Christmas Pledge 2015. (And my very first short story)

 

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If anyone was looking for Julie last Saturday evening, she could be found quietly sitting on the floor in the centre of a 50% off clothing rack at The Gap.   She’d been there, in the dark, surrounded by a carousel of sombre toned housecoats for close to an hour and now she felt one of her sneezes coming on.  A sneeze that she was pretty sure would alarm the ring of holiday shoppers flipping through the fleece wall of her new home.

She’d made her way into the clothing rack easily enough at 7:15 when all The Gap shoppers fled across the aisle to Cinnabon after a girl with pink dreadlocks  announced they were giving out free samples. Slipping down onto the ground and crawling into the pit of housecoats made perfect sense at the time but now she was feeling a bit weird about it. It was Christmas,  she’d been at the mall for hours and she was agitated.  She had just needed a little quiet time before she accidentally pushed someone down an escalator on purpose.  Hiding in a clothing rack seemed the more sane option, reasonable even, but now that she had to emerge, she was wondering about her choice.  Studying the toes of the salt stained winter boots surrounding her, she contemplated whether she’d say yes or no to the Dr. Phil show when they called.

Julie was a quiet, bright woman; valedictorian of her  high school class in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, gainfully employed (most of the time) and one of only twelve volunteers allowed to have an after hours key to the local animal shelter.  Julie  didn’t normally do things like crawl around on the ground at the mall.  As a matter of fact Julie never even went to the mall.  She was opposed to it based on a variety of supposedly environmental reasons but really she just didn’t like how the florescent lighting made her look sickly.

Julie checked her phone.  It was after 8 o’clock and she was still there in the middle of the rack avoiding her life.  She’d been at the mall for 3 hours and she hadn’t been able to scratch even one of the gifts off her list let alone the 12 that were on there, plus she’d run out of everything in her purse she could possible use as a tissue for her ever running nose.  The cold wasn’t so bad, it was the fact that it came in the middle of December when she had all manner of things that had to get done, not the least of which was finishing up the Christmas shopping.  And buying tissue. And maybe a housecoat.

She liked it in the circle of housecoats. Sitting on a filthy rug surrounded by staticky fleece and the murmur of people she hated, was surprisingly cozy. She was just about to crawl out from under the robes holding a pretend contact lens triumphantly in front of her when there was a tap on the metal rod above her.  Looking down on Julie was a tall, lanky, kid who appeared to be right in the middle of his acne producing years.  For some reason that Julie couldn’t figure out, this kid looking down on her was dressed up like a security guard.

“Ma’am?”

“Yes?”

“Ma’am why are you in the housecoats?”

Julie then realized this spaghetti noodle of a kid wasn’t dressed up like a security guard, he was a security guard.  Probably his other part time job as president of the high school World War II club didn’t pay enough.

“I … I just lost my contact lens.  It’s fine. I found it.  See?  It’s here in my hand.  You probably can’t see it but it’s right there.” said Julie, pointing somewhere between her finger and infinity.

“Are you sure ma’am?  We’ve been watching you on the overhead security camera.  Me an’ Bob.  You’ve just been sitting here for over an hour now.  Bob thought maybe you figured this was a bathroom.”

“Wha…. WHAT?  No!   And who uses the bathroom for an hour?  I lost my contact! I just sat down in here to look for it.  And sometimes I lose track of time when I … sit.  Everything’s good now. I found my contact lens, I’ll just get myself out of here now.”

By now there was a crowd of course.  Bored holiday shoppers desperate for anything that might divert their attention away from their lists.

Julie gathered up her knees, parted the robes and emerged from the circle of clothing as dignified as one could with a pretend contact lens in their hand and hair staticky enough to run a toaster if you plugged one into her ear. Brushing herself off she thanked the security guard for his service to the country and tried to make her way out of the store.

“Ma’am?  Ma’am I’m sorry ma’am but I’m going to have to bring you into the security room”.

