Take the Christmas Pledge With Me

I Karen, being of sound mind and body, (except for an occasional dagger-like pain in my eyeball from a migraine) hereby declare I am going to be completely and totally organized for Christmas by December 4th.

That gives me exactly one month to get everything done.

By everything, I mean by December 4th I want all of my presents bought, the house decorated and all my Christmas cards completed and sent out.  That leaves pretty much the entire month of December to actually enjoy the festive, holiday season as opposed to cursing it and everyone associated with it.

I should let you know, I have this thought in my head every year, but never actually commit to it.

So here and now, in front of blog and everyone, I am committing to attaining this goal.

Here’s the schedule …

November 5th – November 30th – Buy presents, put lights up outside, do outdoor Christmas planters.

December 1st – 2nd – Decorate inside of house.

December 3rd – 4th – Fill out Christmas cards.

December 5th – 31st – Enjoy festive holiday season.  Maybe get drunk or take on a new and exciting lover.  Who knows.  There’s a world of possibilities.

Every year by the time the middle of December comes around, I’m thinking …. I’ll never get everything done, I hate this, this is stupid, I haven’t even baked a gingerbread man, why did I buy my mother a set of  boxing gloves, who knew a parking lot could actually cause my blood pressure to rise to the point of my ears bleeding?  And then I’m officially overwhelmed, I pop a Gravol and  crawl into a corner to nap.

I’ve been known to become violent throughout it all and once almost ripped a cashier’s arm out of her socket when she told me after spending $350, I’d have to PAY for a box if I wanted one.  Since then I’ve taken to calling the holiday season, Dismember December.

My hope is to make this the most relaxing, enjoyable Christmas season ever.  I challenge you to do the same.

I, Karen, being of sound mind and body, challenge you the readers, to a Done by December duel.  Are you up for it?  You can totally apply this method to Hanukkah or Kwanza or whatever other holiday you celebrate that seems to last for a month.

We can do this if we encourage each other as opposed to trying to run over each other in the parking lots.

I will be keeping you updated as to my progress and I trust you will do the same.  Come December 5th I plan to be full of Christmas cheer,  standing smack dab in the middle of the mall handing out free boxes.



  1. Claudine says:

    You’re on! I’m hosting my book group on the 14th and want to have everything done in time to enjoy AND have read the book. Also, being a hairstylist, it gets to be a pretty hectic time, so a game plan is a really great idea.
    I, Claudine, being of (relatively) sound mind…accept your challenge.

  2. Marti says:

    Karen Martha Friggin’ Stewart Bertelson… that’s what we’ll call you in the future. And it’ll be A Good Thing.


    • Karen says:

      Oh it’s gettin’ done, lady! Even if I have to run over someone in a parking lot in the month of November … it’s gettin’ DONE. ~ karen

  3. ok I’m joining the gang. However since I work at an international shipping company I pretty much hate life for the entire month of December regardless. I’m pretty sure I might actually go postal this year!

  4. SK Farm Girl says:

    K – patch-over ceremony at my house tomorrow night. BYOP/BYODC/BYOH/BYOC! LMAO! Should we pick gang colours? I know, I know!!! Red and green! This is going to be soooooo much fun – tee hee!

  5. T.B. Cook says:

    Challenge accepted. Our holiday cards have already been addressed, signed and are waiting for holiday stamps!

  6. Amye says:

    Can we make a slacker’s version of this? I’m closing on a pretty house and moving over American Thanksgiving, so I assume that if I am still a person by December 5th, then I will be winning this game.
    “Done by New Year’s!” has a great ring to it.

  7. Robyn says:

    I’m with you on this! Since most of my Christmas shopping was done in July, I’m way ahead already. Also, I might need to change the date to earlier re: Christmas cards – have many to go overseas to need to get this done before end Nov. But I’ll be all done by December 5th regardless. I think if I blog my progress too, this will force me to stick to it.

