The Christmas Pledge 2013.

The time has come.

It is time to sign up for The Art of Doing Stuff’s Christmas Pledge.  A hand over heart, pinkie swear, spit in your palm and shake hands agreement that you will get everything you need to get done for Christmas before December 1st.

Except decorating the tree.  ‘Cause decorating the tree before December 1st is a practice performed only by lunatics and scary people.  And I assume, some of you.

The Christmas Pledge was started on this blog a few years ago with more and more people taking part.  It’s a way to force you into doing the crappy stuff in November, leaving the fun stuff for December.  Things like baking cookies and watching Christmas movies.  Unless you hate baking cookies and watching Christmas movies in which case you’d better get those things done in November.

I will have a calendar up in the next few days that you can refer to in terms of what you need to get done and by when.

I know there are some of you who avoid the Christmas Pledge. And may in fact refer to it as the Christmas Plague.  So I’ve taken a moment to let you know exactly why you should join the ranks of the Christmas Pledgers.

The following list is a real life account of what will probably happen to you in the month of December, 2013 (based on whether you do or do NOT take the pledge)

Are you in? Or are you out?

The final decision as to whether to sign the pledge or not can only be made by you. Do you want to win a Nobel Peace Prize and eat cookies? Or do you wanna get shanked?

If you’re ready to nap and eat cookies throughout the month of December, sign up now.




As added encouragement, those of you who have taken the pledge in past years, feel free to leave a comment saying how well it worked for you. (no showing off by writing your comment in Japanese or Sanskrit or whatever other language you spontaneously learned by taking the pledge)

Like what you read today?
Subscribe to my daily emails so you never miss a post!


  1. Jenna says:

    I LOVE this! Sadly I’m one of the lunatics that decorates my tree before December 1st and I’m even more maniacal because I leave 2 of my trees up year round and change the decorations to suit the season. Looking forward to the cartoon sparkle shooting out of the corner of my eye! 🙂

  2. Katie says:

    I am quite excited to have discovered your Christmas pledge recently/accidentally while reading old posts. I already got a head start on Thanksgiving, so now my plan is to have Christmas sorted by December 4th (more wiggle room given my weird perfectionism/OCD feelings about dates) since three weeks is plenty of December para mi. I am so(!) excited(!) to not dread the October through January season for the first time in my post-college adult life.
    Thanks for putting this brilliant idea into the ether! Consider me pledged.

  3. Becky says:

    Even though I resist doing anything Christmas related until AFTER American Thanksgiving, I’m taking the pledge.
    But, I really think cartoon sparkles are gonna hurt, I mean I really don’t want to scratch a cornea, so let’s pick somewhere else for them to shoot from, mkay??

  4. Larita says:

    Haha! I’ve been waiting for this! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and laughed at your silly pledge, saying “I don’t need that. I’m super organized all on my own.” Then promptly did absolutely nothing for Christmas. Like, one year, my house had NO decorations. Last year, my brain exploded just trying to get he bare minimum done in the week before. So this year, I’m on track to be done all kinds of Christmasy thing by the first week of December. Looks like your pledge is not so silly after all.

  5. stephbo93 says:

    Hmmm…..I’m thinking about it. I have to see the calendar first so I know what my next few weeks will have to look like.

  6. Chris says:

    Umm, I guess I’m one of the scary ones because my tree is put up on American Thanksgiving , my Christmas cards were handmade in July and I’ve had presents stashed away since last February. I really like Christmas!!
    I like having everything done early so I can sit in the sun (no snow here) reading a book while avoiding the department stores.

    Chris =]

  7. Laura says:

    It works!! Do it! I’ll never go back to last minute crap ever again! This will be my third year of joyous holiday celebrations thanks to Karen’s pledge.

  8. jenny says:

    Or do you wanna get shanked? Maybe I’ve just been up too long, but that killed me. My face hurts from laughing!

  9. Oh yes, I’m in! Some of my shopping is even done already. 🙂

  10. Kailee H says:

    As I am due to have a baby next week I have decided everyone gets homemade soap this year. The soap is already made and curing and all that is left is to find a nice but easy way to package them.

  11. Hazel says:

    Yes, definitely! I’ve been thinking this for a while and decided that this is the year it will all be done for the beginning of December.
    I also have my youngests two childrens’ birthdays in the 10 days after Christmas (I know, the midwife just laughed at me by #3) plus the birthdays of both my parents, my husband and my eldest child in December and January, so I really ought to get off the computer and wrap a few more presents…

  12. Rebecca says:

    I have always thought your Christmas pledge was an excellent idea however I have never participated but this year will be different. I’ve actually been looking forward to Christmas since July when I started a Christmas list. Call me crazy because I have already bought some gifts but I’m going to bake cookies and actually enjoy it this year!

  13. Tasha says:

    We did it the last two years and it has made December so much better! It appeals to my husband’s need for organization, and allows him time to get over his bitterness at Christmas shopping by the time Christmas rolls around! So I guess you could say it has saved his life because I was going to kill him if he complained about Christmas gifts one more time.