“For WHAT?  For losing a contact lens?!”  Julie started to walk out the door when “Bob” rounded the corner towards her.  She knew it was Bob because Bob looked exactly like someone who’d suggest a clothing rack might be misinterpreted as a bathroom.  Bob looked like he thought many things were probably a bathroom; walls, fire pits, clothing racks, ice cream cones.

Before she even thought about running, Bob had taken her down with some kind of sleek martial arts move you’d never expect out of a man with  chocolate eclair in his hair.

Over the next 45 minutes, 35 year old Julie, valedictorian of her graduating high school class (of 14), holder of one of only 12 keys to the animal shelter, and  environmental advocate (when she could be bothered) … cried.

The adolescent security guard (who she’d learned was Will) and Bob brought her into the small security room in front of everyone at the mall including her horrible neighbour Mrs. Adamore.  The crying started as they escorted her past the store windows and she caught a glimpse of her reflection, hair standing almost straight up but a little more to the left, a smudge of mascara under her eyes,  pants untucked from her really cute winter boots and 4 ounces of lint stuck to her bum which, for some reason, a random stranger was trying to wipe off of her.

The sight of herself combined with all these stupid windows done up for the holidays in a false display of cheer pushed her over the edge.  There was nothing cheery about the holidays.  Nothing cheery about great big fake snowflakes, kids building snowmen or twinkling lights dancing to that stupid devil-man Bing Crosby.  The holidays were a life sucking pit of horrid which reduced Julie to a heaving, sobbing, dripping mess every December.

Why did this happen to Julie every year? Why wasn’t December the joyous, greeting card experience every made-for-tv movie made it out to be?

Because Julie didn’t take the Christmas Pledge.

 

 

Do it.

89 Comments

  1. barbee says:

    Wow! And I was just thinking about a pre Christmas pledge. So post Halloween.

  2. holly says:

    OMG – I felt like I was settling into a good book written by a great, newly-discovered author. Then, bam, it was over. I know you warned it was a short story, but I wanted it to say “to be continued”. You are a superb story teller and need to write more! On top of the thousands of other things going on simultaneously in your life. Seriously, I think you would be very successful. But then you wouldn’t have time to write your blog, which I would miss dearly : )

    One tip regarding Christmas lights..I got tired of having them fade or fail. Did some online research and learned all about the different grades. I moved up to a better grade of lights and they are still as bright and all working 4 years later. More expensive, but not in the long run.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Holly. I had a lot of fun writing it. I *just* started my Christmas light upgrade last year when all the lights went on sale after the holidays. I’ll have to buy more at the beginning of this season but at least I got half of them or so on sale. ~ karen!

      • holly says:

        You’re welcome!

        Yup, that’s what I did, too. At first, when I got them and couldn’t wait to plug them in to see what they looked like, I was afraid they would be TOO bright, but they look great. I did the same thing with my tree and actually found a place reading through the remarks on some site. It has new technology where if bulb breaks, falls out, whatever, the rest stay lit. (For people who don’t put up real trees.) It is not the one that is heavily advertised this time of year. I didn’t mention where I bought it, as I am not sure if I can recommend a retailer on your site. It was a little pricey, but well worth it. All the lights I have are LED now, and not those weird pastel or jewel tones. True green, true red.

    • Denise Leavens says:

      Holly! Inquiring minds are agog at the prospect of upgrading of Christmas lights. Please share your research and tell how we, too, can get true red, true green LED lights that last longer, even if a little pricier. THANK YOU, dear girl!

      • holly says:

        Hi, Denise! Here is a link with good info: http://www.christmasdesigners.com/category/christmas-lights-posts/

        It’s where I ended up purchasing mine. I just googled christmas lights grades, quality, etc. and found lots of info when researching.

        I ended up getting…

        [P-M5NL-100-R] LED Net Lights – M5 – Red
        [P-M5NL-100-G] LED Net Lights – M5 – Green
        [P-WAC-704-G] Pro Grade 5 mm Wide Angle Conical Green – 70 light
        [P-WAC-704-Y] Pro Grade 5 mm Wide Angle Conical Yellow – 70 light
        [R-C9-508-WW] C9 – Retail Series – Warm White- LED – 50 Light Set – 8″ Spacing
        (I got the retail series for the Warm Whites to use in a garland and they are still fine.)

