THE CHRISTMAS PLEDGE 2017

Yooooo hooooo.  I’m just tucked over here in between the couch and the sofa table in my safe place.  You of course can’t see it, but I’m wearing a hockey mask, 14 dinner rolls as a hat, mittens and steel toed boots.  Why the get up? Well #1, it’s super-cute.  And #2,  it’s the most adequate protection I could scrounge up last minute.

Today, you see, is the day I broach the most controversial of all subjects on The Art of Doing Stuff.  Today I announce it’s time to take The Christmas Pledge.

 

The Christmas PledgeWHAPPP!!

Ha!  See?  Those dinner rolls came in handy.  That shoe one of you threw bounced right off my forehead. No damage at all.

I realize that October might seem a tiny bit early to start preparing for a holiday that isn’t until the end of December. And I couldn’t agree more.  It’s ludicrous and I would never suggest you do such a thing.  That’s why the pledge doesn’t start for another 2 days.  Which is November.  Which is an entirely different thing altogether.  Once we hit November, Christmas is just around the corner basically and if you don’t pledge to start getting ready for it now your December is going to be miserable. It’ll be filled with baking and sloshing and looking for parking spots at the mall, which inevitably leads to high blood pressure, fist fights and more often than not incarceration.  You know it’s true.

On November 10th, 2011, I introduced the very first Christmas Pledge on The Art of Doing Stuff.  It was originally called The Christmas Challenge and it was a bit loosey goosey compared to how it is now, but the sentiment was there.  Get shit done.  Now.

Every year I hear the same thing from Americans. BUT NOVEMBER IS WHEN WE HAVE THANKSGIVING.

I know. Buck up.  Take it like a champ.  I’ve given you a few hours of free time so you can eat your turkey and show off your stretch marks.

The rest of the month is devoted to accomplishing one or two small holiday related things every day.  Make cookie dough, decide on presents, drink wine.  You can handle that can’t you?    I knew you could.  I will walk you through step by step, every single day.  I have compiled all the things the average person has to get done and tends to put off every holiday season into one handy calendar.  Actually it’s more of a dated list this year.  All you have to do is follow along with it.  It could not be any easier.

For the rest of you, who aren’t ready, willing and able to take the Christmas Pledge, for those of you sneering and laughing and pointing a finger know THIS;  you can do what you want, but the rest of us, the pledge takers will be spending December carelessly floating around, suspended by gold thread from flying angels.  We will have so few worries in December that we will be weightless. We will be made of powdered sugar and kisses.  YOU?  You on the other hand will be posting bail.

Ready to do it?

Here’s this year’s Christmas Pledge calendar.  Memorize it.

 

 

 

Click here for a 2 page printout of The Christmas Pledge.

Do you think you can handle it?  Is everyone calmed down now? Can I take the buns off?

If you’re ready to commit to a calm December and a slightly harried but not completely insane November … take the pledge. There are no legal obligations (that I’m bound to reveal to you), no payments, no nothin’.

There is a private Christmas Pledge Facebook Group you can join to help motivate you. It’s great for sharing ideas and looking for inspiration.  Ready to take the pledge?

To show you’ve taken the pledge, just comment below with a simple “I’m taking the pledge!”.  Don’t forget to join the private Art of Doing Stuff Christmas Pledge Facebook group if you think that’ll be helpful for you and print out the pledge.

O.K. Give your virtual signature NOW.

206 Comments

  1. Jenn Billesberger says:

    I am taking the pledge!! Again!

  2. Elaine says:

    Bah humbug

  3. After moving into a new house two months ago, a normal person would give every excuse to bow out. I’m not normal. I’m taking the fucking pledge. I rocked it last year, I can do it again this year.

  4. Ev Wilcox says:

    Okay, this is the deal. It’s a right brain/left brain thing. I KNOW you’re right, but I don’t think I can do it. We’ll see.

  5. DLM says:

    I’m with Elaine!
    Oh, and number 18 needs a little revising – or not – it actually reads like one has been into the vodka!

  6. Margaret K. says:

    Thanks for the reminder – I have been dedicated to getting it all done no later than December 1st, when the outdoor decorations go up, for many years. Except for the tree. We buy it, but put it in a bucket of water in the garage for another week so it lasts better through Christmas. My husband, on the other hand, MUST shop on Christmas Eve. So I save a short list of unessential stocking presents for him to get.

  7. judy says:

    Ha! One of the few advantages of being ancient is no jobs,for Holidays. Mostly everybody we would gift or card or invite over are dead. We have 2 dogs,2 sons,52 and 57 and we don’t drink so it’s pretty much the turkey dinner from the local grocery store and everybody to a recliner and snoring by 7 PM at the latest. I”m not sure if this is making me happy,relieved or slightly depressed-if I had anything to drink I might. Thanks for all the laughs you crack me up and that’s a good thing.

    • Karen says:

      O.K., well why don’t you plan on doing ONE special thing for Christmas? Stay up past 7 for instance, lol. Something. Anything! 🙂 ~ karen!