    Also, December is a time for fun! So having the shopping done earlier makes it all the better.

    I will have mine done by November 28, since that is when my parents are driving back to their place, and shipping it with them makes life easier for us when flying

  14. Meg says:

    I want to take the pledge because (although I am pretty good at it by now) I hate the mad dash right before Christmas. Running around sweaty on December 23rd, cursing people who insist on bringing their cars to a full and complete stop *before* they get out to run into the mall, then having trouble even mailing things for under what the gifts cost, because I didn’t remember I shouldn’t buy enormous presents for overnight shipping. I figure if I take the pledge, maybe I’ll at least do this process sooner.

    And because I’m hoping it’ll give me time to finish my remaining seven (of twelve) new year’s resolutions, decorate without pressure, and do things like make a gingerbread mansion replete with working gingerbread cars in an excessive necco-paved driveway. And then still have time to eat it AND be smug.

    I, Meg, agree to take part in the Christmas Pledge.

  15. Liz says:

    I have so much trouble choosing gifts… But I suppose the point is you’d still have a deadline, just not christmas!

    Another comment, I’ve noticed you’ve added a new social media thing, little green popout thing on the left. I’m kinda blind (as in I’m rather short sited and haven’t had my glasses scipt checked in a few years..) and increase my font size a lot. The green thingy is very very annoying. Just wanted to let you know – its not going to stop me reading your blog though.

    • Karen says:

      I have no idea why it’s green for you Liz. It’s a white bar that lets you easily Pin posts, Tweet them or send them to Facebook so you don’t have to scroll up or down to do it on my site. Anyhow, you’ll get used to it. You probably thought I was very annoying to begin with too. ~ karen!

  16. barbee says:

    I usually start making lists by then, all the more ironic because I work at the “Wonderland of Christmas”‘. But, after your challenge, I started to think. What if things were crossed off my list because they were done, instead of because they were never gonna happen? What if I did all the things I wanted to do, instead of half of it at the last minute? I might be getting out a calendar and official Christmas planning book now, and (in the words of my daughter’s) I blame you!

  17. Trisha says:

    I’m soooooo taking the pledge. Especially since I’m almost caught up with LAST Christmas.

  18. Carey says:

    This is the part where I get really, REALLY mad at you and your A-type friends! I think you’re just doing this to make the rest of us Christmas losers feel even worse about getting released from jail on December 13th.

  19. Pru says:

    I’m in! I’m about 70% done with the shopping, wrapping paper and ribbons bought and cards written. I love this pledge. Friends think I’m mad but I love when December is left for fun things and not battling in the shops!

  20. Louise says:

    Sign me up – I’m in! I’m sick of decorating the tree on Christmas Eve while my son sleeps. I want to string popcorn and make cookie ornaments together! I want to sit in the mall and watch the kids sit in Santa’s lap, instead of desperately and breathlessly trying to find that last minute, PERFECT DAMN GIFT!

  21. Bre says:

    I’m taking this under strong consideration…
    Ugh…I’m in….

  22. magali says:

    every year I say I will send out Christmas cards and then I don’t, so I will take the pledge so that I actually do it this year!

  23. Oh I’m pledged alright!
    did you not instruct us weeks ago to buy one Christmas present? Or am I imagining it? Either way, it is done, but I won’t gloat about my headstart :)))

  24. susan donis says:

    this may be a dumb question, but is there somwhere yo actually sign up? or do i just say “i’m in”?

    • Karen says:

      You just say “you’re in!”, but you can print the red pledge form and sign it and put it up on your fridge as motivation. That’s what it’s there for. (if you want you can print it in black and white to save on colour ink) ~ karen!

  25. Barbara R says:

    I’m in….my sister and I are pretty organized for the family Christmas! although I admit she carries the brunt of the work for about 22 of us (she hosts us—I will share your blog with her). This year we are required to make one of our gifts…I’m hoping that you will post some ideas for us….non-food please! So far I’m thinking Lamp from a Jug….any other ideas? Thanks Karen for getting us organized.

  26. Tigersmom says:

    I’m definitely in again.

    I did this last year and cartoon sparkles shot out of my ass!

  27. Jody says:

    I’m in—-wait, let me spit on my hand and type with only my pinkie… I pledge to take part in the Art of Doing Stuff’s Christmas Pledge to have everything done by December 1, except the fun stuff. Shopping and wrapping gifts are not fun. I did this last year and admit there were times in December when I was bored-in December-just before Christmas. Yes, bored in December; a very good thing.

  28. Carolyn says:

    I’m in.. I hate the stress it brings with it. I get so stressed out, I reget the fun in all of it. But never the reason. I am always undone. It would be me putting up the tree before Thanks Giving. And baking the cookies two weeks before Christmas.. And have eaten half of them. Lol. I am looking forward to some help.

    Thank You Karen, You are a wonderful person.

  29. I am so in this year. I actually just wrote out my list this morning and am try to figure out how we are going to pay for it and when to have family photos done!