        …and am very happy with them. I bought in March, some were on sale, and some weren’t.

        I checked the SKU on the net lights on their site and it has changed – just go to LED Net Lights. SKU’s are still the same for the 70-light strands. I listed them so you could get an idea of what I got, but I’m sure all their product colors are true.

        I haven’t researched lately, but keep hoping they can duplicate the old C7 and C9 bulbs in LED with true colors. I don’t want purple or aqua or pink lights on my roof.

        Merry Christmas!

      • holly says:

        Hi, Denise! I sent a reply and refreshed to make sure it posted, but I don’t see it?? so if you get 2, you’ll know why.

        First, I just googled “christmas lights grades, quality, etc. and found a few sites with a lot of info.

        Here’s are links to the one I ended up buying from:

        http://www.christmasdesigners.com/what-is-the-best-led-christmas-light-set-design-to-use-for-my-christmas-lighting-project/

        http://www.christmasdesigners.com/blog/

        http://www.christmasdesigners.com/pro-grade-led-christmas-lights-versus-retail-grade/

        I bought LED net lights and 70-light strands and am happy with all!

        I hope the snowfall tubes all the commercial designers use in trees drop in price some day. They are so cool, especially if you live where it doesn’t snow, as I do.

        Merry Christmas!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hi Holly, are you referring to LED lights or incandescent? I didn’t think LED’s would fail for like thousands of hours!

  3. Paula says:

    I would like to reiterate the comments about you writing a book…you should write a book and then ‘they’ will want to make a movie and bam – you’ll be wealthy and a blogger!

  4. Meg says:

    I solemnly pledge to have Christmas tasks done by the first week in December, so I may actually enjoy December leading up to Christmas.

    SO EXCITING! I just bought a couple presents and was waiting for this post!!

    We’ll see if I can do it – my list will be harder this year because for the first time -in a decade plus as a freelancer- I have a full-time job. (Apparently people do this.) So now I’m definitely going to have to spend some time figuring out who I even get things for or how I can possibly make enough cards / presents / treats / adorable cookies for 80 people…

    • Lisa says:

      Ugh – after 20 years of freelancing, I start a “real” job on November 23rd. I’m not sure what’s going to happen to my Christmas plans, but some of the weekly menus are on my to-do list.

      But those Christmas cookies – most traditional dough recipes (like your basic chocolate chip cookie) and shortbreads can stay in the fridge and you can bake them daily. I did a sheet while my coffee was brewing this morning, and it was done when I got out of the shower. It’s not very efficient with respect to having to heat up the oven all the time, but it is a time saver.

      Also, set an alarm on your cell phone so you don’t forget about them! (Pro tip there….)

  5. mia pratt says:

    I love your story, I can relate to your story. You should write a whole book about Julie. In fact, I think I’m destined to be Julie. Sigh. I know how it works; I’ll convince myself that I’m going to create a calendar, and maybe even make it. Then I’ll do the first day, and then part of the second day, and by the third day I’ll realize I can do both the third and fourth days tomorrow…and then tomorrow I’ll convince myself that I can do three days in one day and there you have it. I’ll fall behind at that point and then think oh well, I can skip this part and instead of physical cards why not send e-cards? And then I won’t have the email addresses and the sun will come out here in Portland and everything will fade into the mist and…we…just call me Julie.

  6. Catherine says:

    I enjoyed the sorry tale of Julie too. Haven’t we all been Julie at some point? Now, to serious things. Last year you drew my attention to the gift which made a small boy ecstatically happy and nearly got him a detention when he took it to school. The yodelling bacon. I could only get a yodelling pickle here in the UK, but the effect was the same. I am desperately hoping your sources have led you to something for this year which will be even better and win me the gifting kudos I now crave so desperately……..????? Cringe, fawn, prostrates self in anticipation etc.

