The Christmas Pledge.
How’d you do?

You knew this was coming when I invited you to take the pledge.

I am now going to ask how you did. I considered printing out all of your names here (those of you who agreed to take the pledge), but decided against it based solely on the fact that I’m afraid Santa has some sort of patent or copyright on the whole Naughty or Nice list thing.

I can’t afford to get sued by someone who has so much power he can control the behaviour of approximately 378 million children for the entire month of December.

So instead of pledge shaming you I will instead just ask … how’d you do?

Here. I’ll go first.

I didn’t do well. I did O.K. though. Let’s take a look again at the Christmas Pledge calendar, shall we?


So I still have a couple of presents to buy (which is WORRISOME) and everything to wrap. But I really like the stuff I got for wrapping this year, so I don’t mind doing it in December. I’ll probably do it tonight actually.

Saying the interior of the house is decorated is pretty much a lie. It’s mostly done, but there’s only so much I can do with the current mess of the kitchen which seems to spill out into the rest of the house. I’ve done as much as I can though. It’s not my fault. It’s the kitchen’s fault.

I also didn’t do everything on the exact days written down. The days were more of a guideline to get stuff done. The outdoor stuff didn’t get done until the very, VERY last minute as a matter of fact. Mostly due to the fact that last year I thought I’d hide all of my outdoor Christmas garland in a nook behind the pegboard in my workshop. Which means to get it out, I have to remove everything from my workbench, all the tools and other crap from the pegboard, unscrew the pegboard and remove it, then hop up onto the workbench and pull all the garland out of the nook. Then of course, everything has to be done in reverse.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It no longer seems like such a good idea.

It reminds me of the time I ate 3 bowls of chili and 4 pieces of buttered toast in one sitting.

So that’s where I am, 20 days before Christmas.  Not a bad place to be really.   2 presents to buy, all my gifts to wrap and then I also have the food to make for my Christmas Eve party, but I like doing that and look forward to it as opposed to dreading it.

Now, if I hadn’t got everything done prior to this point I would not only be dreading everything I had to do, I’d also be dreading all the food I had to make.  And to compensate for all my feelings of dread I’d eat bowls and bowls of chili, making my stomach feel as though someone had inflated it to the point of explosion with a rusty old bicycle  pump.

So how did you do?  Did you take the pledge and if so, how far did you get with it?  Or maybe you didn’t take the pledge and are now wishing you had.

Or maybe you can’t speak right now because you’re stuffing your face full of chili.

Have a great weekend!



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  1. Debbie from Illinois says:

    I am so behind this year! My 85 year old mother inlaw broke her hip. I have been a wonderful daughter inlaw and have been helping take care of her. I need a break and so does the hubby, so we are going to Miami tomorrow and hopping on a cruise ship. Woo hoo!

    I will worry about the frick frackin list when I return to reality!!! Lol

    • Lindsey R. says:

      Debbie, that is the kind of year I have had as well. I say we give ourselves permission to do our shopping at the gift card rack in the grocery store.

  2. su says:

    Presents all done. Ditto decorations ..and im on the beach in Mexico on vacation till Saturday! Just need to wrap and send cards. Feeling good..that might be the Margarita tho….

  3. Marti says:

    I shipped all my presents to my parents house last week. I’m golden for the season. 🙂

  4. Lynne says:

    Didn’t take the pledge & I’m really wishing I had!!
    I haven’t bought a single gift, no cards written, nothing to bake with as of yet, tree is up but not fully decorated, dinner menu is somewhat planned. I’m only cooking for 9 this year, usually twice that number so it doesn’t worry me at all – but I should order the turkey tomorrow now that I’m thinking of it.
    Lights are up on the outside of the house & on the big tree in front yard tho, I got smart and did it just after Rememberance Day before all the snow and bitter cold set in.
    I’m in big trouble 🙁

    • Jody says:

      All my gifts are bought and all are wrapped but 3. The outside is decorated and I’ll be decorating inside this weekend. All in all (what an odd phrase when you think about it) I’m feeling relaxed and counting down to the BIG day. Much better feeling than I’ve had the last few years.

