Every once in a while we bloggers feels compelled to blog about something we know is going to be polarizing among our readers.  A topic that maybe skirts the edge of what we normally talk about, or touches on religion or politics or something really controversial like making bread out of 100% bleached, white flour.

With that subtle warning, I bring you … The Christmas Pledge.  The second most contentious topic on The Art of Doing Stuff, right behind over or under.

For those of you who haven’t been here on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd of November before, let me explain what’s about to happen to you.  In the next few paragraphs you’re going to have one of two reactions.  Utter joy, bliss, excitement, and motivation followed by an unparalleled desire to break out into dance.  Or, you’re going to never come back to the blog again, but not before you leave a comment about how much you hate me, this idea and and me.

You see today is the day I encourage you to start getting ready for Christmas.



Here I am!  Way down here, hiding from those of you throwing your Halloween pumpkins at the computer screen.  Have you calmed down enough that I can explain this to you a bit?  The Christmas Pledge started on The Art of Doing Stuff in 2011.  It is a pledge I take, and encourage you to take, to get everything done you need to get done for Christmas by the end of this month.

Calm the hell down.  Yes, I do know how far away Christmas is.  But I also know about human nature, and human nature dictates that you’ll think Christmas is “far away” until 1 hour before the malls close on Christmas Eve.

You’ll continue to put things off until you’re sitting in a puddle of anxiety wondering if it’d be O.K. to give your 4 year old niece a used hairdryer and half a bottle of Tums for Christmas.

Because of this, every year I offer you the non legally binding option of taking The Christmas Pledge with me.  A pledge to get this shit done.  I provide you with a calendar filled in with a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish on any given day, and you provide me with the joy of hearing how great it worked for you last year.  Or, sometimes you provide me with the joy of laughing with your new and inventive use of the words mother, hole, bag, for brains and sucker in the comment section.

But mainly you like it.

I give you, The Christmas Pledge calendar for 2016.


If you click on the calendar it’ll come up on your screen as a much larger, easier to read version.  Also it will be printable then.

Now … here we go.

I, Karen, being of sound mind and belly full of leftover, cold, macaroni & cheese that I ate while standing with the fridge open, do solemnly swear to at least try get this done.

Now you say it.  But not with my name cause then it won’t count.  Don’t use Dr. Dre’s name either. That won’t count either.  You have to use your own name, out loud.

Good.  Done?  Now sign below in the comment box.

And yes. As it turns out, you’re already a day behind so start making that list.

NEW this year is the addition of a support group. The Christmas Pledge Facebook Group. (This is not a public group so don’t forget to ask to join when you get to the Facebook page!)

It’s where you can share and find all kinds of Christmas decorating photos, gift wrapping ideas, cookie recipes, and your very own space to show off, plot, complain and cry. The real purpose of it is to make you accountable. It works.  Trust me.  I’ll personally email you the odd reminder about getting things done and check in throughout the month to make sure my ass kicking is working.  In the holiday spirit and all. All for free.

Or you can just stick with the calendar and tough it out on your own.

Good luck and get moving.



  1. Michelle Vaughan says:

    I am thrilled to take this pledge! Cheers to a stress free and fun December!

  2. Tasha says:

    I am in the “love it” column. The Christmas pledge helped my husband learn to like Christmas, if not love it. We do a modified version, as we don’t do cards (just a few electronic advent calendars), minimal outdoor decorations, and we have a rolling indoor schedule: Christmas books come out on December 1, decorations go up after December 8, and the tree doesn’t go up until the week before Christmas. Cookies are baked as my husband wants as he likes to do it. So, apparently it is just the gifts that we need to get done. And we do get it done, so I too pledge (in my own wonky way) to get Christmas DONE in time to enjoy Christmas.

  3. Mike says:

    Just glancing at this calendar made me feel anxious, inadequate and, surprisingly pissed off that anyone would commit themselves to actually completing all of the tasks.

    Then, I put all of it in perspective. And decided the most responsible thing I could do was go into over-achiever mode and accomplish November 14’ths task. Mixed with a nice Single-Malt Scotch.

  4. maggie aikens says:

    Ok I’m in. I didn’t see the square where we order the cases of wine we must test taste before xmas! Did you accidently forget it?

    Confused in Montreal

    • Karen says:

      I have ONE wine that I like Maggie. One. It’s a vintage and I particularly liked the 2016 year’s offering. I put off buying it and put off buying it until I finally went to buy 3 bottles for Christmas last week. They’re sold out. Everywhere. 🙁 Do YOU have my wine??? ~ karen!

    • Tina says:

      I’m with you! The entire reason for MY season is the mulled spiced wine, champagne (with a few fresh berries…or even frozen berries) or a nice, heavy red.

  5. Jani says:

    I am in too!!

