The Christmas Pledge Calendar

I told you earlier this week that I’d have a Christmas Pledge Calendar for you and I always keep my promises.  Unless it interferes with something I’d rather do.

Here is your Christmas Pledge calendar.

Now, I’m using the term Christmas loosely.  This calendar can be applied to any time sucking holiday that requires decorating, gift buying, card sending and cookie making. So … Channukah, Kwanza, the day Spandex was invented.  You get the idea.

Feel free to move things around, change it up a bit … this is just a guideline to the things you should be doing and keeping in mind.


Some fun places to shop online …

Abe’s Market – A mindful living marketplace. Everything from food to fashion.

Sephora – Every makeup product you could imagine. This orgasm is my personal recommendation.

Etsy – Duh. Kay .. sorry. I’m sure there are a few of you who don’t know what Etsy is. Etsy is a marketplace specializing in hand-made items.

The Museum of Modern Art – Unique and beautiful gifts.


A couple  of stocking stuffer ideas and places

Get custom M&Ms made with words and photos!

Etsy – I’ve had great success with fun little smalls from Etsy for stockings.

American Science & Surplus Fun stuff. Just PLAIN FUN STUFF!

Custom made iPhone case! Just upload logo or picture!


You may have noticed that you already have homework for tonight.  Scouring Pinterest and Etsy for wrapping ideas.  I’m quite strict with this first assignment.  If I find out ANY of you that signed the pledge haven’t been lounging on the couch browsing Pinterest I *will* find out and there *will* be repercussions.

Santa’s not the only one with with a God complex out there.


Have a good weekend and good luck with The Christmas Pledge!






  1. Barbie says:

    OK! I “almost” want to do this pledge thing…but decorating my house is the biggest hugest hardest job of all take me days and days…and once that is out of the way coast is clear….but I really don’t want to do that “before” Thanksgiving…. SUCH a dilemma! I do love the idea AND that calendar! Hmmmmmm….also all those websites and suggestions…..hmmmmmm

  2. Barbie says:

    I beat Marti!! OMG! I was first to comment????? OMG! LOL

  3. Noelle says:

    Finish shopping by November 26? Have you hanging out with Rob Ford? Did you type this in a drunken stupor? There are people that are this organized? I’m lucky if my shopping is done by the 26th of December!
    I’m cross with you for making me feel inadequate. Thanks! ;p

  4. Jenny says:

    I have to work Thanksgiving weekend, so I’ll have to move the decorating to the weekend of the 23rd. Seems too early though. But I do not want to be punished for not being done by Dec 1. Karen can be scary.

  5. Tracie says:

    Hey, thanks Karen….looking very forward to the challenge! Was waiting for the calendar, and now I have zero excuses! Maybe I will be the organized one this year!! Stranger things have happened…..I think!

  6. Kathy says:

    Yeah! I am so happy to see this. I used to be all about doing Christmas things early and then the last few years I became a bit of a humbug. Something has changed again this year and I have already made a lot of progress with my shopping and have been the crazy person who is actually watching all the sappy, cheesy Christmas movies they have been playing every night since Halloween. I really want to be done early this year so i can just relax come Dec. 1st. Maybe it will actually happen this year!

  7. Tigersmom says:

    Is extra credit awarded for prior hours spent on Pinterest and Etsy while occasionally thinking about gifts for others? What if we have already purchased some gifts? (I’m seriously not trying to brown nose, I am just attempting to embrace my competitive side. Really. )

    And how do you decorate your house in just 1 day? It takes me 3, but we’re pretty seriously into Christmas around here. Not that you’re not, I’m just starting to think I may be able to pare down on the decorations a bit this year. It will be our 3rd Christmas in this house and the first one was a bit of a scramble as we hadn’t been here that long and it was a first time and the second one I may have gone a tad………. ok, I went seriously overboard. So, in addition to your pledge, I pledge to also ease up a bit on the decorations of the house so as to have more time to be less stressed.

    Thanks for introducing me to American Science and Surplus. My little science guy, aka my son, is going to love it.

    Oh, and if you have time (and now that have your P.O.Box address) could you do a post on the correct way to pack and ship a Norwegian Dwarf Goat from Texas to Canada in winter?

  8. Brigit Carpenter says:

    I’m with Noelle, feeling inadequate to the intentions are good but work and chores get in the way. I am, however, going to the local potter’s show tomorrow for gifts I want to buy mostly handmade gifts this year. Support local artists!