  7. Marna says:

    Cute! Well I guess the story really isn’t, but I was so into it. Yes you should write a book! I buy my paper, cards, and decorating stuff at the end of the season, then over the year I buy gifts, so normally by this time I am done. I made myself do that many years ago, having 3 sons and working full time I had to be somewhat organized. I try to remember things people have said about things they like and buy gifts as I see them, that goes for birthday gifts etc. My grown sons now prefer cash, but I still give them and my daughter in laws gifts too.

  8. Tasha says:

    The Christmas Pledge! We love the Christmas pledge. I say the same thing every year (this is the post I really ever comment on), but it saves Christmas for us, especially my husband. Love it. This way, by December, it is all organized and ready, and there is no stress.

    So, here’s to getting ready. I’m off to email my sister-in-law as she mentioned she had a gift idea for my niece.

  9. Julia (mumo3kids) says:

    Abso-flipping-lutely-brilliant. Another instalment please, I need to know what happens in that security room…
    I feel almost able to complete the pledge for November this year – especially the Internet browsing bit!
    Julia

  10. Maura says:

    Brilliant!

  11. Böbe says:

    I wish the pledge was available as a Google Calendar. It would be so nice if I could just subscribe / import it. Btw I love this. I’ve been doing something similar in the past few years and and it helped a lot. We celebrate Christmas a bit differently around here but the holiday season still involves tons of food prepping and finding the perfect gift, fitting all holiday parties in… I actually looking forward to all of it 🙂 Have a great season!

  12. Jenny W says:

    Thank you 🙂

  13. whitequeen96 says:

    Yup, you are a GREAT writer! Of course, we already knew that, but I never thought of you doing an actual book. But I’d definitely buy it if you wrote one!
    I really want to know more about Julie!

  14. Linda says:

    Oh Karen. I am sooooo far ahead of you already. I’m just about to buy my SECOND carton of egg nog and the brandy to go with it.

  15. Judi. McLeod says:

    More story, I loved it!
    One edit only needed, where Bob had taking, guess you couldn’t decide on had taken or was taking her down. Guess the action was so fast you couldn’t decide on present or past. Surely it can’t be your first short story ever, so good.
    Loved the lint picking person, makes Julie sitting among the housecoats seem not so strange in that mall.

  16. Dagmar says:

    Ever since my other half bought me an iPad I don’t think I shop at stores anymore. Online is so much easier. And the bonus is I can read Karen’s stuff when I can’t sleep at 5:55 am when the cat comes jumping all over me because the wind outside scares her so badly, she thinks we are all in Kansas. (We’ve had a bout of rain and heavy winds + blackouts as a result of these in the Toronto area recently) I’m glad my iPad is charged.

  17. Zoe says:

    Love the story !!! It did fill me with a somewhat familiar feeling. I almost made the pledge last year. This year in advance of the pledge I already ordered my Christmas cards and stamps and they are in my desk ! I do wish there were Christmas markets on Boston open in November vs Dec.
    otherwise onwards and upwards !!!
    Thank you as always !

  18. Colette Scorey says:

    Hi ! I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to The CHRISTMAS pledge last year. I was due to go for surgery the week before and so I could see that getting everything done by 01 December old mean that I would be calm ,rested and relaxed going into hospital on 18 December .
    It workd !!!
    By the 30 November EVERYTHING was done ! HOORAH !
    I was rested, carefree……….and then I developed boncitis …..and my op was cancelled !
    Disappointed, yes. Organised ? YES ?
    That was 2014
    This. year, 2015, I have nothing planned for Decmber other than laughing and feeling sorry for all those poor souls still shopping.

    Happily, and confidently, I take The Pledge again this year . If you haven’t already done so……..DONT HESITATE !
    Merry Christmas everyone !
    Colette xoxo

  19. Donna says:

    Might I suggest hitting all the local stores in your town to find those great gifts!

    • Karen says:

      True. That’s what Friday the 13th on the calendar is. Shop for presents you aren’t ordering online. I also do a post on “Shop local” day every year, which is November 28th this year. ~ karen!