  6. Ruby says:

    Aaaiiiiii! i love this calendar! maybe bc I made one almost exactly the same!!! i am going to ask yours to marry mine and spawn the most perfect christmas calendar in the history of christmas calendars, let heaven and nature sing…..! and Maggie, we are supposed to order TWO cases of wine…one for november, one for december, it is just common sense…

    • maggie aikens says:

      Dang, I knew I’d forgotten something! Common sense….I misplaced it….may be with the winter tires?? Speaking of which…..

  7. Danielle White says:

    Every year I see you post this challenge, and I’ve yet to actually do it! This is THE year! Thanks Karen!

  8. Cindy Varner says:

    I’m in the “opt out” group. Never been a fan of the majority of the holidays doing the minimal for the kids/grandkids.
    I’ll see you in January.

  9. Marilyn says:

    Calm the hell down…hahahahahahahaha laughed out loud.

  10. charlotte tataryn says:

    Hi Karen; you are 100% right, but we have to do it all in stages, most of which has to be about DENIAL it has anything to do with “Christmas”, until it does.
    My “starry lights” (the ones that worked/ went into my brand new room this evening, the purchase having been shared with a friend to capitalize on free shipping, BUT they are just that; starry, starry lights. They are tucked along an 10′ sill, amongst plants and candles and will be just indoor stars until mid-December when other “stuff” (and very little, I might add) is put out to say IT’S CHRISTMAS until it isn’t anymore.
    We are so short on light, so short on bright, and these little darlings are just that; darling little, not-quite-so-bright, stars in a week when we’ve not seen the sun.
    Meanwhile, have at ‘er; you’re inspiring, even when I don’t agree.

    • Tina says:

      I’m with you! The entire reason for MY season is the mulled spiced wine, champagne (with a few fresh berries…or even frozen berries) or a nice, heavy red.

  11. Melissa says:

    Ok, I will really, really try this…next year.
    No, seriously, I’m in. But only partially…I’m building a new house that will be done sometime in December, so I don’t have anything to decorate in November! But I promise to do all of the rest!! I will, I will, I WILL!!!

  12. L says:

    I do hate you right now, but I’ll get over it. Okay, I’ll give it a try…

  13. Glenda says:

    Ugh. I had already been gloating for a day recently when I picked two pounds of wild rose hips to dry for homemade tea sachets for holiday gifts. “Look at me! I’m going to have half my gifts ready in October!” Then I made a bad decision at 3:00am (surprise!) when I checked on them drying in the oven. They looked like I could leave them for four hours, rather than the two I had planned on when I wasn’t sleep-walking. I went to bed and woke to two big trays of rock hard black rose hips. Soooo sad.

    So, it’s back to the drawing board. Count me in. I need the kick for renewed enthusiasm. Thanks Karen!

    • Glenda Mountain Rose Herbs has lovely rose hips for a fair price, if you still want to go that route 🙂

    • Ruth hirsch says:

      Glenda: bumbumbummmmmmmerrrrr……..

      maybe simply write a note explaining with a cartoon and give that. Hey, next year everyone could follow your lead and give ‘Good Intentions’

      me, I may write a whole Comment.
      this makes sense. starting now seems good
      Off the hook:
      we do not do xmas.
      It is a thing since it is the dominant culture.
      but not ours.
      and while I like the light, which I of course do, we basically pass on decorating, etc……..

  14. Jennie Lee says:

    I advise readers to decide: do you want a real Christmasy Christmas? If so, do what Karen said. If not, have a not-really-much-of-a-Christmas like me. ‘S up to you.

  15. JulieD says:

    I’m in! This is the first year I’ve committed to it. I had to substitute “a belly full of leftover halloween snickers” in my pledge though.

  16. Nancy Blue Moon says:


  17. I’m full in and ready to rock ‘n roll, but will juggle a few days an put up my outside lights (but will NOT light them) when Indian Summer strikes…which may be at the end of this week.

  18. Cindy G says:

    Okay, I’ll give it a go! I’m heading south for Christmas, but have an annual party to attend before I do. Plus co-workers to think about. It would be nice to less stressed come December!

  19. kiera says:

    Yup. I’m in.

  20. billie scara says:

    ok i’m ahead of you i have nearly everything bought that am giving(whew) just the few men and teen boys 4 actually 2 of each easy already picked just have to order and figure out how to wrap they go under the little tree in the dinig room. being diabled more than slightly putting up decorations will take me much longer than most as will xmas cars due ti heavy meds lol,but my plan is very close to yours otherwise , sort of but its a plan , love and blessings and happy christmas.

    • Karen says:

      As long as it’s a plan you’ll be fine. And if things get stressful and upsetting the heavy meds might just help. 🙂 ~ karen!