  9. cred says:

    I’m in! Being a commitment-phobe, I was hesitant but I can see no other way to survive this year. I know I didn’t make the pledge immediately when you proposed it (sounded more like a dare). But it did light a fire and I started making my list. I want my house to be as beautifully decorated as yours for xmas and I usually run out of time for many of the ideas that pinterest has imbedded.
    btw- I like that you recommend orgasm- and NARS multiple, no less. When recommending orgasm, it makes sense to specify multiple.

  10. Marti says:

    Great. Now I want a globular helicopter and a flashlight shaped like lipstick. American Science & Surplus is GREAT! Hurray!

  11. Pinterest it is. I am going there right now! Cheers

  12. Bre says:

    Yeah. Doable. I like this, Karen!

  13. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Woohoo! I am ahead of the game, I already bought all my wrapping supplies.

  14. Diana says:

    Hi Karen,

    I`m working in a shop and having christmas since August selling, building, decorating thousands of trees, wrapping gifts. ;O/ My son and his father have to decorate the tree and that is in our case on Dec 24th.
    The gifts okay- I have ideas but the whole familie decided to have birthday before xmas…
    So if you find out, I didn`t follow your calendar (I`m afraid you do;o) ) be kind and forgive. Because that`s what christmas means! Lol blink

  15. Oh Karen….you make it look so easy here. I have to begin the arduous task of re-typing my address list into my computer (it crashed last December). That alone will seriously cut into my Pinterest lounging. Although I already have my wrapping scheme planned and purchased (white and silver and sparkly incase you were wondering) so maybe I am actually ahead of schedule?


  16. And you know you know you have us Americans wrapping on Thanksgiving? All we do on that day is eat. And cook. And some people watch football.

    • Karen says:

      Schedule doesn’t *have* to be adhered to. I mean, I recommend it ’cause I’m a pretty big force to be reckoned with but … you can move your wrapping day. They’re just guidelines and motivation. No big whoop. ~ karen!

  17. Debbie says:

    Hanukkah is the evening before Thanksgiving this year. This will not happen again until, oh, probably after the earth is in another ice age (thousands of years).

    List: Get Hanukiot (menorahs) out of basement and set up – the electric one in the window, as it is safer than flames by the window; buy oil/candles. In our family, we save our sanity by giving gifts only to children. Traditionally, gelt (money) is the gift. Since all of the children in the family are over the age of 17, a check (towards whatever they are saving for) or gift card is given – the Sunday comics have always been my favorite wrapping paper. (When they were little, we saved our sanity by asking each other what the kids wanted and working from there.) Put up a few Hanukkah decorations. Plan a Hanukkah dinner for the family. Buy ingredients, especially for latkes and sufganiot (jelly donuts) as cooking in oil is traditional. Get cards ready to send to friends who celebrate other seasonal holidays (Hanukkah cards are not traditional, though High Holiday cards are for Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur with the greeting of being written and sealed in the Book of Life for the coming year). Drive around and look at all of the beautiful Christmas lights in the neighborhood. (We really miss the house that had police directing traffic. Every inch of the house was decorated from top to bottom, including the separate garage. There was music and a sheet one could take from the mailbox with the history of the decorations, how much electricity they used and how long it took to decorate the house. The next door neighbors decoration – singular – was the best. There was a lighted sign with an arrow pointing to the decorated house that said, “Ditto”. We went every year to see this awesome house until we moved.)

    With all of that to do, I think I should take the pledge! We already have the oil for the Hanukiah and this weekend the Hanukiot will come up from the basement. The menu planning begins Monday – seriously – it is on my calendar. Gifts are the next Monday. The turkeys (two small ones, as that provides more legs) are on order. I’m trying, I’m trying! Thanks for the push!!!

    • Karen says:

      Etsu has REALLY nice menorahs Debbie. Just in case you need another, LOL. I have NEVER, EVER heard of Hanukkah happening in November, let alone before Thanksgiving! That’s … strange! Like … really strange. ~ karen

      • Debbie says:

        Thank you for the Etsy idea! In 2002, Hanukkah was on Nov. 30. I only went back as far as 2001 to check. I have to admit, it is strange, but then again, it is a different calendar!

  18. leslie says:

    Wait A Minute… You mean this calendar is for NOVEMBER????

  19. cathy says:

    Done and done. Although I must confess to re-jigging the calendar a bit; not much of a people cookie baker-I do dog biscuits, tho- I make my own cards so I put that task in its place.
    Everything looks good to go. This is a wonderful idea.
    And if you can ever get to American Science and Surplus, you will instantly recognize it as
    your Home Planet.