  20. Susan Claire says:

    I have three Christmas cards to buy and mail. Done.

  21. Heather says:

    Love the story! You are so darn talented.
    Is it really Christmas Pledge time already? I need an extra 3 months.

  22. Carol Hogan says:

    Where is the REAL Christmas pledge? I had the most relaxed Christmas last year by following your schedule. I’ve already begun perusing Easy, Amazon, etc.

  23. marilyn says:

    i love the part about someone trying to wipe the lint off of her ass…lmao that would be me!

  24. Leah C says:

    I love the Christmas Pledge, but rarely do it in full, because many of my gifts are perishable homemade food items. This year, however, our first baby is due on Thanksgiving, so I started my Christmas shopping/making list in August, and I will hopefully be done by the end of November. No one gets homemade chocolate truffles this year, but they do get to hold my baby. They probably won’t think this is an acceptable alternative.

    • Karen says:

      You’ll be fine as long as they don’t try to eat your baby. Congratulations Leah C and good luck with getting everything ready! ~ karen!

    • ET says:

      Leah,

      I would rather hold your baby anytime over having a cookie – even a homemade one! And that’s saying a lot for me. Have a wonderful Christmas with your new bundle of joy.

  25. Rachel says:

    Wonderful Karen! Once again I am another pathetic soul of a character in another short story, but this time brilliantly written by you and I’m an English teacher so I know a thing or two about writing. Julie could be me but I don’t hide in store racks. I have open panic attacks in front of mall fountains trying not to hurl on decorative elves and screaming toddlers in strollers. A little like Penelope Ann Miller’s Brenda in “Adventures in Babysitting” runaway scene at the bus station frantically calling for help in a phone booth that was a homeless man’s house. I always end up calling my husband for help and between the breathless meaningless words, “must… get… out… death… kids… air… credit card balance? Help…me”. And hearing the music in the background on the phone from wherever he was having a “drink” while waiting for me never helps, “and you better bring whatever it is you have in your hand right now or else!” I take my Christmas pledge in January when everyone else are making healthy New Year’s resolutions. I light candles in church begging God’s forgiveness for letting it slide again this year. I wipe away the tears and resolve for after Easter and vow to not give in to my husband with the usual Sheldon Cooper response, “I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested!” This year I vow: I shall part those festering Mall shoppers like Moses and the Red Sea with the sound of Angels and hair blowing in slow motion behind me and my phone poised for a selfie…and have a Cinnabon instead, hands free! Happy Christmas Pledge season Karen!

  26. Audrey Ogilvie says:

    Karen, you are definitely a writer! Like others, I really wanted this tale of familiar woe to continue. Maybe you’ll have a whole new career! I hope so. I’m a writer/editor and feel I have some insight into other peoples abilities. You’ve got it! I hope it’s okay that I mention my novel, Small Vegetables (Amazon). I think you’d like it. If you continue to write, aside from here, you’ll learn that you have to hustle at every opportunity.

  27. SusanR says:

    I’m in again. We have 3 local shops that aren’t chain stores. One is a dressy dress shop, another is a kitchen store, and the third is closed, now, come to think of it. I’ll probably get something from the kitchen store for my 60-something husband, because he’s gotten pretty far into growing his own herbs and tomatoes/lettuce in the Aero-garden I got him for his birthday. I’m sure there’s something herb-related in a kitchen store, for harvesting the crops and preserving them. Yes, we tried growing those things in a garden. No, the soil is so awful and the heat so unbearable during growing season that it didn’t work. We even tried for several years to amend the soil by each spring tilling under the fallen leaves from the previous fall, but all that got us was the humongous underground mushroom from hell that still haunts my dreams. I don’t even go into the fenced garden anymore unless I absolutely have to. Anyway, I’m in. Just have to set up the label printer for doing the labels for cards. That was a GREAT story, Karen. Let’s have more of it as the season progresses!