  21. chamekke says:

    This is great! I’m in too! *high-fives everyone*

    Am I missing something re: the Christmas Pledge Facebook Group, though? The ‘link’ doesn’t actually seem to go anywhere. Hmm…

    • Karen says:

      It does Chamekke. Or it should. A pop up should come up where you enter your email address so I can send you reminders and then it takes you immediately to the Facebook group. Not working for you for some reason? Try opening my page in a different browser maybe. I know it works with Safari. ~ karen!

  22. Paula says:

    Looks great in theory…I just have to finish planting my conifers, raking the leaves, take down the tomato supports, etc. I know…I am slightly behind.

  23. Wendi Miller says:

    UGH, just thinking about doing this makes me nauseous, but…….I’m gonna give it a try this year!

  24. MaggieB says:

    Hi Karen

    Already signed up, but the PDF has obviously completely freaked out, unless of course its just me and it’s projecting my freaking outyness. I clicked on the calendar above and I got a monochromatic block dance.

  25. Catherine says:

    I’ll give it a try, though, it’s hard to get the Christmas spirit working when it’s still sunny and in the mid-80’s. I’m not sure the husband can be cajoled into the attic yet either.

  26. Jenny W says:

    Ok, I’m in with both feet!
    I already ordered my first gift from Amazon last night 🙂 Yesterday I got the Christmas outdoor decor organized in the garage after I put away Fall/Halloween, and I believe I already know how I’m going to decorate the inside this year.
    BUT, I still have to paint and redecorate my son’s room so it will be ready for him when he comes home for Christmas from the Army. I was not going to host my huge extended family Christmas Dinner this year, but he is so excited to see everyone, that I already put the word out. Did I mention that I decorate about 12 homes for the Holidays along with my own?
    I Love Christmas – Maybe I will actually Enjoy it this year. Can it be done Karen? Really?
    Can it really be done, Karen? Really?

  27. Maureen Locke says:

    Oh dear… I hummed and hawed and tried to figure a way of justifying not doing this but it just makes sense. Come Dec I’ll be working six days a week, so I’ll be so thankful that I took this pledge. On that note…. I’m in. Wish me luck. I’m not the most organized person on the face of the earth. :p

  28. Catt in Kentucky says:

    Love this post. For the last few days we have been cleaning up the garden for it’s winter nap, polishing silver, sorting Christmas lights for the porch and marking cookie recipes for gift giving. The windows and French doors have been washed. Declutteted. The rustic pots, soil and paperwhite bulbs are lined up on the screened-in porch ready for planting in cycles…I will start a few today.

    The boxes of antique bulbs and glass garlands will be brought down from the attic today. We started listening to Christmas music yesterday. I finally found a table top tree that looks substantial and real and it is on a large round table ready to be adorned. Freshly cut trees have been our habit but they just don’t last long enough.

    Lots to do but we plan to be finished inside and out by the middle of the month. We are retired, busy with volunteer work but will spend several full days on decorating. We are having lots of fun getting ready for Christmas!

  29. Phyllis Phipps says:

    Took the pledge. Looking forward to the 14th. That will be the “adult” version of eggnog here!!

  30. Sandra Lea says:

    I’m in for the pledge. The line for clicking on the calendar to make it larger and easier to read would have been helpful if it came BEFORE the calendar. Didn’t see it until I was done squinting to read every square of it.

  31. Carrie Miller says:

    Are you sure you aren’t possessed by my late mother? She always made a grid of names and potential gifts every year around this time, and started gradually buying them. Part of her reason was budgeting, I think, but she was also a very organized woman.
    My personal calendar will be a bit different because we travel from PA to Florida every year, but it starts now!
    And I ordered the first gift on my list last week and it arrived on Sunday – does that put me a little ahead of schedule?

  32. Kathryn says:

    I am happy that I decided a few years ago not to do gifts anymore (no kids). I did have 18 people over for dinner last Christmas eve, but other than renting chairs and cooking more food it wasn’t a big deal. They filled up the space and made it cheerful. This year I’m moving to a much smaller house December 1st, so we have to find some other place to make a big meal and be happy to see each other.

  33. Melissa says:

    I, Melissa…. I’m with ya!! As soon as we blew out the pumpkins Monday night I pulled out my new outdoor Christmas light I bought that day to test it out! Too early?

  34. You’re so much fun! Thanks!

  35. Lisa says:

    Great idea. I always say I am going to get things done earlier.
    I never do. I try.
    I was going to check my Christmas lights out last month. Nope. Still in the shed.
    My dad has always called me Last Minute Lisa. Maybe this year I will surprise him.
    Thanks for the boost!

  36. I’m in! And this gives me incentive… I’m in a temporary rental while we renovate our “forever” home and this will make my temp home feel like “home”… And I’ve got a head start on gifts – I bought some stuff on sale in October for my boys!

    And I’m going to pencil in the 2 cases of wine thing!!!

  37. mbaker says:

    Joke’s on you! I start getting ready for Christmas in August. I have all but two of my presents bought. I have my stocking stuffers as well… all but the food items. I try to wait the longest possible to do those in the hopes of procuring the freshest of candy. People say I’m crazy, but then when they’re over budget and frazzled they all wish they were me. Suckers!