  5. beth j says:

    Well for once,… and I do mean once, I have one gift card to buy to supplement a hat I kn it for my 17 yr old nephew. And a gift for my Dad from my siblings and I. Everything has to be wrapped but the house is decorated ,and cookies are in the freezer. I must have forgotten something or someone. I am never ready this early!
    Thanks for the pledge. It made me think

  6. Kris says:

    Karen, missed a few days of posts because I was out of town. Going back to the Christmas movie list, did you know that Holiday Inn is playing in the classic series at Silver City (Burl), on Dec. 18th and 23rd? I didn’t know it was the ‘original’ version of White Christmas. Thought you might want to check it out.

  7. Susan says:

    I didn’t TAKE the pledge, but I did take it seriously and I only have 2 gifts left to wrap and my Christmas letter to write and mail ( the mailing part is a breeze because my husband helps). I have shipped gifts off to three sets of relatives already. I have my house decorated (just finished up today). I have cookie dough in the fridge and have taken a holiday meal to my work buddies (all 22 of them). If I’d actually taken the pledge I’ve have been feeling guilty about the letters, but since I didn’t I feel spectacularly efficient.

  8. Melanie says:

    I love that you once ate three bowls of chili and 4 pieces of buttered toast all in one sitting ; )

  9. cred says:

    I didn’t do too bad but just watch those last few things get pushed to the last minute and I’ll be a big stress ball wondering how I’ll also manage to cook a big batch of chili.
    Can’t pat myself on the back too much- we don’t mail christmas cards, just make a handful with the kids to hand deliver to my siblings on xmas day nor can I decorate the house until we’re finished moving into a new house next wk.
    The pledge is immeasurably helpful, though. I did do my online shopping, have supplies for gifts I’m making and plans for pkg.

  10. Laura says:

    no one is getting anything and my husband just today brought home a tree for which he paid $10 so you can imagine what it looks like without decorations let alone with them so I’ll just wrap the poor thing up in lights and hope it dies soon or at least adds a little brightness to this bitterly cold month.

  11. Hazel says:

    Not bad, though not as well as I’d have liked. Mostly bought and wrapped, with a few bits left to get/buy. House not decorated, but I didn’t intend to do that before now anyway. Cards mostly written…

  12. Pati Gulat says:

    I took the pledge and everything is decorated, cards are addressed and sent out, most of the gifts have been bought & wrapped, I probably have 5 left to buy and wrap…I have stockings to fill but have some stuffers already….for ME, I am ahead of the game this year !! WOOHOO !!

  13. barbee says:

    Weird. I actually ate two big bowls of chili after work, then took my kindle to bed then read your post .

  14. Stephanie says:

    Sheesh! I thought the highlighted green “nook” words would link me to a picture of your actual workshop nook hiding place, not Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader. Got all excited. Oh well 🙁

    • Karen says:

      I know! I don’t know what that is or why it happens. I noticed it just before I posted. I have a feeling it has something to do with “VigLink” which I’m a member of. ~ karen!

  15. Grammy says:

    I didn’t take the pledge. Hardly any of my stuff is done. I have no guilt or anxiety. Tomorrow I will be having my four-year-old grandson help me put up some of the decorations. Not the tree — I’m not an idiot — but some of the garland and elf and the singing snowmen. It should take three times longer than normal because I’ll have help. It will be the most fun anyone can have decorating because my helper will enthusiastically tell me what he hopes Santa will bring, explain that he’s a REALLY good boy, and belt out very cool versions of my favorite carols. Then we’ll eat cookies. Life is good.

  16. Renee says:

    I’m so happy I took the Pledge. I’ve never been so “together”. Family and friends are sick of my bragging!
    I told them they should have taken the Pledge! The tree and inside of the house has been decorated. I just need to buy some fresh greenery and live plants to tuck in here and there, but I enjoy that. Husband and Son put up the outside lights and decorations. Most of the gifts have been purchased and wrapped. Family Photo has been taken (MAJOR FEAT) but need to print them, envelopes have been addressed (we send out “HAPPY NEW YEAR” cards, takes the pressure off of getting them done before Xmas). Does freezing store bought cookie dough count?
    Thanks Karen! You helped me get organized and I’m ready to party without the Holiday “to do” list (sword) swing over my head!