    • Mary W says:

      Merry Christmas Judy and husband of Judy! I think it would be great fun to set up a tiny artificial tree with lights and hang 2 stockings for the dogs filled with treats. BUT only if you put on the Christmas music – music does something to the soul. I’m wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas.

  8. Michelle Vaughan says:

    I am taking the pledge! Printed my calendar and I am ready to start, be organized and have a wonderful December!

  9. Kate says:

    I pledge! I only half-assed it last year, and , well-you know how that goes. This year we have to travel for Christmas to see family and that means shipping all the gifts ahead of time. I need to be on top of things! Thanks for the kick in the butt!

  10. Kathleen Aberley says:

    It’s going to be a dismal / peaceful Christmas this year. The kids & my darling Granddaughter are away until after New Year and my brother and his family are too. Just me, two dogs, a snake and a leopard gecko… I wonder what the gecko would like with the crickets as a side dish? 🙂
    So, no pledging this year for me. Maybe next year.

    • Karen says:

      Just ’cause you’re alone doesn’t mean you can’t have Christmas. Is it better with your family around? Yes. Should you completely ignore it because it’s just you? No. Do some stuff. Decorate, make a Christmas dinner for yourself etc. You’ll feel better about the whole situation if you do, I bet. ~ karen!

    • Jacquie says:

      Please decorate your home and enjoy a fabulous meal. You might be surprised how melancholy you may feel at the end of Christmas Day and pretending its not happening makes it worse (learned from experience). Plus, you deserve a celebration too, just for being you 🙂

      • Jacquie says:

        Just saw Karen’s response, dimwit that I am! Great minds think alike though 🙂

        • Karen says:

          🙂 ~ karen!

          • Kathleen Aberley says:

            I am going to do a few decorations – the chicken wire frame Karen showed us a few posts ago (with baubles and fairy lights). As for the meal, I might just braai (barbecue with wood) and open some champers. Thank you for the awesome moral support. You people are just wonderful!

    • Mary W says:

      So let the Gecko watch some Geico Insurance commercials, give the snake a lovely frozen rat, prepare homemade treat for the dogs and play some music. Sounds like a party to me. My favorite thing is to lay some white twinkle lights in a pile on my dresser, add one decoration, some Hallmark movies, and enjoy laying in a ‘frosty winter wonderland’ crying about some movie I’ve seen several times and eating Christmas cookies with egg nog. So comforting – to have a normal quiet and traditional (for me) Christmas day. You got to go for the gusto and grab all the pleasure you can! Sometimes I even put a peppermint candy on my pillow. At my age, I easily forget it was from me and am so happy to get it.

      • Karen says:

        OMG I’m addicted to those awful Hallmark movies. I. Love. Them. ~ karen!

      • Kathleen Aberley says:

        LMAO at your last sentence. I forgot about the music… I will dust off the CD’s at least. 🙂 And I do love the Christmas movies… Thank you for the suggestions. I just might take you up on a few.

    • Monica says:

      Go big, let him also have meal worms. Christmas is but once a year, afterall.

    • From experience I can tell you to do something, anything, on Christmas.

      My parents were traveling one Christmas so they cancelled it (Boo hiss!!!). I was at a loss as what to do with myself, so I made plans. I went to a movie on Christmas eve. I spent Christmas day with a friends family after they took pity on me when I sobbed on Facebook that my parents had ruined my Christmas. Was it a traditional Christmas? No, but it was fab just the same.

      When my parents cancelled the following Christmas as well I got smart and decided that if they were going to travel, then so would I. I traveled to Ethiopia and experienced Ethiopian Christmas that year. Best decision ever.

      • Pats says:

        My husband died 6 weeks ago. I need something to focus on. And I don’t need a stressful December. I’m doing it, so I don’t lose my shit on December 15th. Which has happened.

        • Kay says:

          I’m so sorry, loosing a loved one is difficult – especially those first holidays. Something that helped me was holding on to traditions that we shared, it helped me to remember the good times. Sure, the tradition changed somewhat but it helped to keep my heart open.

        • Karen says:

          I’m so sorry Pats. ~ karen!

      • Kathleen Aberley says:

        You are right. However I am not going to travel to Ethiopia to get over my Christmas blues! 🙂 I will however make the most of it. Thanks for cheering me up!

  11. Karen says:

    I’m taking the pledge! I have Christmas and 3 birthdays in December, and I need to reclaim the fun to be had in December! Thanks!

    • Hazel says:

      Except the decorating the house bit. I’m English and I do that in the middle of December. (Though my equally English ex-SIL will have her tree up in about a week, but I’m sticking to my guns!)

      • Karen says:

        I like to have the decorating doen by December 1st because for me it’s SUCH a huge job. It takes 2 days really. So I want it to be up as long as possible for all that work, lol. Tree, however doesn’t go up usually until later. ~ karen!