  38. Ellen in Illinois says:

    Nope!! My family and I don’t do a darn thing for the holidays and it is wonderful!! Once you try it….impossible to go back to making a big fuss about it.

    But I will still read your blog.

  39. Kari in Dallas says:

    I am in! Let the games begin!

  40. Deb says:

    I already feel like we are running late this year as Lainey Liu announced yesterday on “the Social” that she already had her Christmas shopping done?

  41. Karen B. says:

    I think this is a great idea and I encourage it to keep my husband from having a meltdown. The only things I change are shopping for gifts and ordering online – I do these tasks the week of US Thanksgiving and on Cyber Monday to get the best deals. (Notice I did NOT say Black Friday…who needs that chaos?)

    • Alex Nett says:

      I agree with this! I have made my exact list and stalked my online items.

      I host Christmas Eve with an open house so I made a list of all my bulk/ costco items I can buy in advance and will add that to the calendar so I am only getting perishables the week of.

      My other tip for doing this is to make your December calendar with all the fun things you will be doing so that getting this stuff out of the way feels like freedom:)

  42. Steenas says:

    This strategy could work … if I had prepared for Thanksgiving in October. Now November is devoted to ironing table linens, making/freezing soups, and moving clutter from the guest bedroom to other corners of the house. At the risk of provoking a verbal food fight, I offer this humble suggestion: Maybe next year you could do a combination Thanksgiving/Christmas pledge?

  43. Jennifer Aakre says:

    I started my list a while ago, and I love the Christmas season. I am so in.

  44. Amie Melnychuk says:

    I am always in. This year especially because we are doing my family Christmas in Manitoba the first weekend of December!

    People raise eyebrows when December 5 comes along every year and I say, I’m done. It’s just the tree we get in December, now.

  45. rina says:

    Hi Karen Thanks for a great idea. For many of the readers who work in retail, it is not always the most wonderful time of the year .Retail is the killer of he Christmas spirit, but following this calendar will keep me in check and on time, ( wine will help too especially after a shift.) Thanks again.

    • Erin says:

      So true, Rina!
      I’m two years out of retail after 17 years, and I still have a hard time putting on the Christmas spirit. Maybe this will be the year? Best wishes -and enjoy the wine

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Oh Rina, I hear ya! I did retail for only 5 years in a business that for the most part had genuinely nice customers who liked being in the store. But Christmas at times was truly appalling. It’s unbelievable how badly people behave towards minimum wage workers. I think it should be mandatory that everyone must have a retail job once in their lives to fully appreciate it. A glass of wine in a hot tub works wonders!

  46. Maria says:

    This calendar converted the Grinch in me a few years ago. I swear by it!

  47. Karin in NC says:

    Also in the “love it” group. Although I have not seen your pledge before (relatively new around here), I have been doing exactly this – all of it – for YEARS. So far this year I have one of my two daughters completely done and the other and both of their spouses will be by this weekend. Still trolling pinterest for gift ideas for my guy, but I’m confident I will have that done by the end of November, too. I buy the stocking stuffers through out the year, so yeah. Another thing that saves me a lot of time is that several years ago I, along with my siblings and their families, decided to stop getting gifts for each other and spend the money on our favorite local charities in their names. Everyone, especially the charities, loves it. Win-win. So a long winded way to say I am completely on board here!

  48. LisaS says:

    I, Lisa, of semi-sound mind, that really is only half awake because I need more coffee, do solemnly swear to at least try to get this shit done! WOOT! Every year I get a little better! This is the year!

  49. Linda says:

    I’m way ahead! I bought my first carton of eggnog and drank it 10 days ago. 🙂

  50. traci says:

    Gah! Karen, why did you have to remind me? Oh yeah, because you care! I actually started thinking of gifts last week. I’ll be out of town for half of November so I only have 2 weeks to get it all done, starting now! I will have to put the toddler to work and leave a big to-do list for my husband who is not coming on the big trip with me and the little guy.

    Oh yes, and for those of you with very small children, I thought of the best idea ever for parent/grandparent gifts. Turn a beloved old super cute baby/toddler clothing item into a sore muscle rice heat/cool pack. Use a bit of imagination and this could be the greatest present ever. I’m going to use a long sleeve tee to make one for my mom who lives across the country so she can have warm hugs from the little guy any time.

    • Karin says:

      O.M.G. Best idea ever! Especially for grandparents who don’t want a gift. But really want a gift. Thank you! Half my gifts are take of and the guilt of saving some of those baby onsies is gone 🙂

    • Jodi says:

      This is a great idea. I make something like this but I suggest using flax seed instead of rice. I think rice and corn both smell and are somewhat hard. Flax seed stays nice and soft.