  17. Rondina says:

    Didn’t take the pledge. I planned to work three out of four days during Thanksgiving weekend, but when I woke up to the Macy”s parade I realized, “Oh yea, Christmas.” I have been in hot pursuit of finishing so I can concentrate again. I shipped two boxes today. The stockings are done. The mantel isn’t done, but I have all the supplies. I still need two presents. Christmas cards are still lying on the dining room table. I can’t finish outside decorations until the ice is gone sometime next week.

    My new thing this year was to put a living Christmas tree on the front porch. I painted the stand with beige chalk paint and wrapped it in burlap. Just plain lights. It’s cheery. And probably frozen now.

    • Karen says:

      I love trees on porches. As you’ll soon see. 🙂 And I love burlap! AND I LOVE BEIGE CHALK PAINT! I almost hate to say it but I also love trees with just lights on them. You stole my brain didn’t you! When did you do that?! ~ karen

  18. Pru says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post so that I can gloat! Yippee! All presents and cards bought. All for abroad sent, all other cards written – and will be posted tomorrow, all presents wrapped. House decorated, tree comes in week or so otherwise it will die before the big day. To do list is finished and this is why I love having it done by the end of November. Now I can start baking cookies and enjoy it all.

  19. Tigersmom says:

    I was doing very well. Until my need to maintain my status as the poster child for “Haste makes waste” caused me to severely sprain my ankle when I fell off the side of the bathtub as I was trying to hang a stupid clock in my son’s bathroom. Thirty seconds to go grab a step stool could have prevented what will amount to a colossal loss of time.

    This happened on Wednesday right after I had gone out to run the errands I needed to get ready for Christmas, fortunately, and before we got hit with this sleet and ice that we’re gonna have until Monday.

    (Just a side note about Texas weather. It was up to 80 degrees on Wednesday and is supposed to get down to 19 degrees tonight. That is a 61 degree drop in temperature. I think winter has arrived but can’t say how long she’ll stay. Could be 75 in a week.)

    We do 2 fresh trees and got those on Sunday after we hung up the outside lights. They are not decorated. I got the lights on both of them before I went down, but the first very long string of lights I put on the tree in the den decided to halfway burn out. Which means that half the string of 300 is lit and the other half is not. Of course, this being the first string put on the tree means the whole lot of them has to come off and be redone. The lights are half off the tree and puddled on the floor and since all our decorations in an upstairs closet, nothing else has happened as stairs are not an option for me at this point.

    On the up side, I’m good on gifts with the exception of the few I’m making and the wrapping has been purchased but not done. Its the decorating that may have to be scaled back way more than I planned on this year.

    And you know those little motorized carts at the grocery store for use by people with difficulty walking? I got to use one of those on a trip to the grocery store yesterday afternoon when the store was mobbed with people who had left work early to lay in provisions for the coming winter storm. (Down here, when the roads get icy, the schools close and people stay home and don’t drive unless absolutely necessary.) And you know how the cart beeps when you reverse in it? It made me feel like the butt of the fat joke, “Your momma’s so fat she beeps when she backs up.” Yeah, so driving one of the motorized carts…’s not nearly as fun as you’d think. : /

    And I’m pretty sure my husband was behind me taking pictures.

    • Karen says:

      A 61 degree drop in temperature! Holy crap. On the bigger topic, how long will you be broken for? ~ karen

      • Tigersmom says:

        I’m not sure. The day it happened, I couldn’t put any weight on it without crying out in pain. I was very good about icing and elevating and the next day, (yesterday) I was able to hobble about very slowly. This morning it is the most swollen and colorful it has been so far, but I’m able to hobble a little faster. It is my right foot, so hopefully I will be able to drive by the time my son goes back to school on Monday.

        Back to the weather, we have had sleet falling for hours and now that it’s light out you can see that some branches are down and the trees are really bent over. Its beautiful on the trees that have lost their leaves but a bit scary on the live oaks and others that haven’t. Hopefully we won’t lose power.

        And thanks for asking. : )

  20. Karen too says:

    I did the pledge last year but didn’t take ” the pledge” so this year I embraced it. I did very well and I’m very pleased. The gifts are all bought except one gift cert and all I have to do is put up to decorations and wrap gifts. I’ll do both this weekend when DH is out of town. Thank you for the gentle tinsel wrapped “kick in the pants”each year. It makes a difference for me.