  8. Sabrina says:

    This is brilliant! I’ll be juggling Christmas with my family and in-laws for the first time this year, so I need as much peace and serenity in the weeks leading up to it as possible.

  9. Guess what Karen – I IGNORE IT. And I am still ALIVE and my family and friends still speak with me. NO tree. No presents. No stupid tinsel (I hate tinsel). Only food and booze, that I can handle.

    My mental health is unbearable.

  10. I was worried you were going to make me take a “no xmas planning until after Thanksgiving pledge” which I would have already failed..so yeah I’m definitely in 🙂

  11. Dismember December? I LOVE it!!! Sounds like you nailed the feeling of that week before Christmas! I embrace your ‘get er done early’ attitude and I shall sit back sipping my eggnog lattes cheering you on. And then I shall enjoy those drunken posts you’re hinting at after December 5th. Eat, DRINK, and be Merry I say.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kate! Ahem. But I noticed you didn’t *actually* take the pledge. You will be jealous when I’m perfectly relaxed, in a shortbread cookie haze, drunk blogging about the best way to remove wine from a pair of furry slippers. ~ karen

  12. Caroline says:

    I, being of sound mind and body, pledge to….not think about Christmas until December.

    Seems our pledges are in direct conflict but why do we have to have Christmas in November?? I hate it!!!

  13. Melissa Haight says:

    I’m in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yahoo! It’s gonna be a verrrrry merrrrry christmas.

  14. Liz says:

    I love the idea of doing all of this early…I’m thinking about it so far 🙂

  15. Kitt says:

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    Really. I mean it.

  16. Julie shinnick says:

    I’m just going to encourage you from the sidelines Karen and the gang….. Go for it!

    Cripes, people are still waiting for their xmas cards from us from LAST year……

    If I quit work, sold the children and sent my hubby packing I might be able to do it…… oh….. but then I would have no-one here to celebrate with….

    Also if you have to work on Christmas day, like me, you should be given a ‘leave’ pass from the gang…. yes???

  17. Tracy says:

    I’m in! Plus I want the gang jacket, which may make a great gift.

  18. I did this last year and I am doing it this year too. All presents, cards and things to be bought has to be completed by November 30th. And then I spend December enjoying everything Christmassy – it works so well.

  19. Petra says:

    Same here, except that I always had an excuse to actally not do half of the stuff you listed. We live in Hungary, my parents live in Croatia, and we always spend Xmas there…so why bother to decorate. But this year, this year is different. We are having a baby sometimes before Xmas so we won’t be able to trave…I will have to make Xmas at out own home…PLUS, the whole family is coming here! How the hell do I do all that?:)))

  20. marilyn says:

    oh im in! hosting a bday party for my sis on nov 25 so will certainly be motivated and i dont do christmas cards so thats one less thing.

  21. Anne-Marie says:

    Me too…..me too! It’s a yearly ambition, but has never yet happened….it WILL this year……yaaaaay us!

  22. magali says:

    I actually ordered one stocking stuffer and three gifts online this week! I have never been so early! As for the decorating and xmas cards however, the boyfriend and I are planning our engagement party for the 26th of November so I think those things will be done later!

  23. Brenda j says:

    Great idea!
    I’m in. Was thinking I ought to send my son up a ladder this weekend to put up lights before it gets really cold and or he finds another excuse besides “busy with GF” as a reason not to help out.
    I’m starting cards this weekend too; buy em’ during Boxing-week sales.

  24. Tisha says:

    I love this idea! Since I don’t really decorate the house, all I have to do is get the presents bought and cards sent out! Thanks Karen, for making Holiday Season 2011 that much easier for me lol

  25. Nicole says:

    Let’s up the challenge a notch. All the gifts have to be homemade!! Well, maybe not, but I’m going to at least try to buy things to encourage local merchants, such as gift certificates to restaurants or spas, crafts from amazing artisans, local wines, etc., anything to support our local economy. (Boxing gloves for your mother? Heck, if I gave my mother boxing gloves, they would become a lethal weapon…)

  26. I am SO IN! I need this! I have “some” gifts purchased–but really need to make a list-your deadlines for having things done are definately gonna help!!
    Thanks from crazytown!

