Pin for the holiday win: How to prepare for Christmas season virtually

Staff writer Lucy Ruscitto shares tips on how to make your Pinterest account full of Christmas cheer.

By Lucy Ruscitto | Staff Writer

Trees powdered in white fluff, gingerbread cookies baked and decorated to perfection, dainty and twinkly lights, gorgeously wrapped presents — the holiday season aesthetic served on Pinterest is one that could warm the Grinch-iest of hearts, even during a pandemic.

Being a Pinterest-aficionado since my early teenage years, I have learned how to find inspiration for what I want to create, bake, set goals for, try out and more.

No matter what season you’re in, Pinterest has the ability to make the user feel like they are quite literally submerged completely in the holiday itself. A spring pastel color board, summer DIY barbecue snack ideas, an autumn leaves mood board, Christmas gift ideas — Pinterest has it all.

The wonderful (and sometimes wallet-damaging) thing about Pinterest is that it knows exactly what you want to see even when you don’t even know you want to see it (advertisements included.)

This holiday season, due to the lack of in-person family gatherings and annual larger-group traditions, something that remains consistent is one’s ability to perfect their Pinterest feeds and boards.

Personally, I have always found little joys in being able to personalize each board with different titles, cover pages and matching content, an organization-freak’s dream.

For the winter season, this experience is increased to the utmost degree. From topics ranging to gift-giving, DIY presents and decor, Christmas tree ornamentation, arrays of the most Winter Wonderland wallpapers, the possibilities to Christmas-ify your Pinterest space is endless.


To let the application even know that you have tinsel and gingerbread on the brain, you have to first grasp the concept of Pinterest’s algorithm. There are three components to the application: The Pinterest Smart Feed, The Following Feed and Pinterest Searches, but to curate one’s feed to their idea of Christmas-perfection, the Smart Feed reigns supreme.


This screen is the first one that shows up when a user logs into their account. This may be one of the most important screens for a user, because this is the main page that creates and pulls media for the user to see first.

Believe it or not, users actually have a lot of influence in what shows up on their smart feed. Based on recent searches on engines like Google, their recent sought-out material on the application itself, and the boards and accounts the user follows, Pinterest is able to generate targeted advertisements and content that fits the users interests.

SMART FEED HACK — How to Master Your Feed

Wondering what to get your boyfriend or girlfriend for Christmas? Need a Rudolph-inspired treat for your immediate family gathering on Christmas Eve? Bored and need step-by-step instructions for simple knitted stockings?

There’s an easy fix, and it’s almost too simple — just keep repinning, searching and clicking on your favorites that you want to see more of. According to SEMrush, “users can see an almost instant shift in pin focus as they engage with the content, with Pinterest quickly prioritizing the content topic with which a user is currently engaging.”

For example, us students may have a little too much time on our hands at home after finals, and during this time, I want to master the perfect winter outfit for California weather — sweater weather meets sunny and 75°.

Staff writer Lucy Ruscitto shares what her Pinterest home page looked like before whipping the algorithm to her favor.
Staff writer Lucy Ruscitto shares what her Pinterest home page looked like before whipping the algorithm to her favor.

Here was my feed prior to manipulating my smart feed (I was looking into changing up my hairstyle with some curtain bangs.)

After a just three searches, a new board creation titled “California winter fashion,” and a few re-pins, BOOM. My new feed was displaying everything I was wanting to see, outfits perfect for a dry Christmas, double the temperature in Waco, holey jeans and all.

Staff writer Lucy Ruscitto shares what her Pinterest home page looked like before whipping the algorithm to her favor.
Staff writer Lucy Ruscitto shares what her Pinterest home page looked like after whipping the algorithm to her favor.


The holidays are too broad to have one overarching umbrella, so just ONE Pinterest board for all of your festive findings would be disdainful to Santa Claus and all of the North Pole.

To not only keep your categorical Christmas discoveries organized but also to maximize your home feed’s content, create new, individual boards for each classification of the holiday. For example, some of mine are “holiday baking,” “DIY gifts,” “dogs in the snow” and “boho holiday decor.”

Separating each level of content into its own distinct grouping can also help the user in terms or arrangement, and if need be, can easily go back into the solitary boards to find the pin they were looking for or attempting to pull up, versus scrolling back through their entire, singular “Christmas” Pinterest board — which, by the way, could pull literally anything Christmas related, making it much more difficult to identify what you’re searching for.


While mastering Pinterest’s Pixie algorithm may be a too advanced for the average user, utilizing clear and concise searches when looking for Christmas inspiration is essential.

Keyword searching” not only is useful for the user to understand, but additionally advertisers and pin-posters, ensuring sure that those who are searching for their niche content are receiving it.


Unfortunately, this Christmas season will feel and look worlds different than what we’re used to, as we send virtual hugs to our family members and friends cross-country and help our elderly relatives try to understand how to work Zoom.

However, something that is unchanging is Pinterest’s capability to generate festive finds and content that match the missing holiday energy in 2020.

If you’re upset about the lack of holiday cheer this year, I’d recommend you hit up Pinterest over the winter break. I promise you, you won’t get “board.”