Final Christmas Pledge Update!



It is time for the final Christmas Pledge update.

As you know, almost one month ago I pledged to get a certain amount of holiday crap done before December.  The point of this was to make December more enjoyable.  I invited you to join in the pledge and a LOT of you did.  Even my mother ran out and started buying Christmas presents way earlier than normal, vowing to take part in the pledge.  O.K., she didn’t so much “vow” as mutter, Jesus Murphy I’d better go to the mall.  And then she went.

By December 4th my plan was to have all of my shopping done, my wrapping paper and bows figured out,  the outside of the house decorated (lights up, urns etc. done), the inside of the house decorated and my 30 or so Christmas Cards written out and in the mail.

Let’s break down what I have and haven’t done so far.

Shopping – I’m 95% done, with just a few minor things to order online.  I did 90% of my shopping online this year.  I highly recommend it.

Wrapping – I special ordered my wrapping paper (more on that later) and have all but one of the materials I need for bows.  I plan to get it tonight.

Lights and Garland up outside – Check.

Planters and Windowboxes – Not so much.  It’s been raining.  A LOT. So rain or shine I’m gonna have to throw on some Ella Fitzgerald singing the Christmas Blues and get out there to finish it before this Sunday, the deadline.

Inside of house – Nope.  Haven’t even started.  I plan to start tonight, and spend all of tomorrow and part of Sunday doing the inside of the house. Yes. It takes me 2 straight days.  What of it?

Christmas Cards – Addressed and filled out.  Why for the love of God can’t I just go to the store and buy some stamps???!!!   I will do this.  I will, I will.  I will bring the cards with me to the stamp store (post office) and I’ll stick the stamps on the cards right there and then and mail them.  Otherwise I’ll bring the stamps home, stamp the envelopes and then leave the pile to sit on the kitchen table for the next 2 weeks.



So, I would call what I’ve accomplished a success.  It looks like by December 4th I will have everything done I wanted to get done.  Honestly I’ve never felt this relaxed by December 2nd.  Normally I’m well on my way to taking up drinking in Olympic fashion by this time of year.  I’m anxious and stressy about everything I suddenly have to do.  I also start swearing a lot more by December 2nd.  Good ones too.  Jailhouse swear words.   This year?  I’m feeling good.  I’m looking forward to baking some cookies, wrapping my presents and watching bad, made for TV Christmas movies about General Stores that need to be saved from foreclosure or smartly dressed cynical lawyers in New York City who fall in love and celebrate Christmas together.  You know.  That  kindda stuff.

So that’s where I am.  Where are you?  Did you take part in the Christmas Pledge?  Are you feeling more relaxed because of it?  Have I been your Christmas therapist?  Do you owe me money?

Lemme know.  Now if you’ll excuse me I have some stamps to buy, urns to transform and a house to decorate.



  1. Treva says:

    I took your pledge, I blogged about it, I posted an update post. Everything was on track for our celebrations on Dec. 25. I was so relaxed. It was wonderful.

    And then I friggin remembered that we ALSO celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7 with the in-laws. So I spent 5 hours shopping on Jan 6 in depleted, disorganized stores trying to find “that” size of “that” item that was never ever found. And then wrapping and buying a turkey with all the fixin’s. Good thing I drink or I never would have survived.

    I’m taking a vow right here and now that this year I will either a) hand over all Jan. 7 prep to my n’ere-do-well husband; b) get EVERYTHING done for both celebrations by Dec. 4, 2012; or c) count on the world ending Dec. 21, 2012 and not worry about a thing.

  2. KittyCardea says:

    Since I’m not doing presents this year and I don’t do much decorating, I feel fairly relaxed.

    It’s a good thing I don’t owe you money. I’m broke.

  3. Elen says:

    Next year, I’m taking the pledge. That is all. Though I have a list. And I’m checking it twice!

