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Just Keep Pinning

Photograph by Getty Images

It took me years to collect all of the essential cookbooks that a respectable kitchen ought to have. I’m talking about Julia Child’s, Moosewood, Joy of Cooking, Fanny Farmer. You know, the classics. After I became married, mortgaged, and with children it fell to me to create the magic of the holiday season. Since I am no wizard, I often turn to Martha Stewart, my pile of cookbooks, and Pinot Noir to make our holiday merry and bright.

But then Pinterest happened.

And now my holidays are a crapshoot. Don’t I know about elaborate scenes for Elf on the Shelf? Aren’t I making stocking stuffers out of Nutella or toilet paper rolls? Why am I not recreating the nativity scene with fondant and fermented bean curd?

Pinterest caught my attention with its easy boards for curating ideas I find around the web, but it quickly turned into a collaborative nightmare of fussy projects that no matter how hard I tried to get right would ultimately turn into the dreaded Pinterest Fail. I went from pinning fantasy living room furniture to pinning wild 83-step cake recipes. In a word, I made Pinterest complicated.

So, this year I will make myself the following promises while designing and planning my holidays on Pinterest:

1) I promise I will not use toilet paper rolls, Nutella, wine corks, octopus ink, Christmas lights, or finger paint to construct any DIY projects or gifts for my friends and family. I will stick to rubber stamps on craft paper or cool Etsy finds instead.

2) I will not flood my Pinterest feed with 30 versions of the same recipe that will annoy my friends. Also, it annoys me when I go to find that one recipe that caught my eye to begin with.

3) No project – no matter how gorgeous the editorial pictures and deceptively simple instructions – should take more than an hour to complete. I’m trying to decorate for the holidays not a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float.

4) I solemnly swear not to abuse my Pinterest powers and send every single cool pin to friends even though Pinterest started it by suggesting specific friend profiles. I’m sure that my mother-in-law is not really interested to know about Bikram yoga or trending bikinis for winter vacation getaways.

5) I will start a board called Wild Shit I’ll Never Make and that is where I will pin all the crazy projects that I like to think I’m capable of creating after I’ve had three glasses of wine and it is nearing midnight.

6) For the sake of my social media sanity I swear to the universe that I will only join one collaborative Pinterest board that is holiday themed. I must confess that I am a sucker for collaborative boards because I am exposed to so many new and wonderful trends, ideas, styles, and pop culture references.

7) While this may earn me some gasps from my more serious pinning friends, I promise that will NOT use my holiday boards as a way to drive traffic to my blog or up my Pinterest follower numbers. GASP! I know, right? What happened to using Pinterest because it is... fun?

8) Am I the only one who stupidly deletes a holiday board when that holiday ends? Not this year. In fact, this year I plan to start a board called I Tried It: Holiday so that I can keep track of the stuff that worked and the stuff that... well... fizzled.

Don’t get me wrong; I love planning the hell out of the holiday season. I have 16 miles of lists that cover everything from handmade jute placemats for Thanksgiving to matching pajamas for Christmas morning. And while I rarely divert from my annual (doable) holiday traditions and habits, there is something truly energizing and inspiring about pinning those gorgeous images of sweetly put together projects that get me in mood to be holly and jolly and bright.

What are your Pinterest promises to yourself this season?

Happy holiday pinning!

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