The Christmas Pledge 2019

You didn’t think I’d forget THIS did you? It is time to sign up for The 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. Or die trying.

Cozy dining room decorated for Christmas with a pine harvest table filled with garland, candles and lanterns. A sheepskin throw lays on top of a pine bench.

This pledge is applicable to Hanukkah or Kwanza or whatever other holiday you celebrate that seems to last for a month.  

I am about to bestow upon you the greatest gift known to humans. The gift of mental stability during the holiday season all doused in the scent of pine.

O.K., a quick rundown of what The Christmas Pledge is and what it entails. It’s a pledge that you are going to commit to getting all of the Christmas crap done BEFORE Christmas. In fact you’ll get it allllllll done before December 1st. Suck on that procrastinators.

As a result, you will have the entire month of December for doing fun things as opposed to running into stores last minute holding massive underpants over your head screaming “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ALL YOU HAVE IS  XXXXXXXX-LARGE LEFT???!!!”.  

YOU are going to buy your presents now so they aren’t out of the size, colour or brand you want. 

YOU are going to mix up cookie dough and stick it in the freezer so you can bake them fresh in December.

YOU are going to drag out, dust off and put up your Christmas decorations so your house looks like the Restoration Hardware catalogue farted on it.  All before December 1st.

YOU. ARE. GOING. TO. BE. READY.  For Christmas.

Why should you take the Christmas pledge?

The decision is yours to make. There are PLENTY of people who can attest to how well The Christmas Pledge works.  I know. You think it’s stupid. You think starting to get ready for Christmas almost 2 months before the big event actually happens is gross, ridiculous and a bit much. You know what’s more ridiculous?  Being surprised when Christmas “sneaks up on you”.  Over the course of the 364 days you had to prepare for it.



Because I happen to be in the middle of blog overhaul hell, I won’t be holding your hand quite as much this year so that calendar is the SOLE thing keeping you from a mental institution this year.  Well that and Zoloft.

So print The Christmas Pledge, put it on your cupboard and mark things off as you go.  If you don’t have time to do something either decide that you just are NOT going to do it and forget about it, or schedule it in for another day.  But don’t get all frazzled if you missed doing some stuff because getting all stressed is just going to prevent you from doing the other things. Just do them, or get it out of your head that you HAVE to do them.

For instance if you said to yourself in July, Gosh I’m going to make a 5′ tall croquembouche  as a hostess gift for my neighbour’s Christmas party” but the thought of doing it is making your eye twitch?  Then just don’t do it.  Either that or invest in an eye patch so no one can see the twitching.

ALSO if you want to share your ideas or have a way to be accountable for staying on top of things then JOIN THE CHRISTMAS PLEDGE Facebook group.

Good luck.  On your marks.  Get set. Ho.

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The Christmas Pledge 2019


  1. Meg says:


    I totally never pledged to do the pledge this year. I just looked this up and realized I hadn’t promised and pinky-swore to do it yet. I pinky-swear I will get everything done! I will have a carefree, arrest-free, herpes-on-my-face-free holiday season!!!

  2. Tracy K says:

    I just read this, on the 22nd. Yes, I knew it was in my email. No, I didn’t read it until now. I am ever the procrastinator, just as Karen wrote. This year is different! I do know that I am a BIT behind, but have already worked on Christmas lists and purchasing. Well, at least for the kids… to my husband’s dismay. I didn’t get them too much, I swear!

    I digress. I pledge I will keep to the calendar, and finish the month out victoriously. Seriously, thank you for the calendar. It is much more relevant and better than the one put out by a person who shares a first name with a vinyard, and the last name of an ex-host for the Daily Show. Thank you, Karen. I really do appreciate it.

  3. Veronica says:

    It’s Nov 11th and I’m just now reading this post… Ugh!
    Today is Pinot Grigio day! I’m in!
    Thank you

  4. RachelSD says:

    Love this!!

    I’ve never taken the pledge before and we were out of the country during the (U.S.) holidays the last two years… so I am excited to get Christmasy things done early this year so we can actually enjoy the season!

