Merry Christmas to all and to all a good fight.

It’s Christmas Eve. The day before the most anticipated day of the year for many of us. December 25th, known more commonly as Family Fight Day. The day family gathers together to exchange gifts, good wishes and karate kicks.

Everything always starts warm and fuzzy then out of the blue Uncle Bob is wielding a cheese knife, the kids are crying and Auntie Barbara is hiding behind the curtains with a bottle of Sambuca blubbering about how nobody loves her.

Getting through Christmas Day can be hard on people. Whether it’s the family fights, the travelling from home to home or spending it with the inlaws,  or the being alone, Christmas Day can be exhausting.

So. I’m here to not so gently remind you that you need to relax. Even if you just pick one day. Here is my official not so gentle reminder. “HEY. STUPID! RELAX!”. It’s directed towards myself too so don’t feel you’re the only stupid one.

Christmas is my favourite time of the year but it’s also the most tiring and also the most stressful. Even WITH the Christmas Pledge. So I always make a point of taking time off after Christmas and using that time to relax. Something I’m not all that good at.

Every year I like to tell you what I plan to do with my time off so here you go.



Finally hang curtain panels in my office.

Light the fireplace in the morning and not leave the couch other than to eat.

Spend at LEAST one day where I don’t turn on the television or computer.  Probably a few days actually.

Cook, cook, cook.

Depending on the weather, a sleigh ride is in the plans.

Start a petition to stop people from using the word “convo” instead of conversation.

Go for a run. Or two. Or lay on the couch.

Do some work on my book proposal.

Work on developing the redesign of The Art of Doing Stuff.

Expand petition to ban the shortening of all words.




I look forward to this week off all year and even though I will be doing some work I’ll also have plenty of time to sprawl out and not wash my  hair. Which let’s face it.  Is really what the holidays are all about.

But before all that happens I have to get ready for my annual Christmas Eve party.  Stack some wood inside the house, get the hot buttered rum ready and lock up the cheese knives.

Have a great Christmas Day and thank you all sincerely for reading and sharing The Art of Doing Stuff.

I will see you in the New Year.

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”5342563″]


  1. DanniS says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas Karen!!

  2. Chana says:

    Book proposal? Oh joy! Can’t wait!

  3. Another1 says:

    Can we please add “vacay” to your petition?
    It will be covered by banning all shortened words, but I think it deserves a special mention along with “convo”.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Sherry says:

    Relax. Enjoy. Merry Christmas to you!

    And please add chillax to your petition.

  5. Ritz says:

    A Splendid Christmas to You and Yours, Karen!

  6. Kathy says:

    I enjoyed reading about your plans. Here’s to time off……to knit nap nibble. My new favorite phrase.

  7. Kathy Hartzell says:

    Christmas brings out the best and worst in most of us. Which are we? The besties or the worsties? If we can laugh at our compulsions and try at least to let them go, maybe we’ll be one who is “the best”. What do my kids remember about the holidays? It isn’t perfect decorations or best wrapping job…it’s having the door open to their friends, pulling out the baking gear and whipping up some cookies on Christmas afternoon cuz we were too busy earlier, sending the friends home with goodies and over the mixing bowl, listening to what they wanted to say. Eating too much. Forgetting to cook the cranberries, but remembering the meringues.

    Thank heavens for mini Christmas lights, in a pinch, a mass of them as almost as good as a tree!

  8. Valerie says:

    Have a cool yule.

  9. Anita says:

    Merry Peaceful Christmas, Karen. See you next year.

  10. Dee says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Karen, and thank you for a wonderful year of entertaining and useful posts. Hoping you enjoy your time off.

  11. Liz says:

    Happy happy Christmas, Karen. Thanks for inviting us into your conversations 🙂

  12. Meg says:

    Merry Christmas!!!! And a happy new year!! I hope you really enjoy your relaxing time.

    Thanks for the pledge again – this year I even made it to a handful of parties that I don’t normally attend. So I’m already working on relaxing thanks to you!

    And …sleigh ride?!!? A real sleigh? With horses?!! <<>> Have fun!!!

  13. Serduszko says:

    Merry Christmas, Karen! Enjoy your week and relax!! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year! P.S. Add FAB to your petition, please. 😉

  14. shuckclod says:

    Have a wonderful holiday. Thank you for the laughs. Don’t forget to feed the girls and the cat. I hate shortened words and couple name words. Guess it is our ages 🙂

  15. Yvonne, the other one. says:

    Have a Very Merry Christmas Karen!
    I’m with you on banning shortened words, and so bothered by people who are now using totally ‘wrong’ words, for example, I read a comment on a blog which said – just my two sense worth – when I think she meant – just my two cents’ worth. (It SOUNDS like the same word…)
    Anyway, enjoy every moment of your break, eat whatever you feel like, read for hours on the couch in front of a roaring fire and do not feel obliged to celebrate the New Year. I’m going to use the good china, drink the better booze and scarf down all the treats I only bring in when company comes.

