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.


  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.

  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.

  11. Susan Alexander says:

    Oh shit…ok…I’m in.

  12. Sandra says:

    I am in!

  13. 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!

  14. Karen says:

    Here we go!! ~ karen

  15. Karen says:

    Why not, lol? You can do it. Of course you can you weirdo! I’ll put you down as a “signed up” ~ karen!

  16. Karen says:

    That was intentional. 🙂 ~ karen!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. Karen says:

    Oh shit. O.K. ~ karen!

  20. Karen says:

    Atta girl! ~ karen!

  21. 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!

  22. 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 😉

  23. 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!)

  24. 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!

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. Brenda Massey says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  30. Clare Hollingsworth says:

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

  31. Fonda says:

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

  32. 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 🙂

  33. 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 🙂

  34. Jacquie says:

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

  35. 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!

  36. Kari McDonald says:

    I’m taking the pledge, again!

  37. 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!

  38. Sandi Remedios says:

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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. Magali says:

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

  42. 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.

  43. Monica says:

    Or a game or two of Uno. Nothing physically exerting just a little activity to do before 8. 🙂

  44. Monica says:

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

  45. Jeannie says:


  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 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.

  49. Dawn says:

    I’m in. My first year!

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