  27. Sharon North says:

    Don’t forget to pencil in “plan meals for all the family and friends that will be here” and “shop for all the food for all the family and friends that will be here.” Or, “pick out ten restaurants to take family and friends to while they’re here.”

  28. ELISE says:

    I’M IN.

  29. Thera says:

    Hmmm kinda sounds like Mission Impossible lol.
    Does this include baking? Are Fake Pies allowed too? lmao
    Okay, I am in!

  30. Stefanie says:

    Though I “committed” to being done before the kids are out on break, I’m with you! Maybe now I’ll have time to visit with friends too.

  31. I’m gonna do ya one better. House will be decorated by the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.

  32. paula says:

    Yes! I’m in. I’m making a list this weekend of everything I need to do. I may even do some delegation this time – that’s my promise to myself every year – as yet unfulfilled – try NOT to be superwoman. Here’s hoping!! Thanks for the starting *the gang* Karen!

  33. Langela says:

    If I join your gang, are you going to “jump me in”? I’m very fragile and cry easily. This is the main reason I have avoided gang activity and membership thus far in my life. But I DO love jackets. Hmmmmm. Ok, count me in, I’m ready to live on the wild side.

  34. Lori says:

    Great idea. This is the first year that I actually have a hope in hell of accomplishing this great feat. I hear you about the horror of shopping in December and how it sucks the life out of actually enjoying the season. This year, I set up an account that I put money into every week AND I’ve done a pre-shop and have written down ideas and prices for everyone’s gifts. When I’ve decided on something, I transfer the money over into my regular account and buy it. All this so that the January bills don’t suck the joy out of December too. I’m rambling…anyhow, I accept your challenge! Game on!

  35. Rachel says:

    I’m in…I have always hated christmas (for numerous reasons) and am a real scrooge, but I now think that part of it is because I don’t try to like it (duh) So, this year I cross my heart to take part and make the holiday season fabulous!thanks Karen

  36. Treva says:

    I’m with ya! Every year I make the promise but since it’s only ever a promise to myself, it never ever happens. So count me in! And I’m throwing in the “get everything done for Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7 as well- including ALL gift-buying” (don’t get me started on finding gifts during the Boxing Day mayhem- let alone wrapping paper on Jan. 6). Yes- we celebrate both and get to spread Christmas out for another two blessed weeks. Shoot me now.

  37. Lindsay says:

    You just made Christmas joy sound attainable, bless your heart, Karen.

  38. Let the madness begin…..your on!….I’m going to post this w/link of your challenge too…..and I believe I can even pull it off….and I might add….I buy alot on line so this will be even easier for me….thanks for the challenge and putting my feet to the fire….so to speak…..

  39. Deb J. says:

    I won’t sign on ‘cos I work best to a deadline. But one year I almost did this because I gave lots of people advent presents as a Christmas gift. They each got 24 small presents (one each day) instead of one large one on the 25th. It is a lot of work and can get expensive. But it’s fun to get. However I nearly poked my eyes out wrapping 24 x 8 small gifts. No fancy Karen wrapping on the last few of those!

  40. Leena says:

    On the subject of getting ready for holidays, there is also a web workshop that you can take to learn how to get organized for the holidays. http://shop.simplify101.com/get-organized-for-the-holidays-p/s101ws0006.htm
    I actually took that last year and I enjoyed it a lot (and no, I’m not payed to write about it)

  41. Karen Boreham says:

    Pffft! As the line states, “Peace on Earth, goodwill to MEN, ’cause they got nothing to do but eat during the holidays.” … or something like that. But I will accept your challenge, because every year I aim for less stress, more fun. Who knows maybe this will be the Christmas of Karen (or should I say, Karens).

