Holiday ShoppingMy biggest challenge during the holidays is not what I am going to buy for others, it’s what they are going to buy for me. You may think I am selfish, but in truth my tastes are simple but specific. I like what I like and I can be hard to buy stuff for. That leaves me with a critical task – figuring out what I want, documenting it and sharing it with my family who have various levels of technical acumen. Here is what I have done in the past. I look around on my favorite sites like Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Patagonia and Land’s End and find stuff that I think I would like. I then cut and past the URLs for the products I like into a Word document. I also have to write out the product name, size, color and any other information that will help describe exactly what I want. Remember, I am picky, I don’t want to leave anything to chance. Then I cut and past the list into an email and send it out to my wife, in-laws, and parents who might be trying to buy me a gift. As for who gets me what, I let them sort it out.

This year, I used Pinterest to make a wish list that I could share. Here is what I found. First of all, Banana Republic does not have a pin button. Bummer. I guess there is a way to upload an image on Pinterest, but I could not figure out how to make it work. So, I guess I won’t be pinning any gift ideas from there. Nordstrom, not surprisingly has a pin button and I was able to easily pin some shirts that I like. Patagonia has the pin button too. If only the jacket I wanted was available in my size. I pinned it anyway. And, because I can edit the description I can put the size and color with the item.

Interestingly, this could raise some privacy concerns. Why would I want anyone to see my gift list? In the end I decided that I didn’t care. If everyone in the world wants to buy me a gift, then great. If someone can figure out how to use this information to personalize and sell me stuff that I like or target me with relevant ads, then great. Otherwise, this is just a really easy way for me to share what I want with family.

To track my progress as I pin my way to gift getting nirvana this holiday season, check out my page http://pinterest.com/dkdarnell/gifts-for-dan/

Read our other Holiday Shopping tales.