  12. Willow says:

    Well, I am taking the pledge, last year did not turn out like I planned. I was baking cookies, while cooking Christmas Dinner and overcooked the Prime Rib. My wreath fell off the door and blew away in the wind, and I bravely walked through 4 feet of snow to retrieve it. Yes, I love Christmas, I just kept thinking I have a plenty of time. I think it is because I am getting older. Oh yeah I am older I turned 70 this year! You really are a lot of fun, and I have to tell you, I spent today gluing bone crowns together for my Halloween Pumpkins. Thanks for the laughs, I really enjoy you!

    • Karen says:

      I’m so happy you did the bone crowns! 🙂 More important you have Prime Rib for Christmas dinner? I’d like that. We have turkey every year, which is great, but a nice prime rib?? Yup! ~ karen!

  13. Rachael Keefe says:

    I’m taking the pledge! With 2 toddletd and a business to run I need as much help to get myself organised as possible 😉

  14. Kiera says:

    Yup. I’m in. I made a decent showing last year but didn’t quite keep up. This year we have two camping trips planned in December before Christmas so you better believe I’m going to be all over it this time around under!

  15. MaggieB says:

    Yahoo, it’s Christmas pledge time. That means I can start officially taste testing lebkuchen and domino steins and gluhwein. The children will enjoy the first two and I will definitely enjoy the last!

    • Lois Baron says:

      LOL. My son works at a German bakery and he brought a box of dominosteine home two days ago, announcing the Christmas season has started as far as they are concerned.

    • Marie Anne says:

      lol! Christmas starts when I eat my first Weinbrandbohnen! I’ll have to find some for November 1st 🙂 I think I will also make some Gluhwein this year too! Enjoy!

      • Daniela says:

        Oh!! Wishing I had experienced a German holiday just for the baked goods.
        Traditions around this house will soon be remade since my nuclear family is to be dissolved in the next weeks.
        Maybe I could learn some recipes?

  16. Gayle M says:

    I’m In! Heading on over to the FB group right now–thanks, Karen! (I actually started on the holiday ornaments the family exchanges each year. I figured it would take a while to cross stitch 11 of the little buggers, and I can say that starting them in September wasn’t early enough!) But oh I’m hoping my dil who gave us all a cardstock ornament cut out electronically from her computer last year will finally be shamed into getting with the program like the rest of us–but after 11 years, I think I’m just gonna do my thang and let her stew. Not gonna ruin my holiday again, and besides–I’ll be floating on golden threads, sipping wine and just grinning thru it all!

    • Monica says:

      Maybe she did the best she could. It’s hard work for some people to be creative. I’m sure the cross stitch will be a hit, though.

      • Gayle M says:

        Thank you, Monica, for the optimistic reply, but…this girl is totally creative. She did a great deal of the demo and renovation of her and my son’s 1924 bungalow (amazing restoration, by the way). She knits, crochets, created an amazing tiled garden complete with espaliered fruit trees on trellises she designed and built herselfin their back yard, personally handled/created their favors/meal/flowers/etc at their wedding, arrives late and leaves early to the 2 family gatherings (down from 3 that she will attend), and announced in a loud voice “that’s YOUR family, not mine” to my son (her husband) in response to all of us standing in front of the Altar waiting for her to come up for the “family” picture at my second son’s wedding (she sat in the back rather than with the rest of us in front). But that day we all knew where we stood with her, and were blessed with an amazing new daughter. Dil#1 just prefers to look down her nose at us, sulk silently on the sofa (she will not engage in conversation no matter what we ask her, just yeah, no, and meh) for the 2 days our family celebrates Thanksgiving and Christmas on the days she says are the only days she is available–and not ever the holiday itself. Eleven years ago, at her bridal shower she said no kids, and I am grateful. Who knows how she would care for them while she is busy doing what she wants for herself all day? Sad, but all of us don’t let it dampen our get togethes for the rest of the year.

        • Andrea says:

          I am so sorry. I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas in spite of that DIL!

        • Monica says:

          I have a pretty strained relationship with my mother-in-law. On our first meeting she casually mentioned that she had run into my then-boyfriend’s ex. She then decided to talk about how smart, kind and pretty she was and how sorry she was that they couldn’t make it work for the rest of Thanksgiving. To this day she doesn’t understand why on Earth I don’t make it to more family events. Partially because she thinks that I’m too dumb to read between the lines despite never having had a real conversation with me.

          The short of that story is, I get why you’re upset that you ended up with the DIL you got; I’m not a fan of my MIL. But I’m optimistic that one day some activity or conversation will spark a note of camaraderie and maybe we’ll find a peaceable place to exist. I have to be for my husband’s sake. We just have to keep trying (hence the only reason that I continue to show up for Easter, Christmas, Birthdays).

    • Karen says:

      O.k. I don’t think I mentioned anything about sipping wine while hanging from golden threads. That just seems dangerous. 😉 ~ karen!

      • Gayle M says:

        Well, yeah, the wine was my idea. But I love the image of carelessly floating around, suspended by gold thread from flying angels. Just sounds so serene.