  42. Lisa says:

    I admire your enthusiasm, but how bout we skip to the Dec. 5-31 agenda, and forget the rest of it? I’d be so freaking full of cheer, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

  43. Norma says:

    OK, I actually printed out the schedule and it’s on the bulletin board. Let’s enjoy Christmas.

  44. Bart says:


    Is this invite open to men? Well, couples? My wife and I are hopelessly addicted to your site. It was the the Spaghetti blaster pkg opening techique for her and the Boob cam for me. We’re empty nesters now and this plan sounds doable. As for the jackets, Lori likes purple and I look good in red. December 5th – yeeehaw.

    • Karen says:

      Bart – Men, couples and pet iguanas are all welcome. All you need is a holiday to prepare for and a desire for some actual relaxation during that time. ~ karen!

  45. AmieM says:

    I like. I am with you! I already have in mind what I’m getting the niece, dad, brother-in-law, and can let the BF fend for his family himself! The hard one every year is mom. But I’ve already made 12 dozen pierogies, so that no potluck will leave me unprepared! And I am making up a bunch of sugar cookies to be iced and mailed to far-away family. Then it’s just the apartment decorating. But the BF and I have yet to spend Christmas together, so we don’t usually go all out for decorations for this holiday, and live up Hallowe’en instead. Dec 4, you are my deadline!

  46. Abbiw says:

    Count me in, with the exception of baking cookies; I will continue doing that until Christmas day as I’m sure they would taste pretty craptastic if I baked them a month ahead.

    However, with that said, a Done by December tip that you probably already know: make the various holiday cookie doughs now, portion them into cookie sized pieces and freeze it in bags. Helllloooo effortless holiday baking all the way until christmas!

    • Karen says:

      Abbiw – Great idea! I host Christmas Eve at my house and often make and freeze a lot of the appetizers ahead of time. Rarely do it w/ cookies though. Part of the reason I want to get everything done is so I CAN spend part of December making cookies and gingerbread houses etc. To me, *that’s* the fun part. 🙂 ~ karen

  47. Marissa says:

    Count me in!! I love the holidays and I love to relax, so this sounds perfect!

  48. Okay, I’m in but this is seriously going to interfere with my procrastination, which is a skill I’ve been honing for many years. lol I’ve been saying every year since the dawn of time that I will be done Christmas shopping by December and yet that’s normally when I start. Sigh.

  49. Kirsten says:

    I Kirsten, being of sound mind and body,hereby declare I am going to be completely and totally organized for Christmas by December 4th. Dear God, what have I just committed myself too?! Going to give it a shot.

  50. Christina says:

    Can’t even begin to process Christmas although some stores already have decorations up. It makes me insane and I refuse to join in. No Christmas until after Thanksgiving! This post made me come up with my own pledge:
    The Christmas season begins on black Friday and I’m not doing a d*%& thing before then.
    Best of luck to the rest of you!

  51. Sara says:

    I’m due to have a baby November 27th, so all my gifts, but my hubby’s, are purchased and half are wrapped. Yippee! I also plan (hope) pre-baby to make freezer pumpkin butter to have to pull out for teachers and other random people who might like a gift. The decorating…I may just let my mom, hubby and son do it while I sit on the couch feeding a newborn. My mother-in-law already offered to do the baking and cooking. So all that’s left is to fill the Netflix queue with Christmas movies. this year I’m saying cards-shmards. If I know you and you aren’t getting a gift, read your holiday greeting on my FB status update. Yay!

  52. Kate M says:

    I’m with Christina on this one. It sounds like a good way to get everything done, but I just cannot even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving (except starting the occasional present-making venture). Looks like it’s the same ol’ cramming it into a month for me!

  53. Ahnnie says:

    Karen, you crack me up.
    (You do realize though, that you just transferred “Dismember December to “Nasty November?”)

  54. Kate says:

    What an AWESOME pledge. I’m in. Guess that means I have to start getting things together…like now.