  28. jainegayer says:

    I’m just dying to know what happens to Julie next. Please, oh please Karen, another “Julie” chapter.

    ps- I can’t even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. If you would write that book that we all want you to write, then I could just order copies of that and give them for Christmas presents.

  29. Jenifer says:

    I hope Julie sues!! I mean really, when did it become a crime to take a moment? She wasn’t hurting anyone or preventing anyone from shopping. JEESH! What has this world come to?? I feel OUTRAGED on her behalf….and surprisingly inspired to do the Christmas pledge…all.the.way!

    Wish me luck!

  30. magali says:

    I’m going to do it! Even though I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, this is the first time I am committing to the Christmas Pledge!
    My husband and I are driving from Halifax to Montreal on Dec 23rd, which means this year I really can’t be running to the store last minute to buy gifts. Plus, since we are not flying this year, we don’t have the excuse that there was no space in our luggage for gifts, so we actually need to get good gifts. And even though I won’t be in my home for actual Christmas, I’m hosting my work holiday party so I want the house to look perfect. Enter Christmas Pledge!
    I’m so excited for this that I just overshared in this comment!
    ps. It makes me happy you picked a town in NS for your story, hahaha!

  31. Mary W says:

    The mark of pure genius is being able to tell a story (really interesting) and then have the point or climax not be revealed until the VERY LAST WORD. Genius! I already knew it but you have proved it. Well done Einstein!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mary W. What’s funny is I finished a book last night (Girl with a Pearl Earring) and was so happy that the story climaxed and concluded at the very end of the book. 80% of the time I’m disappointed by how authors end their stories. Not this one. ~ karen!

  32. Maryanne says:

    Great story 🙂 Christmas lights upgrade? There are different grades? – maybe you could illuminate this for the rest of us in a post – (sorry about the pun 😉

  33. Liz says:

    Oh my gosh, Karen!! I can’t wait for your book, or your next book: A Collection of Short Stories 🙂 So good. My brother and I definitely used to hide/play inside clothing racks at Costco; very cozy. The most fun though was playing and jumping in the stacks of tires when they used to keep tires in the main store area. We’d slip right down in a pile of 8 like Michelin men…own private tire park. Thinking now, how did our mom let us do that? Why weren’t we escorted out by security? Lol

  34. Tigersmom says:

    Loved the story. Will definitely shell out for your book.

    Love the Christmas pledge.

  35. Jeanie burch says:

    I printed off the Calendar and I’m going to do it. I’m taking the pledge. Probably. Maybe. For sure. Yes.

  36. Yvonne, the other one. says:

    Okay, Karen, that was an excellent story and I’m another one of your readers who would love for this to continue. I’m going to attempt the Christmas Pledge this year, though I don’t hold out much hope of succeeding, as I’m
    the world’s Best and Finest Procrastinator. Whatever happens, I’ll enjoy thinking about it.

  37. Val says:

    I love your story Karen. You’re a very entertaining writer! Ever since I read your initial Christnas Pledge post I’ve been waiting for the calendar. Count me in!

  38. Karin says:

    I like how you have “address Christmas cards” on “BLACK FRIDAY”. I really wish everyone would do just that, so maybe one of these years my retail-working daughters could actually come home for Thanksgiving. Why isn’t the day after Thanksgiving a national holiday too? Could be National Family day or something. Anyone out there shopping on the day after Thanksgiving – I’d like you to remember you are keeping that salesperson who is so kindly helping you from going home and having turkey with her loving momma. K?

  39. Janice Mortimer says:

    Needs more pictures lol

  40. Alanna says:

    Amazing! You need to write a whole book about this Julie character.

    • Karen says:

      Well thanks Alanna, lol. She’s a piece of work that Julie. You wouldn’t believe the stupid things she does. ~ karen!

  41. I tried to stick to your Christmas pledge last year and wound up eating the cookie dough after making it. I never got around to freezing it. The whole rest of the pledge was a wash after that.

    This year I have a very real deadline (i.e. a baby is coming early December). I don’t recommend birthing a child as motivation to complete the Christmas pledge, but it works for me.