  17. Lois Baron says:

    omg. I am frickin’ ahead of schedule! Today as I was discovering where my leftover Christmas cards were, I thought of your pledge, which I failed pretty well last year but enjoyed. Am totally in for this year! I even have made some new ornaments already.

  18. Brenda Massey says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  19. Clare Hollingsworth says:

    I’m taking the pledge! Thank you, Karen <3

  20. Fonda says:

    We don’t celebrate Christmas, so we’re out. Lucky us!

  21. Jenny W says:

    I’m in again! Could’t quite keep up last year, but I’m just gonna call that a practice run 🙂
    I start decorating other people’s homes, for the holidays, in mid November, and my own place gets pushed to the side everydamnyear! I also signed up for a 30 Day Yoga Challenge for the month of November, so let’s hope that helps by keeping me all “Zen” about the whole thing -Namaste fellow Listers
    By the way putting the list in point form as opposed to calendar boxes makes it seem far more do-able 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Good to know. I actually like calendar form but the printing had to be soooo tiny. I figured a list would be easier to read. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Monica says:

        I liked the calendar form, too. But the up-side of the list is that people can drop the tasks on their own calendars on the days that suit them instead of giving into the temptation to just print and bear it.

  22. Jamieson says:

    After traveling over the previous two holiday seasons and missing out on all of the festivities, i am planning to OD on Christmas this year.
    I am back to taking the pledge this year!

  23. Kari McDonald says:

    I’m taking the pledge, again!

  24. Leticia says:

    I am an atheist from a family that does not have children or does Christmas presents. Every year I am conscious of how “blessed” I am. I will not take the pledge, but I support you wholeheartedly in your madness. Happy Whatever It Is You Celebrate!

  25. Sandi Remedios says:

    I’m taking the pledge for the first time. I missed the summer of doing stuff. I need encouragement.

  26. Lisa says:

    I am going to try.. My mom passed away in June, very unexpectedly. She was my best friend and partner in crime. Most days it’s hard to think, or breathe. I miss her so much.
    I loved this last year. I was hoping you would do It again. It was f and everyone was great.

    • Mary W says:

      When my Mom died and ‘our’ Christmas was no longer, I decided to devote one whole day to doing the stuff we did together. It was a way to change what would otherwise be a sad time. I make our favorite cookies and play Christmas music. We always made an ornament together, so I make one, also. The first time was the hardest but now I plan and look forward to this day of remembering our times together. I have invited another person this year to make an ornament with me so we both can have our day of remembrance. Merry Christmas, Lisa!

    • Monica says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Maybe a part of your pledge could be doing something to honor her? Maybe something that you used to do with her like baking a favourite recipe that she gave you or going to your local pageant? I’m sure this year will be hard but I think that you can find traces of her still with you in the things that you do. Warmest wishes for a good holiday season.

    • Jenny says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Lisa. I love Mary and Monica’s advice to honor your mom by carrying on some of your traditions together.

    • Nicole Sparks says:

      This will be my first Christmas without my Mom too. I suspect there’s going to be a lot of tears, but she would be the first to tell me that Christmas is about joy and love and that I shouldn’t NOT celebrate because she isn’t there to join us. This is a woman who had an entire closet dedicated to her Xmas decor, so I know it.

      You’ll be in my thoughts as another person who is struggling this holiday. I don’t wish you forgetfulness, but the ability to think of happy memories without going down the tunnel of despair.

      • Monica says:

        I’m sorry you’ll be going through this this year, Nicole. It’s great that you have her desires for you in mind, though. The situations where you know what the loved one would have said are a little more sweet than bitter on the scale. My Great Aunt was someone who I looked up to so much and whenever I miss her I do an embroidery project because it was what she always gave me to do when I was fidgety. Maybe if you have a couple of her Christmas closet decorations you could put them up to keep her close?

    • Karen says:

      I’m very sorry about your mother Lisa. Do what you can. The Pledge and its people are here for you. 🙂 ~ karen!

  27. Magali says:

    I already have 3 presents bought so I am IN! (Last year I succeeded by about 50% 🙂

  28. Dawn says:

    I’m in. My first year!

  29. Monica says:

    My Christmas tradition is to start shopping in July. I have a special drawer in my house that I keep the purchased presents in that I’m the one allowed to open. Then when December rolls around, I kick my husband and son out of the house for a boys’ afternoon. My best friend comes over and we wrap presents while watching a terrible ABC Family Christmas Movie (Holiday in Handcuffs is our favourite).

    • Karen says:

      I’ll make note of that movie. There’s NOTHING better than bad/good made for tv Christmas movies. ~ karen!

      • Monica says:

        Have your niece or sisters over. It’s always better with someone to roll your eyes at. Also, this one is a 90’s dream. Melissa Joan-Hart and Mario Lopez star in it and she takes him hostage to appease her judgmental parents (disappointingly, not in a cult fashion).

  30. Christie says:

    I’m doing it! I’ve already secured a date for my Christmas dinner party!