    • Karen says:

      Kate – If you’re a member of The Art of Doing Stuff Facebook Fanpage, I’m giving lists of what to get done. This weekend for instance, your mission is to write out a list of everyone you have to give a present to and what you’re going to give them. Also, browse Etsy and Pinterest for gift ideas to make or buy. 🙂 Go! ~ karen

  55. Brandi says:

    I totally with you Karen!…especially the idea of possibly takin on a new and exciting lover after the 5th!!!

  56. Julia says:

    I have so much Christmas cheer that it irritates the people around me… I started in on the music BEFORE HALLOWEEN. It’s sick, wrong, and I love it. In fact… I MAY have already made four homemade brownie mixes to give people, as well as ten frozen mini pies, and am infusing vodka for two handles’ worth of limoncello. All for Christmas gifts.

    I either need a slap on the head, or for all you other twisted, addicted elves to help me get lights on the porch ASAP…

  57. Nancy says:

    I will seriously try for this goal Karen..although I will have to battle daily with my nasty evil procrastination gene…Good Luck to everyone!!!

  58. Amanda says:

    I wrapped all of my christmas gifts yesterday! Other then the plants I will be giving…of course those have to be last minute. Next week I will be doing all the decorating, and then from there I just sit and enjoy! Oh and of course, the baking!! I will be doing that on Dec 1st!! I am 155% on board with this pledge!! I do this every year and I don’t even have to go to the mall or in stores the month of Dec. I’m not stressed ever about Christmas shopping and I love that!!

  59. Laura says:

    I am in. I want to bake and lounge and socialize and have fun during December too!

  60. Elysia says:

    Love this! I’m in! Jump me into the gang, just leave the face alone please, lol 😉 ok, your on like Donkey Kong! Oh, better get off this computer, get rid of this migraine and get going!!

  61. Susan says:

    I am inspired Karen!! Can do, will do!!! I really feel that we have bonded over this post!

  62. Karalee says:

    I pledge to Christmas Cheer. I am excited to see all that I can get done this month!

  63. Laura says:

    Holy Shit! okay….

  64. Chau says:

    I’m with you Karen, although I’ve been known for broken pledge due to unforeseen reason, LOL. And believe me there are many unforeseen reasons out there that cause me to panic, freak out and out-of-controlled. An organized and talented person like yourself get crazy during the holiday, what chance do I, with all my humble being, get to avoid that?

  65. Mel says:

    Signed!! I’ve already purchased all my gifts, so all that’s left is a lot of knitting, making Christmas cards and decorating! I love doing things ahead of time so I can actually enjoy December and all the wonderful things going on during the holiday season! 🙂

  66. Cricket says:

    I am definitely IN! I’ve got a good start already, and the kids always force my husband to haul out the tree and proceed to strew ornaments everywhere on Black Friday, so they have that covered. My biggest stumbling block is always the cards. I need to make that my top priority.

  67. kerry says:

    i’m so in. seems every year i put things off until the last minute and last year i didn’t even put up a tree! it’s going up before thanksgiving this year. two gifts down…

  68. Dionne Trifiro says:

    Love your commitment to the impossible …wishful thinking, I’ll sy YAY and forget about it as my two noisy 1&2nd graders come slamming through the door hungry ….plus I have a headache that seems to be very attached to my right temple.
    Oh what the hell, I sound like Scrooge I’ll give it a go…
    When did you say it ended I mean starting or has it started already, am I late?

    😉 love your blog! *HEART*

  69. Evalyn says:

    This sounded like a great plan until I remembered I live in the USA and we still have Thanksgiving to hurdle before we can begin the December Debacle. I love Thanksgiving. It has no gift giving, it has food, and pie, and (not for me, thank you) football, and pie. It all happens in one day and then it’s done. And it has pie. Then December happens, the password is changed to BUY, and everyone goes insane. I can’t wait for the soul-cleanse of New Year’s where the Debris of December is heaped on a bon-fire and sent to hell with fireworks. Only then can I enjoy my long winter’s nap, after more pie.