  21. Kelly says:

    Cards done, gifts bought but not wrapped yet; ditto for the stocking stuffers (my husband’s family has the bizarre belief they must also be wrapped); baking is not yet done because boys are not yet home and I might eat it if there is not competition. Tree goes up this weekend, which to my mind is still two weeks too early, but I won’t find a short wide little scotch pine for love or money otherwise. So, on target; not frantic except on the work front. Thinking maybe Xmas could be hired out to an Organize Anything kind of person

  22. Carol says:

    Gifts and cards, bought, wrapped and written, some recipients have even had theirs delivered. Cards and stuff for the US sent yesterday. Decorations will be done today, and the bird is in the freezer!!

    Sorry couldn’t find any 2 ply spaghetti … so haven’t done any knitting!

  23. Sarah says:

    I’ve done it all but the Christmas cards……I can’t seem to be motivated to do that….

  24. Debbie says:

    I’m as crazy as the next person in rushing and driving myself crazy to get ready for a holiday. Sometimes I have to sit back and remind myself that somehow, some way, what has to get done gets done. After all, whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa (all very different holidays with their own special meanings), isn’t the point of every celebration to remember and sanctify the meaning of the day? In the end, it isn’t about the decorations, the food or even the gifts, it is about celebrating one’s beliefs in one’s heart and sharing that with family and friends.

    Karen, you give a gift to many every day – a smile and a moment of respite. To you and to all of those celebrating their beliefs, whether you have a six-foot tall tree and your electric bill is sky high in December, or if the only gift you can give is a hug and a kiss, may your holiday be filled with joyousness and love.

  25. I didn’t take the pledge but by the time this is over I might have to take the cure. In Mexico, preferably, with Su.
    By the end of November:
    Presents and gift cards ordered.
    Chocolates and wine bought.
    New Christmas tree bought, complete with lights.
    Christmas tubs hauled out of the clay basement.
    House cleaned.
    By December 4th:
    Checked the delivery from one company and discovered that they had inexplicably cancelled my order (and yes, the credit card was fine!) and I was going to have to scramble because they hadn’t notified me.
    Decided since it was so late, I’d give the grandkids the gift of hope (goat); sent the gift cards and other presents and realized I’d sent one of the gift cards meant for an employee.
    The day after I bought the phony tree, a supplier landed in at the store with a load of sweet, piney-smelling real Christmas trees.
    Since this is the first full Christmas in my new home, my dog has never seen a Christmas tree. He took one look at the decorations and thought, “BALL!” After crunching his first decoration, he has stuck to sneaking off the birds and butterflies.
    The Christmas decorations, which hadn’t been used in 10 years, smell mouldy.
    The second dog (a rough coat Jack Russell) suddenly looked like he stuck his nose in a light socket and is shedding several dogs a day throughout the house. And since we have had rain/snow, rain/snow and I have two hairy footed dogs, one shedding, the house is no longer at all clean.
    I gave up and ate all the chocolates and am making good inroads on the wine.
    But if things went smoothly, I’d probably find life a little dull.

  26. Thera says:

    Our finances took a huge hit a few weeks ago, so my plans were drastically reduced.
    However, 99% of the decorating is done inside and out, I just have to make (literally) the garland for around the front door.
    Almost all the shopping is done, but I have to do hubby’s Aunt and Grandmother’s shopping for them, but they haven’t sent the money as yet.
    Wrapping does not happen until last minute as I have smart children that see the gift and guess what it is with uncanny accuracy.
    Baking is not going to happen due to the above, except a few batches of sugar cookies, one of which I hope to get done today, along with the garland, as we are having guests this evening.
    I became too ambitious with the cards due again to the above, so I am hand painting each one, needless to say I am a touch behind.

  27. jainegayer says:

    I didn’t take the Christmas Pledge.
    No gifts bought, no cards made, no cookie dough sitting in the freezer, no decorations up unless you count the pine cone I threw in the front door planter that houses the big pumpkin. I mean I should get some points for that, right. It’s a pretty big pine cone.
    Yep, I am a LARDASS! and I’m going back to bed.