  31. Mary W says:

    Karen, your spirit comes through loud and clear to get off my duff and do things. It was a present to me when I first read your blog and has continued to be for years. I look forward to your pledge each year and try to do most of it. Such a great idea. Who would have thought to plan ahead? What a concept. I used to think Christmas snuck up on me all of a sudden, then realized it is actually marked on my calendar. No one to blame but me. I especially like the frozen cookie dough idea. I have used your package decoration idea for two years. I even planned this years – copy last years! So much fun for me and recipients. Your the best! Merry Christmas!

  32. Deb says:

    I’m in – besides, my youngest daughter started listening to Christmas carols 2 weeks ago!

  33. Veronica says:

    Oh sure, I’m taking the pledge! If I even get one or two of these things done, I’ll be WAY ahead!

  34. Samantha says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  35. Alena says:

    I am not taking the pledge. I may throw out a string of lights at the 6′ spruce in my front yard but that will be about it.
    I think we all (on both sides of the border) need to stop approaching Christmas as a shopping mega-bonanza and a festival of endless overeating and overdrinking; and focus more on the time spent with one’s loved ones, chilling out and focus more on what Christmas was originally for before we have ruined it.
    (Don’t take it personally, Karen).

    I have an old dog whose time is rapidly approaching and if I am able to kiss her on Christmas Eve day in the morning and wish her Merry Christmas, it will be the biggest gift I can ask for.

    • Eileen says:

      Alena,
      I am so with you on this.
      Best wishes and good health to you and your dog.

    • Margaret K. says:

      It’s possible to find Karen’s list useful without doing an over-the-top holiday. Outdoor lights along the eaves because they have been part of your holiday ever since childhood in the late 1940’s – or just a wreath on the door, because ditto. Inside, a small tree and a creche ditto or whatever is an essential part of your holiday. A few cards to near and dear that you won’t see in person to wish holiday greetings, especially elderly relatives who don’t have many other family or friends left. One batch of that special holiday cookie you never allow yourself at any other time of the year. One special holiday meal – roast beef for us – with a reasonable number of side dishes and one dessert. One present for each grandchild under the age of 21. One present or else stocking-stuffers-only for your significant other, depending on your agreement with each other. If you know you will be invited to a holiday party, decide what to wear and make sure it is ready-to-wear condition. And IF you decide to entertain in your home this holiday, prep for that. That is NOT a megaspending holiday, but it still helps to have Karen’s list to remind you that time is passing and you need to get things done.

      And I hope your dog keeps well, so you can have the Christmas you want.

  36. Erin S. says:

    I’m in! We have guests coming in from far away and I don’t want to drag them through commando shopping heck on the week of their visit.

  37. shoshana leeder says:

    Ha! Best reason for being an orthodox Jew! None of this applies to me! A few Happy Holidays cards to key people (cleaning lady. mailman, etc.) and I’m good to go. And no, this is not the time to talk about the Passover Pledge! So, no one bring it up, LOL.

    • Karen says:

      You shouldn’t have mentioned it. The Passover Pledge is a great idea and has a way better ring to it! O.k. My first advice would be to waiver from the traditional blue and white colours. And there’s an Octopus menorah on Etsy that’s beautiful! Hmm. O.k. I have some thinking and planning to do. 😉 L’Chaim!

  38. Mary from Barrie says:

    I’m in! But I would suggest moving #28, buying a nice candle, to #1. Christmas candles went out on display at HomeSense in September and there won’t be any left by Nov. 28th.

  39. Jenny says:

    This will be our first Christmas with a baby, and if I’m going to decorate or do anything at all to celebrate the holiday, I’m going to have to take the pledge (probably simplified, for my “lifestyle”). It’s amazing how quickly the evenings and weekends go when you’d rather play with a baby than dust or vacuum or file papers, etc.

  40. Marie Anne says:

    I’m in! I won’t be doing all the things on the list, but I want everything that can be done, done early so I can actually enjoy being social and maybe have people over again like we used to.
    November is a tough month for me, (it’s just so dark all the time!) so focusing on this might keep me from wanting to sleep and cry lol! Happy thoughts of not being rushed 🙂

  41. Leslie says:

    I’m taking the pledge. First time! (Gulp)
    This seems scarier than committing to running my first marathon.

  42. Nicole Sparks says:

    I have been looking forward to this all October (apparently I have a very lame life). I was in good prep-for-holidays form going into Canadian Thanksgiving, and I didn’t want to lose my momentum, so I’ve already been picking up stocking stuffers (helps that Christmas has been on shelves for that long!).

    I’m curious to see how the checklist feels versus the calendar layout.

    • Karen says:

      I went with the checklist mainly because it’s easier to read and I could make the font a bit bigger. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Nicole Sparks says:

        I do miss the ability to tell at a glance where the weekends fall in the list – it helps to know I have some extra time to do the assigned tasks, and sometimes I can work ahead if I know I’ve got something on. But there’s something really powerful about checking things off a list too… so we’ll see.