  20. NikiDee says:

    Welllll….I’m taking the pledge. I’ll be visiting relatives the week of the 17-24th so I guess I’ll just double some things up. I suppose I could stamp my lights & hang my cards. One thing I know for sure – since none of my gift recipients live in the same state with me I’ll be shoving my gifts in envelopes this year. Gift cards for all! Phew…that’s done. 😉

  21. Jodi T. says:

    I just lost 30 minutes of my life while looking at the Science & Surplus website… I found so many cool things that son is going to LOVE. Thanks for the suggestion!

  22. Bobbi says:

    The hardest thing for me will be the gifts because on American Thanksgiving everyone in the family hands out a gift list with ideas for items they desire. I prefer to buy things that folks want….what to do, what to do ….

  23. NikiDee says:

    Ok. Ok. I’ll take the pledge BUT I will be out of town the 17th-24th. So, I guess I can double up on a few things. I can stamp my lights & hang my cards. Then stuff my gifts. Yup, gift cards for all this year! Phew that’s done. Oh & sorry if this is a double post…I’ve been having trouble lately posting to your blog. Even open Explorer (yuck) just for you but today Explorer didn’t like me & refused my first post.

  24. Rebecca says:

    American Science and Surplus is awesome..great prices too! Except I just filled my cart only to find out they won’t ship to Canada 🙁 Boohoo.

    • Julie says:

      Yes Rebecca…I just did the same thing.

      Karen – have you actually shopped there? Cause we know you’re Canadian too!

      • Karen says:

        I completely forgot that last year I loaded up a whole cart and when I went to check out was told no Canadian shipping. Boo. ~ karen

        • Laura Bee says:

          well crap…I was actually considering some online shopping for the 1st time. Oh well, trying to keep it mostly local & handmade anyways. 🙂

        • Bre says:

          Waaaah! Me, too! I was really excited about some of the stuff and then, “No Surplus Italian Soup Ladle for you!” This was a setback. Can I have more time now?

  25. Jill says:

    I’m shopping for hordes of kids–they really don’t care so much about the wrapping, it’s all about what’s inside and how quickly they can get to it. May I please spend tonight online shopping for them instead? Pretty please? With a simple festive bow on top?

  26. olequiltbat says:

    Went Christmas shopping last weekend, & got about 80% of the gifts bought. Already have my Christmas cards ready to sign. Last year when I did up the address labels, I did double sheets, so that this year all I have to do is slap those on the outside of the envelopes. I’m 73 yrs. old now, so my hand writing is not that great. Plus I have Dystonia on my whole left side which makes writing jiggly & messy….so typing the labels is easier for me…& much faster. Hus band does messages inside the cards for us. When I buy Christmas wrap, I usually buy enough for 2 years…so I have enough for this year again. However, I may need help from daughters to wrap all the prezzies, ’cause I have a hard time putting scotch tape on the ends. Gifts look like a 2 year old did the wrapping. LOL
    Good luck to everyone doing the Christmas Pledge.

  27. sandra says:

    Yeah! Thanks for the calendar. I am all over the world wide web as directed… perfect since I am still house- bound. Ordered stamps, cards, wrapping paper and ribbon this morning. So out of character for me to shop before Thanksgiving…

  28. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    YES SIR MA’AM!!!

  29. Deirdre Fowler says:

    Wow, amazing how you just made my life more difficult and easier at the same time. Good job.


  30. Sammy says:

    I just may take this pledge!

  31. christine says:

    I’m doing things in such a strange order this year. Shopping is done and wrapped. Stocking stuffers are pretty much done (just have to do a “fit” test). And today, I found a glass deer at Superstore for $20 so it’s up! I have been looking for one since I saw your gorgeous house last xmas.

  32. Karalee says:

    I am in! The pledge made last Christmas the best one yet. You are brilliant Karen. Thanks for keeping us organized

  33. Judy says:

    I’m taking the challenge and just pinned it too! Thanks Karen for the schedule.

  34. kiera says:

    Still considering the pledge… but THANK YOU for the American Science and Surplus introduction! I just got my stocking stuffer shopping checked off the list. Maybe I can do this pledge thing after all! Guess I better pour a glass of wine and get on Pinterest. Such hard work!

  35. Kari says:

    Yay! I love it!

    • Alison says:

      I have no pertinent comment- only to tell you that I am a new reader and every time I read your blog I think to myself, “I so want to be her friend.” You are hilarious, and smart and witty…and FUN.