    I’ve shopped for gifts for my kiddo and all the little cousins (got most of them). I wrote our yearly “year in review” holiday letter that will go in with our holiday cards. While we were in Europe last month, we took a decent enough “us-ie” photo of ourselves and I slapped that into Costco Photo today and ordered our Christmas cards. I can’t believe it! It’s only November 9 and somehow I’m ahead of the game! It’s a Christmas miracle! No, it’s remembering Karen’s Pledge and thinking… “yeah, I should do some of that stuff now before things get freakishly busy!”

    Can’t wait to get the outdoor lights up soon (won’t turn them on until Thanksgiving night as per tradition), and then we can begin the slow, fun process of adding interior decor bit by bit (I refuse to skip over the calm pre-Thanksgiving decor of white and rustic pumpkins… it’s the calm between Halloween skeletons and Christmas craziness).

    Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!

  5. cherie says:

    We were in the U.S. this week where we have family in WA, OR and PA and, guess what? I delivered the gifts to the WA family and sent off the gifts to the PA family today and discovered a neat service in U.S. post office: you can put the package on a scale, then the price comes up, then you pay and off it goes — no line ups! When we got to the post office in Bellingham, there were about 100 (well more like 35) people in line and we had a ferry to catch in order to get home to Vancouver Island, so my sometimes clever husband/partner discovered a nearly hidden gizmo aforementioned. (Don’t you just love that word?) So now I’ll print out your list — first time — and smile, smile, smile. Brilliant, Karen!

  6. Vanessa says:

    I started using this a couple years ago. It is the single best thing EVER! I love walking around the office bragging about how I have everything done AT THANKSGIVING! The looks of shock and envy that I am met with are extremely satisfying!!

    And the tip about booking hair and nail appts now, absolute GOLD!!!!!

  7. Tracy says:

    Oh, I am so glad you DIDN’T forget and that it’s a tradition. Printing now!

    Thanks for the nudge and inspiration Karen :)

  8. Suzie O says:

    It’s that wonderful time of the year!! Thanks Karen!

  9. Carolyn says:

    I’m fairly new to your blog and this calendar is EXACTLY what I need!
    Also, how did you know that I pledged to myself to make a croquembouche in July? Because I really did. But no way am I giving it away as a hostess gift! If I follow your schedule I will be able to accomplish this goal in December, right?
    XX Carolyn in Utah

  10. E says:

    Thank God you corrected the calendar, for a minute there I thought I had lost track of what year it was…again.

  11. Jacquie Gariano says:

    I’m in…I don’t really start the house decorations till after Thanksgiving Day. The house lights go up earlier but the rest waits till Black Friday. For me Black Friday is red and green day. The boxes of decorations are already in the garage and waiting. I take down the Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations and start the Christmas ones. Since I have 10 trees inside it takes a bit, but I love every minute of it. Sing along with Christmas music, drink and wear my Santa hat. Several years ago I read an blog somewhere about getting cookies done in “six” days. I do it in 2 days. Get recipes and make sure I have all the ingredients, bake and freeze. Than when I’m ready bake along with eggnog and music. Magic. Love the pledge.

  12. Jennifer says:

    I was thinking this was just about due to pop up. Yup, I’m in.

  13. Gael James says:

    Third year in and so pleased you’ve created this space again! Last year‘s vanilla was a huge hit. This year I’m going for waxed cloths as an alternative to saran wrap or other disposable wrap. Happy pledging, all!

  14. Beth W says:

    Woooohoooo! I’ve already adapted my November calendar for this year and am looking forward to crossing things off, maybe even ahead of schedule if I get my arse in gear. Boom! Bring on the Christmas wine

  15. T says:

    I am in.

    I want you (all) to know that I actually started putting up lights today on my garden obelisks (wooden) at the top of our driveway entrance :). On my own. Before reading your Christmas Pledge email.

    First time ever this early.

    I am so technologically illiterate. If I can figure it out, I will post a photo of the above mentioned obelisks when they are completely done. I have been planning my container decos as well, and will post those too lol. If I can manage to figure out how to do it….