  43. Megan says:

    With my husband and myself being such introverts I know some of these (hostess gifts I am looking at you) will now be done but there are some good ones in here and I will take the pledge to do those! Bonus I already have 50% of my presents already done.

  44. Brian says:

    But its not the week before Christmas Yet!!!!

  45. Patricia says:

    Bahhaha! I woke up early this morning thinking about what picture to put on our Christmas card, what day to claim to celebrate with all our grown, married children, and how to keep it light and fun. You are not too early and I’m in!

  46. Lynda Loy says:

    I am taking the pledge! So tired of wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve! Lol! First time…we’ll see how it goes!

  47. SueSchneid22 says:

    I absolutely suck at being ready for anything. But, with this list of stuff to do, I am going to try to tackle it. See you on the FB page. Oh, and thanks for giving me some structure (which, obviously, I am sorely lacking).

  48. karen too says:

    “Ugh, ugh, ugh! Sign me up,” she said, reluctantly.

  49. Verity Freemont says:

    I joined the pledge

  50. Sue Givens says:

    As my brilliant self scheduled a smallish surgery the Tuesday before Christmas, I’m taking the pledge. I’m already stressing about getting it all done.

  51. Jennifer Kirksey says:

    Love this Karen!!!! Thank you for keeping me organized and getting stuff done!!!!! You are the BESTEST!!!

  52. Lori says:

    I’m in – again. We travel for the holidays so I adapt the pledge where needed, but I love to get everything done and actually enjoy the season!

  53. Jeannette says:

    I’m signing up for the pledge. Even if I only accomplish one or two items in Nov, that will put me ahead of where I usually am right before Christmas. I want my December to be full of carols, cookies, church activities, family fun & floating around on a golden thread–not full of stress. Thanks, Karen!

  54. Louise says:

    I joined in for the first time last year and it really helped. I’m a bah humbug kind of person but decided getting it overwith was the way to go. I was right my December was a much happier month so I’m definitely in.

  55. I am taking the pledge! Thank you, Karen.

  56. Paula F. says:

    Wha…? October is over? How did that happen…

    Pullin’ myself up by my boot straps now. Gonna do it!

  57. Safetydog says:

    I am taking the pledge, again! Already have several things checked off, and since the immediate family is taking a trip in lieu of gifts, my tasks are that much easier.

  58. Snugster says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  59. Adele says:

    Will be taking the pledge again this year. Last year was a first and even though I didn’t get everything done by the end of November it made for a much more relaxed December anyway.

    Given that I will be away the last week of November (I won a cruise!) it will be even more important for me to be as organized as possible beforehand.

  60. Noreen McKechnie says:

    Oh heavens above, can l,will I, should I whose main achievement is having a gingerbread house building party the last week of November actually try and join this group of dedicated Christmas makers? It might just be a good idea! I’m in!

  61. Pat K says:

    Every year I am so hopeful that “this year will be different” & I will have everything done in advance for Christmas- but no, it never happens. I believe in Karen’s super organizational abilities as she manages to get so much done so I am admitting that I can not do it alone. So in desperation I will attempt the Christmas Pledge this year!

  62. Kris says:

    I’m cheating a little this year – We’re living with my parents, and our house isn’t going to be sold until 12/15. We won’t be in our new house (which we haven’t picked yet) until sometime after that date. So I’m skipping all decoration related things – because my parents are in charge of that at their house, and frankly, with all of us there, there is no room for a tree. So I get to ignore those boxes or I may mark them N/A. 😀

  63. Heather says:

    I am taking the pledge – again! This is the motivation I need. Thank you for keeping us on task!

  64. DubiousPleasure says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  65. Mary-Jane says:

    I love this! I’m taking the pledge. 1st timer.

  66. I’m taking the pledge again! Love it to bits!

  67. Lisa O. says:

    God help me, I’m taking the Pledge! It’s my first time, so that means I get to drink even if it’s not listed in the day’s tasks, right? 🙂

  68. Teresa says:

    DEAR GOD! WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE???
    I opened the email and saw the topic and heard someone keening in the corner “Nooooooo” and then reliazed it was it me. I opened the laptop again and saw that Karen was still protected by buns so I will have to bide my time. (She will never see it coming…)

    Then I’ll print up the list so I can continue to check it and say “uh, nope, haven’t done that yet….”

  69. Pippa says:

    I’m taking the pledge… 2nd timer so I know what a genius and, at the same time, ridiculous idea it is… Thanks, Karen!

  70. Shanelle says:

    Like a total weirdo I have been stalking your blog for the past 2 days praying that this day would come. We own and operate a Christmas tree farm (as a hobby, like a bunch of psychopaths) and I would totally not make it through November and December without this pledge. Thank you for this!!

  71. Jennifer says:

    I’m in again. I’ve almost bought Christmas cards twice so far (I keep deferring because I have to check if I did or did not buy some on sale at the end of season last year) and kept thinking this post would be up soon.