    • Joy says:

      Add “must of” to that list! “I “must of” read it wrong.” 🙂 That one drives me bonkers. It sounds similar to must’ve, but that doesn’t make it right!

  16. Mindy says:

    Merry Christmas!!!!!

  17. Auntiepatch says:

    Merry Christmas!

  18. Pam'a says:

    Dear Karen,

    1. Please add “u” to the list of nasty shortened words.
    2. Look! Mindy reads your blog!
    3. Enjoy your time away and…
    4. Peace on Earth!

    May we all be mindful of how very “first world” our problems are.

  19. Virginia says:

    Happy Celebrating and I so enjoy you, rest well!

  20. Louise says:

    Whaaaaah! How can I relax without your blog?! I’ll have to comb through your old posts.
    I guess you do deserve to relax; you are one insanely hard-working woman!

  21. Deb says:

    Have a lovely break and a wonderful Christmas. I so enjoy this blog.

    Thank you so very much for sharing your life with us.

    I made the hot buttered rum mix for Christmas baskets. Oh my Lord, it’s amazing, and I just tasted it while cooking. Can’t wait to actually have a drink!

  22. Andree Masters says:

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from sunny Spain. Xxx

  23. Donna says:

    Merry Christmas to you, your family and your chickens. Cannot wait to see what you have in store for us in the new year. Enjoy your party to-night and then have a good rest.

  24. Ev Wilcox says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Karen! Enjoy your time off. See you next year!

  25. Tigersmom says:

    Merry Christmas, Karen!

    Just want to say thank you for the Christmas pledge, too. I got sick with a virus that is not the flu but feels just like it and knocked my butt down for the past week. If I hadn’t made the pledge and been 95% done with everything before it hit, I would have been so screwed.

    I refuse to count being forced to rest due to illness as relaxing because you can’t DO things you want to do but find relaxing (like cooking which I used to hate but have come to enjoy, thanks in no small part to you, too), so my relaxation will start on New Years Eve and last until my son goes back to school or maybe a tad longer.

    • Karen says:

      I’m glad you’re better and even more glad you’ve taken a liking to cooking. It’s a great creative past time that you also get to EAT! ~ karen

  26. Linda J Howes says:

    I don’t knit so for me it will be nip, nap nibble. Ah, delicious. Looking forward to 2015, the best is yet to come!

  27. Jane P says:

    Love the Christmas Pledge! No computer and t.v. sounds perfect!

    Enjoy the holidays with your family, Merry Christmas!

  28. Marcia says:

    Merry Christmas to you Karen – thank you for a year of laughter and learning!

  29. Karen too says:

    Almost wrote convo in a post last night…and then did not! Were we channelling the same digital spirit?
    Merry Christmas “other Karen with the good blog.” May 2015 bring you all the best of everything.

  30. Lynn says:

    Merry Christmas Karen wishing you an your family a joyful holidays. Turn off your electronic’s bring out the wooden spoons have a old fashioned.
    You will all be laughing to hard you will forget the time , you will only remember what a peaceful season you had with family and friends alike.
    P.S bells on the horses harness will remind anyone that it is time to slow down an enjoy the moment.
    Merry Christmas to all Best Wishes in 2015.
    With that said my electronics are going off till the new year.

  31. Heather says:

    Merry Merry Christmas

  32. Karen C says:

    Merry Christmas and all the best to you and your family in the New Year. Looking forward to the redesign and morning laughs (I read your post while eating breakfast!!)

  33. Jody says:

    Have a gr Ch’mas and NY. N’joy ur vaca. I look frwd to ur posts in Jan. I will be n’joy’ng time w/ ‘rents and sibs. Sorry…….Have a great Christmas and New Year. I look forward to your posts in January. I will be enjoying time with parents and siblings. And thank you for your blog, it IS the best.

  34. Maura says:

    Merry Christmas, Health, Serenity and continued success in the New Year!

  35. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Merry Christmas Karen!

  36. martha says:

    Merry Christmas Karen! Thank you for sharing all of your talents with us. You are indeed a blessing.

  37. Karol says:

    XOXO Merry Christmas to you and all of your fans. Pretty funny group! I laugh at some of their responses as much as I laugh at your posts. Looking forward to 2015.

  38. Wendy W says:

    Merry Christmas Karen!

  39. Natika says:

    Have a great end of the year refresher! I hope you get to do everything you want to do, even if that something is actually nothing. Best wishes for 2015 too!!!!