  42. Cussot says:

    Oh God, I relate so hard I feel devastated already. But I don’t think I can live under the Sears housecoats rack until after Christmas, so I guess I’d better pull it together and take the pledge.

  43. Kris says:

    Please give us a little more info on this ‘new’ type of Christmas lights and where to buy them. I actually for the first time in 30 years decided NO lights this Christmas, the last couple of years have been such an expensive aggrevation! Now you’ve got me thinking …..maybe one more try

  44. Safetydog says:

    I have been waiting for the Christmas Pledge post for weeks! It worked so well last year, that I am ahead of the game this year! I already have some Christmas and December birthday gifts in hand, others have been ordered. I will spend the next several weeks recovering from surgery, and have projects planned for every level of pain medication (addressing Christmas cards, sleeping, crafting gifts, sorting/finding recipes, eating vast quantities of mashed potatoes, etc.) I’ve got this!

  45. Safetydog says:

    P.S. The short story is great!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Thanks! I should mention that I COMPLETELY forgot about one gift I bought in advance while I was in Memphis until I read your comment. I’m pretty damn excited about it now!~ karen!

  46. Cathy says:

    Last year, I think you took a photo of a little toy truck with a tree in the bed. I thought it would make a great Christmas card. Can I use your photo for my cards this year?

  47. caryl hodgdon says:

    Wow I think I really need this calendar-I got all the way down to the turkey before I realized it was for Nov. and not Dec.!! I wondered what your secret was for such speedy delivery on the internet.

  48. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Love the story of Julie…I’ve already bought egg nog..I am anxiously awaiting your gift wrapping this year…

  49. Lesley says:

    Great story, and great Christmas Pledge; now if I could just make it happen. This year, my parents have decided to take off for Florida earlier than usual, so they won’t be around in December, and we won’t have the usual Christmas Day still-frozen-turkey-stick-it-in-the-sink dilemma. Instead, we will have our Christmas on American Thanksgiving, which means I needed to take the pledge sometime last month. Thankfully, I won’t be the only Hamiltonian with a decorated Christmas tree sometime in the next couple of weeks, as I’ve already seen one or two through people’s windows. Now I just need to make sure I don’t have Christmas-on-American-Thanksgiving-still-frozen-turkey-stick-it-in-the-sink dilemma.

  50. Donna says:

    Rats! I thought the calendar was for December. I’m already 4 days behind. Meh!

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  52. Jay says:

    Strangely ahead of the curve – I started my first job working outside the home in 16 years this week so I panicked that I wouldn’t have time do do my usual Christmas stuff. So I’ve bought about a third of the presents, made 6 jars of mincemeat for the mince pies, had the wrapping things in for ages, and addressed the last of the Christmas cards today whilst waiting for the Christmas cake to bake.
    Really stuck on a few presents. I usually knit/sew/crochet more than I’ll have time for this year now I’m working full time so I’m not feeling cocky yet, but it’s nice to have started.

    My goal each year is to have everything finished by the 10th of December so I may relax and enjoy the kids’ school concerts and parties.

  53. Laura Bee says:

    Great story – I stay as far away from malls as I can year – round! And I try to avoid Christmas until after my daughter’s b-day on the 19th. But we did go visit Santa today and I have almost all of her 12 Days of Christmas Books bought. She loved a new book every evening before bed last year.
    Maybe this will be the year I start sending Christmas cards again. I need to get my shit together. Thanks so much.

  54. I’ve been doing my best to follow along with the Pledge and today it occurred to me that I have some friends that have birthdays in December. Perhaps including a day to check December for birthdays and add in a shopping day for those would be an idea? It was the merest chance I thought to lift the page to look at December, or I would have been relaxing into my booziest glass of eggnog without a care in the world because look! I took the Pledge! and then madly braving the non-Pledged chaos trying to find a last-minute birthday gift! 😉

  55. Thera says:

    Love the story, love the Pledge and I love seeing what everyone is doing, sadly I cannot usually do the Pledge due to financial constraints, but I hope everyone else does and has a great December!

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