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. Adrienne Audrey says:

    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. Cheap Chick says:

    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.

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