  36. Meg says:

    Holy crap I’ve already purchased gifts!! I can’t wait to check out your store list. The only one I’ve bought gifts from before is the MoMA store; and it is great. (When I lived in Boston, I’d shop at the MFA store – but their website isn’t as easy to use as the MoMA’s.) I will probably go through your advertisers too, since I’ve seen your posts and they’ve got some loooooooooovely things too! The only thing I find missing on your calendar (especially for a procrastinator like me) is writing a Christmas list! Can’t quite do my online shopping yet, because I’m thinking crap, who do I even need to buy presents for!? So I’m assigning it to myself for this weekend. (If I don’t I’ll end up with 10 presents for two or three people and none for people I accidentally forgot because my brain is a seive.)

  37. Amy says:

    I’ve had most of my shopping done for weeks. Only ones left are my husband and son and they’re more difficult. They won’t tell me till the last minute but its not that hard usually to get theirs. And we always buy wrapping paper after Christmas when it’s on sale to store for the next year.

    Also, we always decorate the week of Thanksgiving but this year my BIL is getting married the Saturday after so we will be out of town that whole week. He’s messing with my whole decorating schedule! I will have to push my boys to get our 9.5 foot tree up pretty quick after we get home otherwise, it will take them forever.

  38. Kathy says:

    Having taken the pledge, I was so looking forward to getting the calendar, but I got pushed off course by some unexpected kerfuffles. I just now went back to find the calendar, but in looking at it, I don’t think I’m gonna make it! You’re forgetting those of us slaving over Thanksgiving preparations/entertaining! I was counting on you to have figured it all out. Waaaah. I’m doomed.

    • Karen says:

      You’re not doomed Kathy. The calendar is meant to act as a reminder. If you can’t do things around the 28th, then just move things around. That’s all. You can do it. Honestly you can. And if you have to put off something until the 1st week of December that’s fine. Just get the majority of it done and your December will be a breeze. ~ karen!

      • Kathy says:

        You are so right, Karen-

        If you can juggle multiple major things like writing this blog, planning and creating the topics for the blog, negotiating an Etsy deal, spending countless hours doing your etsy research, remodeling a kitchen, learning how to make jewelry, and Lord knows what else….all while still managing to keep sane and not snap and growl at your dear mother….then I can certainly juggle my things.
        Thanks for the encouragement!

        • Karen says:

          LOL! As long as you see an end in site (in your case December 3rd or 4th for instance) you’ll be able to get through it. 🙂 ~ karen

  39. Margaret says:

    This calendar is the best thing that’s happened in a long time (or at least since Rob Ford went on tv and talked about smoking crack in a drunken stupor – that was pretty awesome too). For the first time in my life I have started Christmas shopping in November. I’m almost finished! The stores are empty of shoppers and the sales staff are falling all over themselves to help. It’s great. Karen, your show on Rogers tv in the 90s was really good but this calendar tops it. You are my hero forever now. THANK YOU!!!!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Yeah. Rob Ford is pretty entertaining at the moment. ~ karen! p.s. never been on Rogers! You were probably thinking of CFMT.

      • Margaret says:

        Oh yes it was CFMT! Back then I never would have predicted the internet nevermind the chicken cam. Thanks again for all the entertainment over the years and the life changing Christmas calendar.

  40. Andrea Meyers says:

    my gift wrapping order arrived from the school kid last week. I already feel AHEAD.
    Order gift online. Choke. Ok, gonna start that.

  41. Laura Bee says:

    I bought and wrapped a Christmas gift yesterday. I also got almost everything I need for my daughter’s party Sunday. Wow. It’s working…

  42. Kasia says:

    We actually have one of the Science & Surplus stores here where I live (Milwaukee). it’s incredibly awesome!! They label all their boxes of neat stuff with the fun quirky hand-markered descriptions enticing you to buy weird things. Of course, being a science teacher I’m totally drawn to this stuff, but I never realized regular folks love it too :). !

  43. Lisa Canning says:

    Love this Karen- so helpful and so witty! Perhaps I will actually feel organized this year!

  44. Leah C says:

    I’m a bit late to the game, but I’m totally up for this! I’ve actually been working on my list since September! 🙂 The only thing I can’t do ahead of time is the holiday baking, but I don’t mind that. I really enjoy baking and don’t find it stressful. I’m hanging lights outside today, because it’s 35 (Fahrenheit) and sunny, and I’m not sure it’s going to get any warmer in Michigan!

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