  70. Shauna says:

    I buy most things online thereby avoiding parking lots, lines and most importantly people – those dreaded people;) I avoid sending out Christmas cards by sending out New Years cards instead. I never, however, avoid decorating. Any chance to decorate and I’m there. You can do it Karen, if anyone can, it’s you.

  71. Holiday says:

    Well, I’m typically very, very organized about Christmas, but I don’t think I can decorate that early. My tree would be so dry by Christmas the pine needles would be more on the floor than the tree. But, i can commit to the rest. I typically start holiday shopping in August and am 90% done by Dec, 1st. So really, not a problem. It’s so much saner that way. No crowds, the leisure to price-shop, and when I wrap it all it’s like rediscovering lost treasures!

    • Karen says:

      Holiday – I should have noted that I normally have 3 or so Christmas trees, but only one of them is real. I always get that one the middle weekend of December, so I’ll have that to do. But I enjoy it, so it won’t be a nightmare. ~ karen!

    • Kim says:

      Holiday- When I was growing up we always put up our tree the day after American Thanksgiving and it lasted until well after Christmas. The key is to go to a farm where you can cut your own, if possible, and get it into water immediately. If you don’t live in a region with cut-your-own Christmas tree farms, the next best this is to be sure to cut off a few inches of the trunk just before putting it in water. This removes the part of the trunk that sealed up during its long journey from the farm to your living room, and will allow the tree to drink up all the water it needs. Hope this helps!

  72. Shauna says:

    what is going on with your comments may I ask? Not only do I love to read what you write, but I also love to read the comments. Both yesterday and today, only one comment is showing up. Yesterday, more showed up after I commented, but not today. I can only get one comment to show up today. I went to yesterday’s post – holy cow 612 comments!! But, only like 4 are showing up. Even when I click on the link for the comments above, I don’t see them. How do I know if you responded to me if I can’t even see my comment and I love to read all the great comments from people and your replies. You have such witty readers.

  73. Ginny says:

    Since everyone is getting home baked goodies this year I will not have to go to the mall. Yea! I already have a list of people that get cards (with their address), stamps and a list of people I give gifts. I do need to buy some new cards so there’s that. My wreath from last year is ready to go. Hey, I may actually be able to do this pledge.

  74. kate says:

    This is a good plan! I’ll join with you and whoever else would like to do this. Even though I still have Thanksgiving a head of me, i only make the pies (2) nowadays. My pledge will be a little different – I vow to be ready by the 7th, since we have 2 potlucks and 2 open houses to attend the weekend of 3-4. I’ll start by telling you I did some Chrismas shopping yesterday and got a few other gifts in early October. –BUT – they are still in their store bags and not wrapped and some need to ship out of state, so that is on my list. One thing I do not do: I do not go to malls; I shop small stores locally owned and operated or even drug or grocery store. I look forward to being inspired and inspiring!!

  75. Lynn says:

    I’ve already started planning in my planner! I won’t be able to be completely done by December 4th as

    1. we will be in LA celebrating a friend’s birthday and

    2.every year I bake up a storm of cookies to send with the gifts, but I have a plan to be sending gifts out by Dec 17th so the cookies are not stale by xmas. Sure people still eat them, (who turns away a delicious cookie??) but I’d like them to be freshly baked too.

    if the baking is all I have left tho it will be tons of fun and a super easy holiday season.

  76. Karen B. says:

    I’m a new follower, but I feel like we are something close to soul sisters. I will take the pledge…but I will break it. Honestly, I spend most of December hating Christmas and stay up all night Christmas eve wondering if everyone else will be happy in the morning. Meanwhile, I am exhausted, fried and tired of the whole thing. Then something magical happens on Christmas night…I realize I’m done…the burden is lifted…I can enjoy it. So for a brief few days, while they are still playing a few Christmas songs on the radio, and before the decor comes down, I enjoy the season and feel the Spirit and eat fudge. Dec. 26th is the best!!!