  51. Ronda says:

    getting the Christmas cards out on time has ALways been my Waterloo! Gift buying has never been a problem, as I’ll buy items as I see them during the year. Finding them to wrap them is the issue lol! But this year will definitely be harder. Maybe if I do the cards now? Going in for surgery on “cry” day.

  52. Erin says:

    I am in. Grudgingly, but I know you are right. sigh.

  53. Mary W says:

    I have day 14 done! Thanks. At least one thing in my life I’m ahead on.

  54. Sarah Walker says:

    I take the pledge every year and I seem to still wait until last minute to get things done. But I am going to make a valiant effort again this year. And if I get one thing done early, I will still be removing some stress of the holidays!

  55. Jeanie Burch says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to post this. I take the pledge!

  56. Nadine says:

    I’m in! Getting done by Dec 1 each year is always my goal, and it usually works.

  57. Donna Thompson says:

    I can’t get the calendar to print! HELP!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna. You should just be able to click on the calendar which will bring it up in PDF format and then click print from whatever browser you are using. You might have to adjust the size of it so it will print on one page. ~ karen!

      • Melissa says:

        Hi Karen, I cannot get it to print either. When it opens up in reader, a bunch of rectangles dance across my screen, eventually resulting in one single black rectangle. Weird, right? I’m gonna try to troubleshoot, but I figured I’d pass that info along, in case it was helpful to you or Donna.

  58. Brita says:

    Oh Heck – I started weeks ago! Began buying up lights and berries. Deep cleaned my shelves. Weeded out collectibles. People tend to chide me about shopping for Christmas decor in October but you have to view this years offerings and then if you’re going to buy up every galvanized metal snowflake in a one hour radius you have to start early. Before someone else gets them.

  59. Katie C. says:

    I’m in!

    I mostly did it last year and I’ll have to move a few days around because my stepdaughter won’t be here for Christmas card pictures until later in the month and my sister is getting married in 2 weeks, but it’s so nice not feel like I’m running around like a crazy lunatic in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas!

  60. Deb says:

    Oh, Karen – I ALWAYS take an unspoken pledge to follow your plan-ahead-get-it-done wonderfulness, and I ALWAYS fail ? So this time, I’m verbalizing my pledge to follow the plan, at least in theory, and be relaxed and stress-free and all that jazz from December 1st ’til Santa’s sleigh is safely parked back in his North Pole garage!

  61. Karin says:

    Life changer. I had my happiest Xmas since I was a kid and didn’t have to do jack except open present and gorge on cookies. Also feeling pretty smug since I didn’t even have to change the name when I said the pledge. Unless you pronounce your name weird. Like ka-RIN. or kfrbrgy.

  62. Zoe Fonseca-Kelly says:

    my favourite post of the year (almost!)
    yay 🙂

  63. Ian says:

    I never really do most of this besides family gifts and cookies. But either way it would help. Also, this is my second holiday season being a fan of The Art of Doing Stuff and it already feels like a tradition. Precious moments.


    I got started last week, in October!!! Started the lists, got a few gifts, and began preparing my own month template calendar, used to have these blank templates for weeks and months, but ran out of the months tablet before copying one for future use……and now that stationers don’t exist (Staples, you just don’t know the meaning of stationery) I waste all my time on line trying to make a blank useful template.

    So, this year, I’ll just use your prefilled in one!!! See whether people recognize me on Dec 1!!!!!!

  65. Teresa says:

    OK. I’m in. At least with good intentions. But if it even helps me actually write and send cards this year it will be resounding success! I love getting cards, so I guess I should send them. PET PEEVE ALERT why do people I haven’t seen in years send picture cards with only their children on them??? Who the hell are these kids? Maybe you think they are cuter than you but if you send a picture I want to see your familiar face too. OK, DONE NOW.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  66. Heather says:

    I am taking the pledge. Now if I could only get the summer project (finally) finished I will be fully ready to tackle Christmas!

  67. Nicole says:

    I’m in! I just need to add “buy a christmas tree” and “figure out the advent calendar for my daughter” to the list. Oh, and join the FB group!

  68. Bridget Donze says:

    I am in! We will see how it goes…..

  69. Eileen says:

    I …… hate ……….. Xmas.
    Wrote a long rant about why, exactly, and deleted again. Feel slightly better for having done that. Will now get on with trying to ignore the holiday as long as possible (probably already past that stage).

  70. McLisa says:

    Looks good, I’ll have to switch the “buy stamps” to a different day since Remembrance Day is a stat and the post office is closed.

  71. Jen says:

    What about the Hanukkah celebrators? How could you forget us? Oh, yeah. We have EIGHT DAYS to get it right, not just the one. Go Jews! 😉

  72. Jody says:

    I’m in.

    However I am too late for making hair and nail appointments–for 2016. I’ll make for appts this week for next year. And while the US is gobble gobbling, I’ll be at the One of a Kind on opening day while all the vendors still have stars I their eyes.