  30. Su says:

    I’m in! Actually I’m moving the time frame for me up a week. I want to have it all done by American Thanksgiving because I have travel plans to be laying on a warm sunny beach in Cancun that day and the next 9…..

  31. Linda J Howes says:

    I pledge, (what exactly I’m not telling) but I pledge!

  32. Mel says:

    Karen, I’m not sure how all of your advertisers get to list on your page, but I was baffled to see a link to a page warning me that the Democratic candidate for governor is in bed with the Homosexual Agebda lobby crap. What the what?

    • Karen says:

      What?! LOL. Um … honestly … I have no idea. I have a few different ad networks. Chances are it was Google though because it sounds like that particular ad is Geo-targeted (only shows up for people who are in a certain area). ~ karen!

      • Mel says:

        Thanks, Karen! Voting over, ads from horrible candidates done for a while. Hurrah for Democrats winning in Virginia! Thanks for sharing my bafflement.

  33. Thera says:

    I’m in again, been doing this the past two years. I am usually a touch behind due to financial constraints, but it does help me get motivated and organized.

  34. Reg says:

    Oh nooooo. Already? There’s still leaves on some of the trees in the yard!

  35. Shannon Floyd says:

    I’m totally in! I even started a bit earlier this year so November could be relaxing as well! Maybe cinnamon and nutmeg will shoot out of my eye on Thanksgiving???

  36. karol says:

    I guess this makes me both a lunatic and scary because my tree is up! Booya! Toys for my grandtots are in layaway and a list has been made of Christmas brunch menu items. I’ll check my mirror daily for shooting cartoon sparkles.

  37. Lindsay says:

    I’m in for sure! I always try to be done shopping before Decemeber rolls around. Those Christmas shoppers are a whole different level of crazy. The decorating is never done too early so that’ll be new for me this year.

  38. Jay says:

    I’ve done it for the last 2 years (except wrapping presents because I LOVE doing that and save it as a treat while I eat mince pies and watch Jimmy Stewart movies)
    Since committing to the pledge I have become a professor at Cambridge, been given a book deal and developed the ability to walk elegantly in high heels.
    I’m worried about this year’s pledge as I am making most of the presents and I am NOT a quick knitter/sewer

  39. Robyn says:

    The first step in recovery is admitting that you need help ….boy oh boy do I need help getting organized for Christmas!

    I’m in (like belly button lint)!!!

  40. Shelly McKay says:

    Count me in!! Have picked up/made a few gifts already. A little nervous about the calender though 😉

  41. joanne says:

    On my commute home last night, I witnessed a house already completely decorated for Christmas. Outside and inside. Inflatables, lights, angles, Snoopy, Santa, Nativity scene — you name it, it was out there. Christmas tree visible in the picture window – wreaths on the door….

    Someone has forgotten the month of November entirely.

  42. Ev says:

    Ummm, MAYBE by Dec 15th, if I’m lucky. But your plan is better!

  43. Lisa says:

    I’m in! Starting today – I’m getting a head start on the hand-made Christmas ornaments I decided to decorate packages with LAST year, but never got around to. Thanks for the inspiration.

  44. pooks says:

    What the hell.

    I’m IN.

  45. Angela says:

    I’m in again this year, especially since I now have two kids instead of just one. I’d like to get back into making candy for gifts, so I neeeeed to have everything else done early to cut down on all of the stress. Plus, my older daughter’s birthday is at the end of November, so I just add doing stuff for her birthday to what I’m already doing for the pledge, and my life is so much easier!

  46. nicole d says:

    oh, i SUCK at gifts… half the gifts i end up buying are dumb, and i hate it… i always start shopping early, thinking it will give myself lots of time to find THE PERFECT gifts… and then i don’t find them… so i keep shopping, and keep looking, and then its the week before Christmas and i buy something dumb…. just to have something to give… haha… i suck at gifts.

    I will do the pledge… maybe it will give me luck in finding good gifts, instead of dumb ones. haha.
    I did, find a gift for my father in law already… it’s stashed and ready to go…

  47. marilyn says:

    ive never been shanked..what is it? guess i’m gonna find out

    • Karen says:

      Well Marilyn, you’ve just shown everyone here your belly. Your weakness. Your soft spot. If you’ve never been shanked, that means you’ve probably never been to prison (where one normally gets shanked). If you’ve never been to prison, you might not be tough enough for The Christmas Pledge. I guess we’ll find out! 😉 ~ karen!

  48. Sandy says:

    I guess I am a big lunatic! I start decorating the first weekend in November. I have most of my gifts bought already so I will take the pledge. No rushing for me!!

    • Alicia says:

      You are amazing. I love Christmas and some times I think that it goes by too quick. I thought about decorating early, but thought of it as stupid. But not no more, I am decorating early!

  49. karen l says:

    Let’s do this thing b*****s!

  50. Leslie Zuroski says:

    I took the pledge Oct. 29, then got sick, feeling bad that I didn’t accomplish anything Christmassy starting Nov. 1st. You say there’s still time?!? Count me in, you made my day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)

The Art of Doing Stuff