    I laughed my ass off reading this post. Always, keep up the great work :)

  16. Idaho Girl says:

    This is very timely reinforcement as I’m already planning to put my outdoor Christmas lights up this weekend. Nobody freak out, I won’t start turning them on until after Thanksgiving! My ex used to always wait until the weather was absolutely miserable and he had to chip ice and snow off the roof and gutters to hang them. I, on the other hand, being an evolved female of a certain age, prefer to get them all up before I’m dealing with ice and snow, which in my part of the country, could happen any day now. No matter how stressed I get during the Christmas season, it always gives me a little happy to see the house all lit up.

  17. Nancy Letman says:

    Yes I pledge!!
    Merry Christmas prep all

  18. Letitia says:

    Jacksonville, Florida has had temperatures in the 80s for the past several days so waking up to the Christmasy 60s this morning was a thrill! Yes! Taking the pledge!

  19. Barb says:

    Happily I’m already on day 8! Since I’ll be meeting up with family in a week I try to get all Christmas gifts bought and wrapped early so I don’t have to send everything…just hand over a big box with gifts to each family and I’m done! Next on my list is to write and address the cards and before Thanksgiving the tree and other decorations begin to go up! I like the pledge as it does help me get organized on other tasks!

  20. Glenda says:

    I am currently in Romania on my honeymoon, drinking homemade wine and figuring out where to go for dinner. Then I saw your email. I’m in. I’m not back home until the middle of November, but I’m in! I made your vanilla last year for gifts and it saved so much stress. Thanks Karen! This year I think I’ll get tea towels printed with a cocktail recipe and include the garnish. Looking forward to a relaxing December! Cheers!

  21. Kristi S says:

    I’m in! For the part about dying trying…

  22. Jody says:

    I’m in. I’ve done this a few years now and it is suprising how bored I can get in December when everything is already done…..but I’m not complaining.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t usually have any stress about Christmas in December and don’t even like to think about it until then. I’m not a scrooge but get totally turned off by Christmas the day after Halloween. However this year, in all insanity, we are moving house in December (not our choice) so I may do this November prep without officially calling it a pledge or anything. More a necessity!

  24. Robin Willcox says:

    This is awesome and I’m in! with the tweak that down here below the 49th parallel Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday (always the 4th Thursday of Nov.) – and requires a fair bit of decorating and cooking prep of its own. In my house Christmas decorations go up only after Thanksgiving. Sometimes friends put everything up while others are still swallowing pumpkin pie, LOL. But having said that I love the idea of getting all the Christmas prep done before then, esp as it’s late this year…..

  25. whitequeen96 says:

    Wait, WHERE’S that weird picture of you as an elf? I see part of it came in my email, but I want to see the whole thing because I remember it made me feel as if I were on drugs. Yes, the photo of your dining room is absolutely beautiful, but I want to see the elf too!

  26. Nicole says:

    Um, the first is a Friday this year, not a Sunday. So excited to get going on this, though!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicole! I’ve updated my disaster of a calendar, lol. Everything is as it should be now, both the calendar on the site and the printable PDF. ~ karen!

  27. jacqueline nagot says:

    je n ‘arrive pas a traduire en français le calendrier de noël
    alors j’abandonne avec beaucoup de tristesse ! car je vous aime beaucoup
    jacqueline de paris

    • Karen says:

      Ack! C’est dommage! Je regret, mais je parle francais, mais seulement en petit peu. Je ne pouvais absolument pas écrire le calendrier dedans. (first 3 sentences are my french, last one I needed google translate for, lol) ~ karen!

    • Ron says:

      J’espère que cela vous aidera. S’il vous plaît excuser mon pauvre français.