  4. Thera says:

    Progress Report:
    -House is spotless and decluttered.
    -Got the tree and it is decorated, but it needs help and I haven’t made the ornaments I want to and I will be doing that today!
    -Inside is 90% decorated
    -Outside is decorated except the damn wreath on the door won’t stay put (I plan on pulling out the glue gun today).
    -We have our cards in the house, but I rarely mail any, but I should mail a few -sigh- have to go get stamps.
    -Not a single bit of shopping done, at all.
    -Baking hasn’t really started as yet.

  5. Diana @ frontyardfoodie says:

    Seriously, you rock. I totally told myself I’d do this and I totally almost completely did.

    95% of my gifts are bought, my house is decorated, and all other Christmas stuff is done. I need to wrap some gifts and finish getting my last couple but like you, I have never been so relaxed at this time of year! I’m loving it. I’m even planning a day of fun cooking Christmas candy and cookies with my little sister for like an entire day. It’s going to rock.

    So thanks for the inspiration and freeing up my December.

  6. kate says:

    Oh, I forgot one thing — I do email some cards, also but I haven’t done that yet – I subscribe to an email card company so I just pick teh card and write my greeting and then tell the email card company to whom and when to send and they do the rest. Takes me about one evening — not so bad.
    Ho, Ho, Ho.

  7. kate says:

    Cards = done – to be mailed this week – when I finish the presents to be mailed
    Presents = done except for the fresh coffee to bought and ground just before the day)
    Presents to be mailed = 50%/50%; 5 mailed and 5 to be mailed (3 of those are wrapped/ready and 2 to go)
    Outside decor. = done
    Inside decor — have a pretty clear glass basket filled with ornaments; it has to loop a ribbon around the edge – ribbon is green, ornaments are red – don’t really know if I’ll get to more decorating — just can’t make up my mind
    Karen, this was a good challenge – it really helped me stay in track – even with the other stuff going on around me. I’d like to have done more but I’m thrilled by the progress I’ve made – I have high hopes and concrete assurance for less scrambling panic this year.
    Blessings and Happy Christmas!

  8. Stéphanie says:

    Took the pledge, but still some presents to buy, especially for men, have no ideas …. weel at least have no cheap ideas!

  9. Sherri Hanigan says:

    I didn’t take the pledge and I’m feeling slightly guilty. I gave up on sending Christmas cards several years ago (but I love getting them) and the funniest thing happened—people still send them to us even though we don’t reciprocate. I’ve seriously scaled down on the holiday decorations and no longer put up a 12-ft. tree with thousands of twinkly lights and hundreds of ornaments (okay, maybe “thousands of twinkly lights” is an exaggeration, but I seriously did load it with hundreds of ornaments!). Instead, I now have two 3-ft., pre-lit fake trees in urns that grace the front and back entryways with maybe a dozen ornaments each. The adult kids pitched a fit the first year, but I calmed them down by telling them THEY were welcome to put up (and decorate) the big tree right after Thanksgiving and then come back on January 1 to help take it down and store everything away. They decided the two small trees were just fine. Except for little stocking stuffers, I do all my holiday shopping online. This is the shortcut for which I feel the most guilt because I know it doesn’t help my local economy. I make myself feel better by thinking about the number of lives I’ve saved by staying out of the stores and off of the streets. Plus, I’m a pretty prolific shopper at other times of the year. I’m really not like Ebenezer Scrooge and I do love Christmas, but it was time to simplify so I could enjoy the season with family and friends. I hope I haven’t disappointed you terribly, but even if I have I can’t go back to feeling over-the-top crazy for one month of the year. Some of us just can’t handle the stress. You’re a stronger woman than me!

    • Karen says:

      OH no I’m not. The reason I’m doing everything in advance is because I *can’t* handle the stress! It’s tooooooo much. But I do love all the decorations etc. etc. … so doing everything on schedule is my way of dealing with it all. I can’t wait until the day that I decide all I need are a few trees in urns! ~ karen

  10. Jennifer Corbly says:

    I also took the pledge, and have everything bought (or at least ordered online) and wrapped and under the tree…except of course the stuff that hasn’t come in yet!! Thanks to you, I will have a MUCH more enjoyable December!! Thank you so much for this challenge!