  40. Kim C. says:

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas from Pakenham, Ontario!
    Happy relaxing. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Pakenham! I taped a show in Pakenham once. We did a makeover on a waitress at a restaurant. I think it was across the street from where they make Viagra. 🙂 Have a good Christmas Kim C. ~ karen!

      • Kim C. says:

        YES! I remember that episode. I live one concession road across from where that lucky waitress used to live. The restaurant is still there in Arnprior but sadly the ”little blue pill” is no longer manufactured there. Helluva show! 🙂

  41. mayr says:

    Mer’ Chris’.

  42. Miriam says:

    Happy Holidays, Karen,
    I’ll be having a good convo with my BFF about our next vacay where we will be sure to chillax.
    There, I’ve annoyed all your other readers to put them in the spirit for family fight day.

  43. West Coast Nan says:

    Merry Christmas Karen, thanks for bringing us all together to share your blog.

  44. JeannieB says:

    Wishing you a lovely Christmas Karen. May all your dreams come true.

  45. Lynne says:

    Thanks for an entertaining year. Enjoy your time on the couch.

  46. Adrienne in Atlanta says:

    I’ll sign that petition! I’d also add whatevs (most hated), hubs, vacay, cray, and the incorrect use of the word “literally”, to just name a few instances that make my skin crawl when I hear them.

    Merry Christmas, Karen. I am literally delighted every time I see your post pop up in my mailbox, even after all these years. You’re doing a great job, and you are appreciated. 😉

  47. Carole says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Have a wonderful well-deserved break!

  48. jainegayer says:

    A book, did you say a book??????? Yipee!!!!
    And can we take a “relax pledge” next year along with the Christmas pledge?

    Karen, thank you for all the mornings you’ve made me laugh so hard coffee sprayed my keyboard.
    I’ll miss you next week but am happy knowing that you’ll be relaxing. Sounds like a wonderful week!!

    See you next year!

  49. Jebberjay says:

    Merry Christmas Karen! enjoy your time off. And … If you were ever to post about your knitting projects, that would be ok.

  50. Langela says:

    Just, literally, saw a commercial for a hotel website’s gift card that said something to the effect, “a gift that says ‘You’re special to me’ while simultaneously saying, ‘Go away.'” I just keep thinking that someday my kids will think that way about me. Looking forward to that day! 🙂

    Could you add to your ban the idea that Christmas is no longer used–everything is “holiday” this or that. It’s holiday trees, holiday songs, holiday gifts and parties. I want the word Christmas brought back!

    Merry Christmas, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      I’m fine with Christmas. All of the Jewish people I know are fine with Christmas. I will use the word “holidays” sometimes but I’m basically referring to the general holiday season that encompasses Chanukah, Christmas and New Years. Merry Christmas Langela.~ karen!

  51. Debbie says:

    I read a fascinating piece on Xmas that may be surprising to some. Here is just one link :

    • Pam B says:

      Thanks Debbie for putting that link on here. I had read it before and forgot where it was. I am not a Christian and it has never bothered me to use the Xmas abbreviation. And I did know the history of it. If it were better known I don’t think people would mind it as much. Thanks again and Merry Xmas to you and yours. Blessed Yule and blessed be, hugs!!! Pam

      • Debbie says:

        Pam, thank you so much for your note. I am also not Christian, though feel there is a kindred thread of spirituality that ties together all who believe there is a entity greater than themselves (I call that entity G-d). May we all be blessed. xxxoooDebbie

  52. Debbie says:

    As several religions celebrate very different holidays this time of year, if I know which holiday someone celebrates , I will use that holiday name. If I don’t know or am unsure, I would rather say Happy Holidays or Have a Wonderful Holiday Season, than say nothing. Good wishes are good wishes and I feel they should always be appreciated. If someone uses the wrong holiday in speaking to me, I say thank you and that I hope your holiday is wonderful, too! And to all, A Very Happy New Year.

  53. maggie van sickle says:

    Dear Karen

    All the very best to you and yours for a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. May your New Year be filled with hope and health. Enjoy your family to the fullest.


  54. Pam B says:

    Hiya Karen!!! I don’t comment much, but love you and the blog, and the chickens and the Stuff and all of it, lol. Thanks so much for being here and being you. Blessed Yule to you and yours this season. Be safe and have a wonderous break. Blessed be, hugs!!! Pam

  55. Dawn says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Karen! Thanks for all the great posts this year!

  56. Grammy says:

    I’m the grandmother here, so I get to say, “If you want to fight, take it outside. In the back yard, not the front — my neighbors think we’re a nice, normal family.” Of course, it’s too cold to go outside just to have a political pissing match, so there is nothing but Peace and Love and Good Wishes within my home on Christmas Day.