      La Promesse De Noël – 2019

      Novembre Tâche
      1 Ven Commencez lentement. Parcourez Pinterest pour des idées de cadeaux pour les plus difficiles à acheter.
      2 Sam Commencez à faire votre liste. Destinataires de cadeaux sur la gauche. Cadeaux potentiels à droite
      3 Dim Trouvez votre liste de cartes de Noël / Hanukkah dans le lieu étrange où vous la mettez.
      4 Lun Prenez rendez-vous pour les cheveux et les ongles. Parce que cette année, vous aurez du temps pour faire la fête et faire la fête.
      5 Mar Achetez ou commandez des cartes personnalisées. J’utilise Vistaprint chaque année pour les cartes personnalisées.
      6 Mer Retournez dans les temps anciens et achetez des timbres! Demandez les timbres de vacances mignons
      7 Jeu BISCUITS! Préparez la pâte à biscuits et congelez-la pour pouvoir la couper et la cuire au four en décembre.
      8 Ven IMPORTANT: restez en pyjama toute la journée. Parcourez Pinterest pour des idées d’emballage et de décoration de cadeaux.
      9 Sam Savoir ce que vous achetez tout le monde? Sinon, terminez votre liste CE SOIR.
      10 Dim Rappelez-vous quand vous avez parcouru pour des idées d’emballage? Rédigez une liste de tout ce dont vous avez besoin.
      11 Lun Je suis à peu près sûr que c’est un jour le Pinot Grigio.
      12 Mar Vous achetez quelque chose en ligne pour quelqu’un? Commandez-le aujourd’hui! **Déc. 2 est le cyber lundi.
      13 Mer Partir faire les magasins.
      14 Jeu Partir faire les magasins.
      15 Ven Aujourd’hui est un jour de repos pour les personnes qui seront débordées en décembre. Pour VOUS, c’est le jour de l’apéritif. Préparez et congelez les entrées.
      16 Sam CHUG, CHUG, CHUG. Achetez votre 1er carton de lait de poule. Bois-le. TOUT
      17 Dim Remplir des cartes. Choisissez une phrase pour personnaliser les cartes puis écrivez la même chose dans toutes.
      18 Lun Partir faire les magasins.
      19 Mar Préparez-vous mentalement pour le prochain mois de 3 kg supplémentaires de graisse de cul.
      20 Mer Ramassez la verdure, les couronnes, le ruban, les grenades, etc. pour les jardinières et les urnes.
      21 Jeu Faites glisser les lumières de Noël en plein air et testez-les. Ça ne marche pas? Recherchez les LED en vente.
      22 Ven Décorez l’extérieur de votre maison. Jardinières, portes, fenêtres, lumières tout.
      23 Sam Aller de l’avant. Avoir un petit pleure.
      24 Dim Adressez les enveloppes aux cartes de Noël.
      25 Lun Emballez les cadeaux.
      26 Mar Jour de congé. Oui, vraiment. Je rigole. Sortez toutes les décorations de Noël intérieures. Tout ce que vous détestez? Se débarrasser d’eux.
      27 Mer Les Américains. Préparation de la dinde. Canadiens: Achetez des bougies parfumées à la dinde.
      28 Jeu Jour de Thanksgiving américain
      29 Ven Décorez l’intérieur de la maison.­
      30 Sam Postez vos cartes.
      Dim Essayez votre nouveau marcher en plastronnant “Je suis meilleur que tout le monde”. Vous avez terminé.

  28. Lois says:

    How delightful to get your email because you are so freaking funny and I just finished a hellish day in which NO Halloween candy was at Target because they had already cleared out all the inventory to make way for Xmas (every last bag of what they had on the shelves could NOT have been sold); the dog had diarrhea; my husband, in trying to deal with last night’s plumbing problem with the toilet in the basement, broke the snake somewhere in the plumbing, so we had to pay the plumber $500; and I got an unexpected bill for more than $2,000 for medical treatment that I had been told was “covered” and spent half an hour on hold with NON-Christmas music (or even “Monster Rock”) without getting anything resolved, including a chat about what they mean by “covered” and what I mean by “covered.” YES: Let’s move on to the Christmas pledge!

    • judy says:

      Oh my Gawd,that is truly a nightmare story,all it needs is a Zombie or two suggesting that peoples who don’t stock up on Candy might get eaten themselves. Of course they are just little kids so what could they do? Don’t even think about it……

    • Karen says:

      Yikes! I guess all I can say is today will definitely be better. Probably WAY better. ~ karen!

  29. Tina says:

    In the past, I have LIVED by the pledge. This year I am leaving on vaca in 6 days for a week, then leaving the second week in Dec for a month. I’m not doing it! Actually, I am. I have ordered grandkids’ gifts, I have addressed cards and I have hung the outdoor lights. I just have to finish writing cards, drop them in the mail and drop off the grandkids’ gifts (which my DIL will wrap). I think this is what I should do every year!

  30. Paula says:

    Haha, I was just thinking about this today and you didn’t disappoint!

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