  11. natalie says:

    I have not taken this pledge.

    I have read about this pledge.

    I wish I would have taken this pledge.

    So right now, after reading this post, I vow to start my Christmas stuff now (well, ok, Monday for sure. FOR SURE.) instead of leaving it until the week before Christmas like I usually do. Baby steps. Maybe next year I’ll be ready for the REAL pledge.

    Perhaps there could be an “I pledge to pledge” day somewhere in July?? One can never have too many helpful solemn vows, you know.

  12. Amy says:

    I’m getting stressed over the Christmas cards. My son’s in Navy JROTC class this year and he had a photo taken in his cadet uniform. That is going to be the photo. They assured us it would be here by now but I’m still waiting. EEK! As for presents, well we have too many people so the adults don’t buy for each other and all the teens want gift cards (can you say iTunes?). That makes my world really easy! (plus the kids have 20 birthdays between Thanksgiving and the first of January.)

  13. Just so you know..I have roped my entire family into helping make the 12/4 deadline. Today my hubby and 14 year old son finished the outdoor decorations and lights. I have finished the indoor decor already. While they were doing that, my 4 year old and I stuffed our 150 cards into envelopes. The 10 year old sealed them and they are stamped and almost ready to go. I need to print the labels. I have done 90% of my shopping as well. I have bought my wrapping paper, ribbon and tape. I think we are doing quite well. And we are all going to a Christmas party tonight:) thank you for the motivation. I am feeling good about it.

  14. Caroline says:

    Ack – I’m running behind because my husband decided to paint the family room and kitchen this weekend! Didn’t want to have to dust the decorations and tree after he sands!
    cards are done
    outdoor decorating done
    shopping is 50% done
    the rest will happen this week :)
    That’s pretty good for me so I am feeling happy and stress free – thanks for the challenge!

  15. Devin says:

    Where do you order all your presents from? Do you ever get *surprise border fees* when it arrives at the door? I’m always afraid of that and so I usually only ever order from… or other Canadian sites!

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, sometimes there are “surprise” fees, but usually only when things are delivered by the United States Postal service. Things delivered by UPS don’t seem to have the “extra fees”. Plus when you order small things from Etsy, that never happens. ~ k!

  16. redz says:

    Christmas pledge?? Um…yeah…I’ll get right on that. :( Once a procrastinator…actually have some crazy ‘stressy’ doings at my office, so much of my time is being sucked into that gaping vortex…haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping just yet. It’s gonna be ugly. Big thumbs up to online shopping, tho! Started doing that about 5 years ago, it’s truly a life saver (ok so you have to pay for shipping, whatever, it’s still great).

    So Santa Baby, bring me some of those Rough Linen sheets! I’ve been a *very* good girl this year!

  17. sandi says:

    Karen, thanks for the shove I needed. I have finished most of my shopping….and I am giving myself until the 8th since I didn’t read your challenege right away. I feel a lot more peaceful this year….what gets done, gets done. But, I swear I will not fret over what I was delaying doing….just do it.

  18. pve says:

    Christmas Therapy…..I needed this.

  19. Leanne says:

    you HAVE been my Christmas therapist! Because of you, 1/2 of my gifts have been bought, Christmas cards are written and stuffed, and the house is decorated except for the tree. Thanks Karen!

    Leanne @ BEcause (I think) I Can

  20. Nicole says:

    Outside lights – done. Outside planters – done. Christmas gifts – 75% done. Christmas tree is up and will be decorated Saturday. Inside decorations – Saturday. And I’ll save the baking and wrapping for in December because that’s just part of the traditions of Christmas. So thanks for the motivation to make Christmas enjoyable in December!

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