Pinterest holidays

Holiday planning made easy with Pinterest

We’re in full-fledged holiday mode. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are just around the corner, and Christmas and New Year’s Eve are only a few short weeks away. All those parties, all that food…it’s an enormous undertaking.

Pinterest is perfect for occasions like these, when you’re prepping for meals, parties, and gifts in the midst of making travel plans and wrapping up end-of-the-year work projects. Pinterest can seem overwhelming to newcomers with its infinite scroll of food and fashion photos, but the social bulletin board has bona fide organizational tools to help you pin your way to a perfect holiday season.

Pinterest's rich recipes come in handy for last-minute grocery shopping.

Even if you pin regularly, there are a few under-the-radar holiday-planning tips you might not know about.

Menu planning made simple

If you’re in charge of cooking your family’s holiday feasts, Pinterest’s rich recipe pins are the bee’s knees. The network has partnered with some of the most popular recipe sites and cooking blogs on the Internet—the ones whose recipes are most likely to be repinned—to offer up recipe details when you click on an enticing food photo. The ingredient lists are even separated into categories (breads, dairy, oils, and so on) to make your grocery shopping extra easy.

Never pay full price

Pinterest’s newish price notification feature will help you stalk holiday sales with little to no effort. Create a board with gift ideas for your friends and family, and add product items from major retailers who work with Pinterest, like Target, Nordstrom, and Etsy. The network will send you emails if the prices drop on any of those items. We’ll have to give this feature a Black Friday test to see if it can handle the flood of discounts.

Pinterest tells you when products you've pinned get cheaper.

Plan in secret

Remember when your Facebook newsfeed was inundated with posts about your friends’ Pinterest boards? So many weddings were being planned by so many single people. Thankfully, Pinterest fever has faded from Facebook, and the mostly public Pinterest has instituted secret boards for users who want to keep their holiday shopping under wraps. Think of it as Pinterest's version of a private post.

Crowd source the holidays

Your mom wants ham. Your grandma wants turkey. No one wants the gourmet cranberry sauce you were planning to make from scratch. Planning a big feast or party with your friends and family is always more work than it should be. Pin menu suggestions or party themes and hash out the details on a communal board instead of playing telephone. Create a new Pinterest board ("Thanksgivingukkah Feast") and invite your family members to add pins to the board. Everyone gets an email when someone adds a new pin. Pinterest’s group boards might not prevent those ridiculous email chains about seating arrangements and food allergies altogether, but they can make the process a little easier. You can share photos you take at your holiday gatherings with your family via group boards, too—Pinterest isn’t just for repins.

Add your family members to a group board to prevent lengthy email chains.

Forget-me-not

If you’re anything like me, you pin a few pages here and there and then promptly forget about them. Don’t let your terrible memory ruin your best-laid plans—Pinterest lets you filter your pins for keywords like “pie recipe.” All you have to do is remember the description you wrote, otherwise those keyword searches probably won’t work out so well.

Deals and steals

It’s no secret that brands love Pinterest, and many of them have created their own boards. This year, companies like Macy’s are putting their Black Friday ads on their official Pinterest pages so superfans can get an early look at holiday deals. This isn’t across the board, but if you’re lucky you can get a sneak peek at your favorite retailer’s sales. Or you can just get in the holiday spirit with brand boards—J.Crew’s December style guide board is a favorite for aspirational ski bunny browsing.

Be a stalker

Pinterest is all about finding what other people want or are inspired by, which is perfect for finding out what your friends and family have on their holiday wishlists. Or, hey, you can make your own board with a really subtle title: “I’ve been really good this year. HINT, HINT.” Watch the gifts roll in.

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