  72. Gael says:

    I’m taking the plunge! Er, pledge!

  73. Tasha says:

    We are in! Again. It is what gives my husband joy, as he generally is a Grinch. This year, most of the presents need to be done by Nov. 15, so he’s been talking about it for 6 weeks already. I modify a few things, to fit with my life (decorations go up after Dec. 8, husband’s birthday), but generally it is all set by Dec. 1.

  74. Pats says:

    I’m in. I’m hoping it will reduce my stress levels.

    • Kathleen Aberley says:

      I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Pats. All the more reason for me to make the most of what I have. Hugs and Blessings to you.

  75. SusanR says:

    I’m in, and I’ve already got half the list done. I mean half the Christmas pledge. I’ve already got all of the presents, save for one that’s coming from Norway that’s on its way. I cleaned up the card list today, and it will only take 15 minutes to address all of the envelopes because I use clear large labels that have room for the return address on them, so it’s just a matter of plugging in my label printer and printing them off, then pasting them on the envelopes. Writing an individualized personal note on each card will take a little longer.

    New LED Christmas lights arrived yesterday. Decorations are in a single large container in an easy to reach place out in the garage, including the cards purchased on sale the day after Christmas last year. No parties this year. All ingredients for cookies already acquired and ready to be mixed together to be frozen. Cookies will be butter, with a fresh, whole pecan pressed into the middle, sugar cookies and molasses cookies.

    We don’t do a tree anymore, we just buy a HUGE poinsettia plant from Costco, place it prominently in the living room, and put the presents around it. I have a small battery-operated led white light set that I will work throughout the leaves and stems. It looks beautiful.

    I’ve been emotionally ready for Christmas since August.

  76. Jen says:

    Taking the pledge!

  77. Eh, we’re going on a dive trip for most of December (scuba). We’ll be in tropical waters, in foreign countries ignoring the holidays completely. Perfect.

  78. Sabina says:

    I’m in, again!

  79. Sandra Blackwell says:

    No Way! The rule at my house for decorations….NOT til after my Birthday on December 6. And they come down before my daughter’s birthday on New Years Eve.

    Besides, I work retail…I have been dealing with christmas crap since June.

  80. Adrienne says:

    Newbie, but I am so in.

  81. Tres says:

    I’m in! In fact, I am ahead of the game this year. All the Christmas cards are done and awaiting the day before Thanksgiving to put in the post. I have purchased and wrapped about 50% of my gifts and I know what I am getting for the other 1/2 of the family!

  82. Connie says:

    I have 3 trees already done & 7 to go. Plus my village. My goal is always to be ready by Dec 1st so that I can enjoy Dec & not have to do anything. Then I take it all down by Jan 31st. I love Christmas!!!

  83. Suzie Oliver says:

    I am taking the pledge! Bring on Day 18!

  84. Kristina says:

    I am just catching my breath after our five weeks of walnut harvest ended on Saturday. I am up at my cabin in the Sierras (with new wi-fi -woot! Modern conveniences come late to these parts), but I think I can just about manage Pinterest to get me started on day 1. Let’s see how this pledge goes…. I’ll surely end up coming out ahead, anyway. Thanks for organizing it.

  85. Miriam says:

    I am taking the pledge!

  86. Kristen C. says:

    I’m taking the pledge! And I have been enjoying your blog!!!

  87. Kathleen says:

    Doing it!

  88. Kathleen says:

    Doing it!!

  89. Meg says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

    Hooray!! I was SOOOOOOO waiting for this. I have taken the pledge probably several years now, so I was starting on my *own* this year, like some kind of organized person. (hysterical cackling laughter) I mean, maybe I *am* becoming more organized because of repeated Xmas pledges?

    It’s actually probably because of that AND the fact I need to be extra on the ball this year. We moved home to help my boyfriend’s Dad out after his Mom died, and his Dad is kind of anti-Christmas now. So I’m hoping I can be super on the ball this year with a little help from The Pledge and maybe some extra (extra) rum in my egg nog, and slowly ramp our resident geezer into the Christmas spirit.

  90. Roxanne says:

    I’m in and I’m taking your pledge. I live in Northern Ontario so every year my first job in November is to get the Christmas lights up on the house. The shrubs and inflatables can be done a little later but I prefer not being up on the ladder in a snow storm. Lol

  91. Lauren says:

    I have been the one throwing shoes the last few years, so sorry about that, but the rolls ARE cute and effective!

    This year I’m giving in. I’m ready, I’m motivated, and looking forward to relaxed rum ball fairies free from stress come the last half of December. I’m taking the pledge!

  92. Leigh Meyer says:

    I have finally tucked in three sugar hyped kids into bed and can finally admit there is a November. Given that I’d like to enjoy my December, I’m in!

  93. Erika Jarden says:

    Ah, what the hell. I’m taking the pledge but starting it after this weekend.

