*Holidays are coming, holidays are coming…*

In case you missed it Christmas is just *in take of breath* 32 days away and in Manchester that means one thing… a giant Santa looms over Albert Square. The city wept when the famous inflatable Farther Christmas went to a better, snowier place in the sky in 2007. The fat fella was replaced with a bigger and brighter St. Nic that has light up the Manchester Christmas Markets each year since.

Last year (despite no visible fingers or thumbs) the Manchester Santa (AKA Crimble Zippy) began surfing the wave of social media when he joined Twitter – and he’s back at it this festive season. Twitter character accounts are nothing new but I’m already enjoying his pun-tastic tweets… a great reminder that social media should be fun. It also got me thinking about how in 2013 @MCRsanta might tie his ‘voice’ and ‘body’ together – like this convergence of offline and online from Marmite

Marmite Christmas

Last weekend I was in London and took a wander through the yeast extract spread sponsored Christmas lights on Oxford Street. A centre piece to the display can be seen above is part of the Marmite Gold marketing campaign. Here the Christmas Lights display the faces of Marmite lovers (or haters) submitted via the sparkly Marmite Gold Facebook – a lovely example of the ‘real’ world and ‘online’ world crossing over…

I’m a sucker for this kind of thing, I bought (and still own) Nabaztag after all! For a start I’d love to see more arts organisations experimenting in this area, imagine art works tweeting through a Little Printer for example – with a bit of imagination the opportunities to delight are endless.

Manchester Santa image c/o mjtmail (tiggy) licensed under Creative Commons.

Marmite Christmas Lights, Oxford Street London image c/o Rain Rabbit licensed under Creative Commons.