  73. Carol Hogan says:

    I am so excited! I’ve practically finished my shopping already. I’ve picked up wrapping paper and ribbon. I am going to be finished before Thanksgiving. During December, I am going to sit mesmerized looking at the twinkling lights on my Christmas tree and/or the fire in the fireplace with my feet up and a nice Irish coffee in my hand. Best Christmas ever!

    • Melissa says:

      Carol, sitting mesmerized with an Irish Coffee in my hands. Yessss, please! Thanks for the extra motivational image 🙂

  74. Meghan Kearney says:

    I love this pledge and everyone who has commented they they, like me, have already started their shopping. Having this all done in November makes December fun again! Now I just need to keep trying to convince husband that I’m not crazy.

  75. Audrey says:

    Karen I need help. We exchange names for Christmas and this year I have my 42 year old nephew, you know…the Scandinavian furniture guy….the budget is $125 and all I’ve come up with so far is cheese paper…thanks to you’re recommendation. Please point me in the right direction.

    • Karen says:

      Hmmmm. O.K. Lemme give it some thought. Any other information about him other than he likes Scandinavian furniture, lol? Hobbies. Likes? Dislikes? Does he like cooking? ~ karen!

      • Audrey says:

        He likes Scotch so I’ve just ordered those Ultimate Drinking Glass you have listed in your good stuff. Yes he cooks, gardens, building crazy lego with his son and he’s a vegetarian. Any other suggestions are welcome Karen….I’m still thinking about the pledge…at least it sparked me to think about gift giving.

        • Karen says:

          Those glasses are beautiful! I like giving theme gifts so maybe an interesting scotch with the glasses? Or … if he’s vegetarian and he doesn’t have it I would highly, HIGHLY recommend The Thug Kitchen cookbook. If he has that one, they have another one out now but I can’t recommend it only because I don’t own and it and haven’t tried any recipes. I’m sure it’s great though. ~ karen!

          • Audrey says:

            Thanks — I will check out the cookbook when I’m at the bookstore next week. I can see him now, sipping scotch, unwrapping cheese to nibble on while he thumbs through his new cook book. You never fail to disappoint.

        • Jan in Waterdown says:

          Hi Audrey, if you live in Ontario, the LCBO sometimes has tutored single malt Scotch tastings in some of their locations. I gave this to my husband one year and he really liked it. He still talks about it many years later.

  76. Leisa Joan says:

    Ok, Karen,
    I’m in, for most of it. I like my 2 teen aged daughters to help with most of this anyways. I’d better forward it right now…I’m new to your blog – I actually found it from a link from Lee Valley Tools, my favorite garden/house catalogue. I think we’d be great friends. I may even make home made yogurt some day…I just read that one. thanks for the encouragement. If I knew how to work facebook, I’d do that too. oh, well.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Leisa! I’m doing a post together with Lee Valley next Monday on how to make … well I’ll keep it a surprise. 😉 Try the yogourt, even if you only do it once. It’s fun! And it makes really, really good yogourt! ~ karen

  77. Caye Aiello says:

    I’m really trying this year!

  78. Flash says:

    I just need one thing. a gift idea for my wife who has everything! If she wants something she just goes and gets it. So nothing to buy :(.. worse nothing under the tree. (even though we are jewish). (We do Hanukah AND Christmas to be on the safe side).

    • Karen says:

      Ah. The famous Hanukkah bush. O.K., there HAS to be something she wouldn’t buy for herself. Something like a rare book you have to scour the earth for, or … and this is always one of my favourite ideas … getting an autographed something or other. Baseball, book, photo. Anything signed by someone (preferably obscure) she absolutely loves. There. That’s my idea. ~ karen!

      • Flash says:

        Lol That is GREAT.. the Hanukkah Bush.
        She is a Psychologist so all her favorite people have passed. But I could search for something signed by Freud or Jung
        Awe (light bulb went on) but maybe a trip to a workshop in the lower 48. with a favorite Dr.
        you are a genius! Thanks
        lov reading your blog
        Merry Christmas!

  79. Melissa says:

    I you for this calendar, even though in years’ past, I was frowning because of not being able to commit on account of young kids. Thank you, youngest child, for turning 5. I am tots on board ^_^ especially after what fellow reader Carol posted: During December, I am going to sit mesmerized looking at the twinkling lights on my Christmas tree and/or the fire in the fireplace with my feet up and a nice Irish coffee in my hand. Best Christmas ever!

  80. Lynn says:

    I’m down with this, it’s pretty much what I do anyway because I when I was working, things were a blur from October through December due to the nature of my job. Now it’s just compulsion and I can’t rest until it’s done.

    I’d like to add something to consider for those who send Christmas cards: We like to send our charitable contributions to local organizations in Christmas cards (which are purchased from the National Wildlife Foundation) with a note about how much we appreciate the work they do.

