Pinterest is a great place to get ideas for the holidays. Need a last minute centerpiece? Use some Pinterest magic: turn a few wine glasses upside down, put Christmas tree bulbs under the goblets and tie bows around the stems. Need a last minute dessert? Grab a mug cake recipe off Pinterest and whip up some fluffy, chocolatey single serving brownies. There seems to be no holiday problem that Pinterest can’t solve… except, of course, the Pinterest Problem.
The Pinterest Problem lurks in the snow-dipped evergreen and holly draped perfection of every holiday Pinterest picture. It sneaks up behind the exquisite magazine cover ideal of the holiday. It smacks right into the reality of an aluminum pie pan of store bought cookies, a stack of wonkily wrapped gifts and the soggy green bean casserole whose recipe came from the back of the Durkee onion can. In other words, the holiday as we actually celebrate it, not as we wish we could.
The Pinterest Problem results when we compare our decorations, cooking and gifts to those produced by the Martha Stewarts of the world. This is not to criticize either Pinterest or Martha Stewart. There is always a place for art and beauty in the world. The problems arise when we fail to draw a line between the ideal we want, and the reality we can get. For artists, reaching visual or culinary perfection is their job. They work on it every day of the year, moving gradually closer and closer to a level of mastery that mere mortals cannot hope to achieve, particularly amid the chaos that all too often accompanies our holidays in the real world.
So if Pinterest relaxes and inspires you, sit back and enjoy pinning ideas and ideals to your boards. Just remember, the key to enjoying window shopping is to recognize that you’re there to browse, not to buy.