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. Donna says:

    I love this list! I just found your blog and quite enjoy it!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Donna! And welcome to my site. ~ karen! (I’ve used the Instant Pot twice since I reviewed it … both times for chili. It’ll soon be moved to the basement, lol)

  2. 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)

  3. 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!

  4. Lily says:

    Okay, okay, better late than never, right?

  5. Sheila says:

    I’m taking the pledge!!

  6. 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!

  7. LM says:

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

  8. connie says:

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Jody says:

    Yup, I’m in.

  12. Tina says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  13. Thera says:

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

  14. 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! 😬

  15. 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.

  16. 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!!!

  17. Jorey says:

    Oh, I am so doing this.

  18. Susan says:

    I’m taking the pledge.

  19. Michelle says:

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

  20. Nadine Tardie says:

    I’m taking the pledge!

  21. 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?

  22. Christine W says:

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

  23. Jen Kendall says:

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

  24. Erin says:

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

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