  81. Dale says:

    Before I married my sweet (organised) wife, I spent many a Christmas eve running around looking for that last open mall or buying whatever was left on a Walgreen’s shelf.
    I thought 4 year-olds really did love Tums.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!!

  82. Pippa says:

    Gulp… it’s for my own good so… I’m in! To make it more challenging, I have two hard-to-buy for men’s birthdays just before and after Christmas. I’m hoping this will reduce the panic a bit. Thanks, Karen!

  83. Ana says:

    Every year I have taken the pledge and every year I have a sane and relaxing Christmas and everyone I know hates me. I shall pledge again this year.

  84. Kait says:

    I’m in. Third year pledging and I look forward to it every November 1st now. Might be the last for awhile with baby #1 on the way :O

    Let’s do this! Thanks Karen!

  85. Christina B says:

    I will participate this year, finally, even if it fucking kills me… which it may. Thanks Karen! Hugs from Detroit.

  86. Trish says:

    What will I do in December? Oh yeah, cookies! I’m in.

  87. Heather says:

    Ok, Ok, well, after being an utterly complete failure at this a couple of years ago… I’m going to try again! I’m in! Thanks for being so much fun, Karen!!

  88. Cynthia says:

    Ok, I’m in! It’s bright & sunny in San Diego, I fed the pumpkins to my 3 chickens this morning, celebrated an early Day of the Dead yesterday by driving in LA traffic…I’m taking Christmas back! I want my house overpowered by the scent of eggnog & nutmeg, I want to wear sweaters & boots and I want peace & happiness…which we can’t achieve until after this blasted election! O Canada, please have pity on your wayward neighbors!

  89. Susi says:

    Hooray! I love it. Going on the third year. Mainly I jump around the calendar. But what helps me the most was visualizing who gets what and what I’ve bought. Makes Xmas do much easier.

  90. Joyce says:

    I’m in! I got this!

  91. Gayle'' says:

    Pledged. I so need this, and I’m hoping for a calm and peaceful holiday season this way. Thanks for giving us the kick in the pants –oh! incentive — to get going early!

  92. Ei Con says:

    I failed my attempt at the pledge last year. Sigh. But I’ll try harder this year. I promise.

  93. tracie says:

    Yay! This year I pledge to try harder to accomplish some of the stuff on my calendar…at the very least, I will try to spend more hours in front of my computer on etsy. Ok, I will try harder than that. This year I will order things. Did I mention that I had a problem with procrastination? I probably didn’t get around to it til it was too late…

  94. Lois Baron says:

    I’m in. Mostly just to get more email from you, Karen. A little surprised CyberMonday isn’t on the list.

    I’m also doing the write a novel in a month thing this month and dealing with un-fun daughter crisis.

    Looking forward to the eggnog.

    • Jenifer says:

      I’m doing NaNoWriMo, too! Good luck!! (I’m already behind but I’m farther ahead than I was on October 31st!) 🙂

  95. Laura Smith says:

    I don’t mean to gloat, but I’ve already sorted through interior decorations, ordered the Christmas ham AND I have bought (and hidden) two presents! Actually, I definitely meant to gloat! Merry Christmas from Tasmania!

  96. VICKI says:

    I’d rather sit around picking the hardened dead skin under the bottoms of my feet until I have to get up and wash my hands for Xmas eve dinner.

    Just kidding! Already printed up the calendar… ho ho ho.

  97. Karen says:

    Eggnog… I’m in!

  98. Yodie Baird says:

    Every year I’m surprised that December 25th has come. So when I saw your archived post on the 2011 calendar, I was so excited that I printed out 2013 calendar just in case you didn’t do it this year. I’m so in!

  99. Lori says:

    I’m in with a few modifications – we’re off to Florida for Christmas, but there are things to do both here and there for an enjoyable season. I’ve done variations of this in the past and I do love being able to enjoy the holiday season with the major “chores” accomplished. The best year ever was when all my gifts were bought and wrapped by December 1st. Made the carols in the mall way more enjoyable.

  100. Jenifer says:

    OK so I am not so much taking the Christmas pledge as I am taking the I-have-30-minutes-what-can-I-get-done-from-the-Christmas-pledge pledge. (Less pressure and more organization) 🙂

    Thanks for the help!

  101. Dianne T. says:

    I, too, am in with a few modifications. I’m going to be overseas from Dec 9-20 so if I don’t do it before I leave it won’t get done. And I want to be relaxed before my trip, so this is the perfect answer!

  102. Rebecca says:

    Well, I’m already a week behind but actually early since most of my gifts are already made and yes, wrapped. Love the pledge.

  103. Courtney says:

    Alright, I feel the panicking starting already. Maybe some accountability will do me some good! Been following the pledge since you’ve started it, but have never taken it;) Lets see how it goes! *que nervous laugher*

  104. Leigh says:

    “I’m in” said the myna bird.