  77. nikki@kreative knack says:

    I Nikki being of sound mind and body, accept your challenge! Can’t wait to try this…I promise I’ll give it my all 🙂

  78. Hey Karen I am totally pumped for Christmas and was re reading some of your last years posts and getting inspiration from your decorating. I was just wondering if you remembered where you got those acrylic/glass risers/blocks from that you had a reindeer on and pine cones on? Also that large glass reindeer. its so elegant. I find that most of the ones I have seen so far are….. awkward and freeky

    • Karen says:

      Erin – The glass risers are from The Bombay Company, but they only carried them for one season. I bought about 7 or 8 of them, gave some as gifts and kept some myself. The acrylic reindeer is quite popular. Several stores in Canada carried it last season and the season before. I got mine at Terra Nurseries for 70% off at the end of the season 2 years ago. It was something like $150 regular! ~ karen

  79. Ummmm yeah, that is SHEER genius. I’m totally going to do this too. TOTALLY. I am totally not joking, my mind is blown right now.

  80. Ashlyn says:

    Ummmm…It sounds great but I’m a procrastinator…Let’s say, I’ll try 😉

  81. Nicole says:

    Challenge accepted. And as of today, 3 gifts are done.

  82. Jaclyn says:

    As absurd as it sounds, I actually put my tree up this evening & hung the ornaments… I know, I have lost my mind. My nutcrackers are out (it’s a growing collection) & I am on my way to an enjoyable holiday. I accept your challenge. LOL

    • Karen says:

      Jaclyn – Yup. That does sound a tad absurd. Although my mother is putting up her tree in a week or so because she’s having company. Ya do what ya gotta do I guess. 🙂 ~ karen

  83. Angela says:

    I’m in! I already have most of my shopping done, with just a few gifts left for the in-laws and new babies. The most difficult thing is going to be finally making my hubby a homemade stocking, he’s been using a *gasp* store-bought stocking since we got married and my daughter and i have stockings that my mom made for us. The hubby has a GIANT work event in the second week of Dec, so it would be great for us to be fully prepped before then!

    And due to that damn work event, my first Christmas party is November 29. Ick.

  84. pve says:

    I just felt the first “Christmas hive or bug” yesterday, that itch, that panic of feeling like it is a darn race. I will take your pledge, but only if I can savor the spirit of Christmas and open my heart to others.

  85. Caroline says:

    I too pledge to have every thing done (except decorating my real tree) by the first week of December and I am adding a pledge to spend less on stupid things and give more meaningfull gifts (I am giving chickens, goats and mango trees to third world countries through Plan Canada to most of my family and donating to the local foodbank as well)
    Here’s to making Christmas enjoyable and stress free!!

    • Gillian says:

      I love the idea of giving more meaningful gifts. We do it at work instead of Secret Santa (everyone puts in some money and we pay for a well or something).

      For those who don’t “get” the concept that I’m giving a goat on their behalf I try to give an “experience” rather than something physical – for example a ticket to go abseiling, or to the theatre.

      When I’m being super lazy or busy or brain dead I give magazine subscriptions appropriate to people’s hobbies. Everyone seems to like that.

  86. michelle says:

    karen? when do you plan to wrap gifts? you didn’t schedule it!


    • Karen says:

      Michelle – Everything I actually *enjoy* doing, I’m not scheduling. I like to wrap presents! So … probably the 1st week in December will be present wrapping time. 🙂 2nd week in December is real tree trimming time. ~ karen!

  87. Ellen says:

    I’ll give it a good try. It’s complicated for me by the fact that the next 2 weeks are full with setting up & tidying up after the biggest rummage sale in my city. But on the plus side, most gifts will be bought by the end of next week, so I might be able to make it if I do a little planning….All except the baking & food prep, sigh, which is a huge job, cuz no one else in my circle cooks.

  88. Jen says:

    I did quite a bit of Christmas shopping this weekend…and I got this “wouldn’t it be great…” feeling, anticipating actually being ready this year ahead of time. I will take your pledge…and see what happens.