    I wish for you much Peace and Love and Good Wishes for the upcoming year. Enjoy the fire and a good book and eat all you want of whatever you like. I look forward to getting a little glimpse of whatever suits you when you come back rested and ready to roll.

  57. Tres says:

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  58. sj says:

    A sleigh ride! Please share photos. Pleeeease!
    Merry Christmas up North! Wow, you are so much closer to Santa.

  59. Rondina says:

    Hmmm. Don’t website design and book proposals fall under the category of work and require the use of the banned computer?

    Have a merry one, Karen and fellow followers.

  60. ralph says:

    I have greatly enjoyed your blog since discovering it a few months ago.
    I wish you good health,a Merry Christmas and a Preposterous New Year.

  61. kipper says:

    add to your petition the words literally, staycation and copasetic (my Mother uses that word all of the time and it drives me crazy). Totally agree regarding eliminating shortened words like convo, camo etc. Don’t get me started on too oft repeated phrases like “have a nice one” -a nice what? Another phrase is “how is your day going?”. Clerks just say this automatically and don’t listen to the reply. I’d better go have another cookie…..
    Merry Christmas and happy time off!

  62. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Will miss ya girl..Hugs..Merry Xmas…just kidding..Merry Christmas to Karen, Aunt Jean, Betty, Pink Tool Belt, Fish Pedicure, Ernie and Cleo…Thanks for sharing your lives and adventures with us!

  63. Nancy says:

    From a fellow Canuck, on the west coast, have a wonderful Christmas. Definitely no snow here. And to your petition, since when did ‘invite’ the verb become ‘invite’ the noun in place of invitation. Drives me bonkers to hear someone say “I just received an invite in the mail to the party”. It’s and invitation! people.

  64. Carey says:

    Merry holidays to you, too! The book deal? That is so exciting! Somehow I can’t imagine you without your computer, even for a week. Good luck with your own challenge! RELAX! Lol

  65. marilyn meagher says:

    merry Christmas karen…all the very best to you!

  66. Erin says:

    Not leaving the couch except to eat…sounds glorious. Merry Christmas!

  67. peg says:

    happy new year!

  68. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Merry Christmas Karen! Would love to see photos of the horses and fancy sleigh as you sleigh ride, sounds like lots of fun.
    Thank you for all the great tips and treats you shared with us this year. I made the hot buttered rum recipe and LOVE IT!
    Get your rest. We’ll be here when you return. May love and peace fill your heart in 2015.

  69. Brenda says:

    Let me know when you have the petition up and running – I will so sign that! Hope you had a lovely Christmas and enjoy the break.

  70. Laura Bee says:

    Then there’s “yous”? As in ‘Hope *yous* all have a nice Christmas’ . There are two people I know who USE this term. The one day one of them commented on something and I found out it is spelled ‘use’. sigh….
    Merry Christmas. Hope there was no blood shed. (p.s. the diorama and the leather book cover were a hit – thank you!)

  71. Gwen H. says:

    Have fun

  72. Gail says:

    Merry Christmas- I was so a couch potato on Dec 26th, I just read your post from Christmas Eve!!! So I did the knitting and catching up on Netflix! Yahoo!! It was great!!! Now- back to work 🙁

  73. Roxy says:

    I would like to add the “word” sanny to the list. It’s a sandwich people!

    Happy New Year…party on Wayne!

  74. Kelli says:

    My holiday “wish & relax” list (I took the last 2 weeks off from work yay!):
    Catch up on sleep and lots of naps!
    Walk every day (in the daylight no less)
    Finish shopping & wrapping
    Xmas with the cousins
    Hang out with friends, maybe even tie one on!
    Do some projects
    Read, read, read!
    Hit a couple of movies
    Get haircut, mani and pedi
    Clean (never ending job)
    Work on computer

    What ACTUALLY happened: I got SICK. 3 days before Christmas. It’s now New Years Eve and what HAVE i accomplished from my list? No. 1 – SLEEP. Like…A LOT. 🙁 Nothing else has been done, I’ve been so knocked sideways.

    But Merry Christmas Karen (belatedly). Hope YOU stayed healthy, and I hope your 2015 is filled with more success, wackiness and family infighting than ever! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      I did about as well as you. (I didn’t get sick was just my regular, hyperactive self) But there are still a few days left and I’m hopeful I can take full relaxation advantage of them. Happy New Year! ~ karen

  75. Louise says:

    My family followed the traditional Christmas ritual you mentioned; the family fight! I believe some people won’t be speaking to each other for a year! Ah well, nice to know that other families share in this time-honored tradition – thanks for sharing your wisdom! 🙂

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