    Look, I worked a 15 weekend season at Bristol, then strike, had a week off and then did two weekend renaissance fairs, a Harry Potter festival, my wedding anniversary / Halloween party and this weekend is a sold out steampunk convention, where I dress Victorian and serve tea for 4 days. I. Need. Sleep.

    So next week. Promise.

    • Karen says:

      But tonight is just get takeout and put on your pajamas to browse Pinterest. Surely you can do that! C’mon … we’re all doing it. 😉 ~karen!

      • Erika Jarden says:

        Started the pledge a bit late but here we go! My husband is less excited than I am, mostly because he gets to haul the boxes. 😊

  94. Melissa says:

    I might modify your list just a bit (and probably do some things out of order), but after all the years I’ve read your blog, it’s time to cowboy up and get it done!

    I’m in!

    P.S. I never finished prettying up my flower garden bed (and submitting photos to you), so I hope I can still join this party of inspiration, with that… …um, ‘blemish’ on my record.

  95. Waiting for the 26 to decorate is quite late :/ I’m Canadian, thanksgiving here is already over, I won’t wait till that late to decorate ahah

  96. Erin says:

    I am taking the pledge. As a handmade seller I feel like I am already way behind.

  97. Jen Kendall says:

    Taking the pledge!! Got my wrapping paper and supplies today.

  98. Christine W says:

    Has to be a first time for everything. I’m in this year.

  99. Carolyn Geddes says:

    I’m taking the pledge! but my list printed blurry. is it just me? do I need to open it elsewhere before I print? or just put on my glasses?

  100. Nadine Tardie says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  101. Michelle says:

    I’m ready to quit Christmas, so I’m “fracking” in.

  102. Susan says:

    I’m taking the pledge.

  103. Jorey says:

    Oh, I am so doing this.

  104. Lisa says:

    I am taking the pledge! I didn’t do it last year but did the year before, I was more organized and happier, thanks for that 🙂 Merry Christmas to you!!!

  105. Alex Nett says:

    I like that I can be “late” to signing up for the Pledge, and still a month ahead of schedule!

    Like many commenters, I have lost family members this year and it’s tough looking down the barrel of the Holiday Season. I was thinking about how untethered it was making me feel. And then I realized that another word for untethered is “free”. So, I’m going to shed some past traditions, add in some new ones, and reinvent our family holiday to better suit the way we are today. Honor the Past, Embrace the Future and all that. Right? Right!

    • Margaret K. says:

      Untethered – yes, exactly. But as you are doing, it’s a good time to take stock and decide what to do differently going forward. Best of luck enjoying the new and getting through the teary-eyed moments that will come.

  106. Beth says:

    It’s November 3rd, I have a cabinet full of liquor and I am notoriously unorganized. Screw it, I’m taking the pledge! 😬

  107. Thera says:

    Due to financial constraints I cannot always follow exactly, but I usually get pretty close, so I am in, yet again!

  108. Tina says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  109. Jody says:

    Yup, I’m in.

  110. Sandra D says:

    I hate family get togethers. But, the best one I had was when we didn’t have the regular sit down fight affair. Appetizers it was for the night. Everyone sat around with the people they wanted to visit. I brought out food once in a while.. it was great. We did have a gift exchange.

  111. Karen Jeanne says:

    I’m taking the pledge! Again… and as usual, I’m already almost done shopping for gifts for everyone. Now the trick is finding them, & getting them delivered on time. Oh, & getting my darn bf to tell me what he wants for Christmas sometime before the last week of December.

  112. connie says:

    My sister told me about this. What the heck. I’ll try it.

  113. LM says:

    Ok, (already late 😉 I’ll take the pledge!

  114. Marty says:

    Never before left a comment or taken an online challenge. I am a day late, well, technically 5 days late and dollar or more short, but heck I am getting a 2 for 1 deal by doing both at one time. Way cool.
    Sign me up for the challenge! Just watch me burn the rubber.
    P S. In my family there are 8 birthdays I tried to teachmy kids to count 3 +9= 12. Translation get pregnant in the third month of the year, incubate 9 months : you get a December baby.

    • Karen says:

      8 birthdays in December?! That sucks. We have 1 (mine!) and one the day after New Year’s Day and that seems like a lot. Good luck to you and welcome! ~ karen!

  115. Sheila says:

    I’m taking the pledge!!

  116. Lily says:

    Okay, okay, better late than never, right?

  117. tracie berry says:

    Yes I will take the pledge! I thought I was missing something with there being no dates to keep me on track, but you did this intentionally to make it more of a to do list, I guess, and I will do! I have purchased two major gifts on line, and I had such a feeling of accomplishment that I am hoping it will keep me motivated. I have a tendency to start good then taper off…I am also going out of town for Christmas, which means I will have about three different celebrations this year. This shopping on line is the shit, let me tell you…first time for me, if you can believe it. Excited to start ticking things off the list, thanks Karen!

  118. RCase says:

    Amazing – how did you create this list “just for me”?!
    You KNOW that I will pledge!!
    (Bless you; I needed this list because mine is only half-way written)
    :)’

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