  89. Stéphanie says:

    I’ll give it a try, hoping this year november and december won’t be a nightmare (all the members of my familly, me, hubby and kid included, are born in october, november and december, it’s double punishement!)
    But thanks, you give me energy at least!

  90. Cindy Marlow says:

    Since I’m newly retired, one would think that I would be looking forward to going all out this holiday season. Yet, NO! I’ve decided that the ‘no hassle’ holiday is the only way to go. Therefore, I’ve made Thanksgiving reservations at the beautiful Mimslyn Inn in Luray, Virginia for my family. This day will include a trip through the famed Skyline Drive ending at the Inn. Christmas, too, will be simple. I’ve been gifted with a ticket to Southern California and will spend the holiday in the sun and the fun of a spa-like atmosphere. Very different from the usual hustle and bustle and feelings of inadequacy. I’m looking forward to the change…

  91. djonn says:

    I refuse to even think about Christmas till December 10th. This stuff has gotten waaaay outta hand. People hate the holidays, I’ll give a good guess as to why. relax folks.

    • Karen says:

      djonn – The only people I know who hate the holidays are the people who refuse to think about it until December 10th. And the whole point of getting a head start is so everyone CAN relax. Yup. ~ karen

  92. Rose campion says:

    I hate the holidays. No, not because I won’t think about it until Dec. 10. I hate them because I worked retail for 10 years, until just this year. I’m not yet sufficiently recovered from this to enjoy them again. Maybe in a decade or two. Until then, there will be no tree, only such gifts as I am obligated to purchase, and for the love of baby Jesus, no Christmas carols. Bah, humbug.

    I have to say, I do admire the people who have it all done early. They’re usually the calm ones in the shops. It’s the ones who wait until last minute who are insane and make retail workers miserable. Usually.

  93. cynD says:

    I am with ya darlin’ done and done. I would like to be one of thoes people who have it all done and together. I will still be baking and kniting and crafting up till the 20th of Dec.. How ever I do have my daughter all done and wraped. The boys gifts are not quite one each is gotten. We only do three gifts per kiddo… Hubby and I are taking a trip the end of January that is our big Christmas for us. He will get a fragrance & hand knited sox ,that makes it easy. Stocking stuffers are two apeice and under $7.00 for the whole family a total of 28. I am half done. This year the guys are all done.. and the little kids. Yea! only one teen and two adult neices Yea!! go! doers – go! doers – get it goin’!! I sure hope to have it all under control and done.. so I can chill…

  94. Melissa says:

    I’m with you sister! Made many of my presents last weekend.

  95. Elaine says:

    Years ago I decided that if Christmas were moved to November 25th I would have to have the gifts and cards ready, so, I decided that I would look at it that way. I have all the shopping done and wrapped, cards are written, stamped and waiting to be mail. The last weekend of November the tree goes up and the decorating begins. I leave the candy making and baking for the nights and weekends prior to Christmas this way I enjoy the Christmas season which it is a season, not a day. There is time to party, enjoy family and friends and not be stressed. Also I love being in the kitchen, so I am relaxed and happy making candy to give away and baking for family. It took a lot of years to learn this but by doing this and having a list of people I buy for in my purse 365 days a year it works. I buy all year long, it cuts down on all the expenses at this time of year and when I see my list with the names of people with gifts purchased beside them reduces my stress.

  96. Tabitha says:

    Such a great idea! I’m in!!

  97. KittyCardea says:

    I applaud your determination, and it is certainly a good idea to get others involved and supportive. I wish you the very best of luck.

    I’m not doing it.

    I actually almost drove myself off the deep end last year trying to make a gift for everyone. That was a nightmare. Of course, it probably would have been easier if my anxiety meds had not been causing panic attacks, but still. So, I decided, on Christmas Eve, that I will Not give gifts this year. I will focus my energy on being with family and friends, instead. A relaxed, not-foaming-at-the-mouth Kitty really is better for everyone.

  98. Jeanette says:

    Cards mailed, packages under the tree, gifts shipped… the only thing left is baking! Merry Christmas everyone!

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