. That’s just not my thing. Enjoy the spirit of the day and the concept.
4) Have fun.
As for the tweeting aspect:
1) Use the main hashtag of #OurXmas on applicable tweets. (Note: Using “Xmas” in this hashtag is not a statement of any type. It is being used to save characters.)
2) Use “Sub-Hashtags” such as #memories for Tweets reflecting on Holidays past, or #Stories for favorite Twitter stories, or #jokes for Christmas humor. This – like most of the event itself, will be open to creative license.
3) Be as silly or serious as you want to be. As I see it, the main focus should be – as the kids say – Lulz. Have some fun, make some people laugh, and maybe connect with followers you wouldn’t have otherwise.
4) I will post other blogs to collect people’s stories and memories if they want to share them in more than 140 characters. Also, if you have a blog and want to be involved, please feel free and ask me any questions you have. We’re getting the ball rolling, but this will be a team effort.
That’s about it. I have some ideas on humorous and fun topics and memes and would love to hear other people’s ideas. Think outside the box. But mainly, just know you have people to be with this Christmas.
I will be adding updates to this post to help clarify things and add ideas as we get closer to the event. The festivities officially begin at the stroke of Midnight (EST) on Sunday, Christmas Day (but hey, if you want to start now, get to it.) If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in comments, or write to me at @Wolfrum on Twitter.
We hope to see you there.
(Update 1: Out of the blue, The Washington Post decided to join in our extravaganza.)