    And if you don’t know that book, you should!!

  105. Jacquie says:

    One memorable year I had all my shopping done in July! Only happened once…sigh…. I’ll try the pledge cause I’d really like to relax come the big day!

  106. Barb Hutchinson says:

    I certainly was NOT going to do this thing. But I printed it out (I wasn’t going to do this thing, though). Then I made my gift list (an easy thing to do, but I wasn’t going to do this, you know). Then I browsed Pinterest (because I like browsing Pinterest, not because i was buying into this whole calendar thing). I made my hair appointment (but I STILL was not going to do this). Friday I dug out my Christmas card list (OK, I did THAT, but I was still not buying into this calendar deal). Saturday I went to town to do errands and while I was in the store I thought I would just see if they had Christmas cards in yet. Amazingly enough (to me anyway), they had them and they had a terrific selection and I was able to get PERFECT Christmas cards, instead of buying from the dregs that were left on Dec. 15. I was so happy and impressed with myself. Dang it Karen! I was NOT going to do this and now it seems I have completely bought into it! Such a sneaky thing to do! Can it really work?????? We’ll see………..

  107. Sheryl says:

    I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time when I read your calendar!! I did my outside decorating today –tossing out the pumpkins while my neighbors stood in horror.. hey, it’s still warm here in NE Ohio.. gotta do it when I can.. love your sense of humor..especially the 5# of ass fat we all end up with every year..Go husband laying on the couch all season..why doesn’t he gain that 5#?! Love your humor Karen.. thanks!

  108. Katie C says:

    Wow, Karen, I love this! I’m DEFINITELY making this pledge! I swear! Wait a sec…. There, I just did it! With my own name, too. But really, I can’t imagine I’ll really do it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I won’t do most of it. But it’s so neat to think about doing it! To think about you doing it! Maybe I’ll even do one or two of the things. That would be so cool! You’ve lightened my Christmas burden (or “burthen,” as Hayden says in The Messiah, which we all sing at Christmas even though it’s more of an Easter thing.) Anyway, thanks, as always, Karen!!!! Love you, you clever girl.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Katie! You can do it! Look, even if you just do 4 things off of the whole list your Christmas will be a whole lot easier. Good luck! ~ karen!

  109. Katie C says:

    I meant HANDEL, not Hayden. (see how similar the words are, though?)

  110. Tara says:

    LOVE this! I’m totally going to do this – or most of it. I’m already 7 days behind, and I looked ahead and I am in a panic because I have no idea where my address book is…and I want to look for it right now, but then I won’t get the other things done

  111. Kris says:

    I am super late, on account of being on vacation until today, and ignoring all emails until it was over. Still taking the pledge!

  112. Benjamin says:

    My list is already done. I eliminated my entire list of family and friends during the 18 month election process here in America and now it’s just my dog and me being hermits by the fireplace after dinner and sharing a snuggle. Winning !!! I’m ahead of the whole thing because I refuse to be insulted to tears and stay in touch with the confederacy of dunces… oh well, I accept my own adequacy and will survive. PS: how do I become a citizen in Canada?

  113. Sabina says:

    Well crap, I just read this blog so I’m already a week behind! But my outside lights are up, timer in place. Two people bought for and I’m working on my shopping list first, cookie list second and decorating list last…all while watching plaster dry, literally, where my new kitchen range hood will be installed. Major anxiety for me, will my kitchen be done in time…stay tuned! The reward just may be that new 5-burner convection range I’ve been coveting!

    • Karen says:

      You’re doing great then! And I know what you mean about having work done in your house. It’s terrifying to watch someone rip it apart, lol. I’m find if I’m the one ripping it apart but someone else doing it sends me into fits! ~ karen

  114. Vanessa says:

    Ever since I found The Art of Doing Stuff I have faithfully printed out the Christmas Pledge…and then not done a single thing on it! Not this year!!! Not only have I stuck with it so far (I know early days, we are only 9 days in) BUT I am ahead of schedule!!!! I got all of my online shopping DONE! Wrappings bought! Decorations pulled down from the attic and patiently waiting to go up. It’s really not that much but for me this is huge!

  115. GC Lehman says:

    I’m in the love it but…..maybe next year column. Gotta get out of the procrastination loop.

    Thanks for your efforts! My biggest task will be to come up with “Elf on the Shelf” ideas.

  116. Diana says:

    On my Art of Doing Stuff/Lee Valley wishlist:

    Puzzle roll for my parents; deluxe checker-chess board for my dude who just bought a very old, very large house in the mountains; window-mount thermometer; loop weeder; egg light; wire bender; log cabin ornament.

  117. Sherri Crosby says:

    OK, sounds like fun in a crazy sort of way. Schedules help me since I am a procrastinator. I’m making gifts. I’ve even got one done!! 9 more to go.

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