  28. Mary Kay says:

    OK – Debbie sorry to hear about your mother-in-law – but a CRUISE ship – Damn. SU – on a beach in Mexico and Marti all shipped and ready to go…well in the words of our beloved blogger you can all suck it! LOL

    I have one present bought, 1/2 my cookies baked – which is really bad because now all I do is snack on them, and that’s about it.

    I need to get my behind in gear which is going to be hard since I will spend this Saturday, this coming Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday in a bowling alley since my daughter is on her High School Bowling team – OH JOY – let the snow fly – I think I will have my Christmas guests decorate my tree for me…hmmm

    Merry Christmas ALL!!!!!

  29. Candice says:

    I printed out the pledge and put it on the fridge as a reminder. It did seem to help. Exterior decor – done, interior decor – done, foreign relatives’ cards – mailed, domestic cards – still to write and mail, wrapping stuff – figured out; however…I have only purchased ONE gift – argh! So I’m hoping to knock most of that out this weekend.

  30. Cindy says:

    I’m in great shape. Cards mailed, gifts wrapped and shipped, and house decorated. My baking is all that remains, and I enjoy that. Of course, I didn’t make the December 1 deadline, but I made it by the 4th so I can’t complain. Thanks for the challenge. I wouldn’t have been so organized if you hadn’t posted the calendar.

  31. calliek says:

    I didn’t take the pledge either but reading about it has made me a bit more aware of getting an earlier start on things so that’s something I guess! For instance, there’s a Christmas tree sale in Toronto to raise money for the Daily Bread Food Bank and the minimum donation for a lovely real tree is $10. The trick is that it’s only one day and it’s at 6 am so I’ve missed it the last two years and had to do without a tree. This year I looked up the date weeks ago and it’s written in big letters on my calendar! I’ve also located the stand and most of the ornaments so there will be a tree this year!

    I have a long way to go on shopping tho- 18 books to buy for 18 nieces and nephews, and stocking stuffers for 12 siblings and respective partners is barely begun. sigh…

  32. nicole d says:

    I’m saving the wrapping and the cards, because it’s my favourite part… but the house is (mildly) decorated, inside and out, all of the gifts are bought… does feel good. 🙂 thanks for the inspiration/kick in the ass to do so. haha.

  33. Stacey says:

    80% done. A couple gifts left to buy plus stocking stuffers. Nothings wrapped. Outside lights are up. Inside decorated except the tree. It has been standing there bald for a week. Maybe tomorrow I can put something on it. Still feel pretty good about where I am though. Bring it on!

  34. Shel says:

    I can’t think of the list right now…I have a face stuffed with cinnamon roll which seems like a good idea for the time. I didn’t do the pledge because I’d fail miserably at it then beat myself up for the rest of December. I did, however, put my tree up on December 1st, which is roughly 3weeks earlier than I usually manage to do. Of course it’s not decorated…hope to do that tonight after work. No gifts bought but Amazon prime is my bestest friend and I know (vaguely) what I intend to buy. The in-laws may or may not be here; we’ll know roughly on the 24th or so if they’ll be able to make the transcontinental trip. So…there you have it. Worry…who, me? Nah….

  35. kristin says:
    Clueless on gifts. Cards still have to be designed & ordered online (i bought a groupon or some shizz). My man & the kids did most of the decorating (so it’s less than spectacular, but it’s partly finished). Complete ball of stress here–just thinking about chili gives me an ulcer!

  36. Let’s just say I was a silent pledger.

    I didn’t actually get around to pledging, but I did listen to your advice and finish so many of my pre-Christmas chores. The only thing pending is a few last interior decorations and three last Christmas cards. If only people didn’t move so often, I wouldn’t have to track down new addresses every year.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  37. kate-v says:

    I don’t take the Christmas Pledge, but I do use your calendar as a reminder for what I need to do – especially on days when I can’t remember anything – also, I think my preparations are much simpler than yours. For instance outside decorating to me means buying two nice poinsettia plants at the store and putting one on the bench on either side of the front door. Also there are those tins I bought at the Nearly New to use as ‘wrapping’ – I put the gift in the tin and then put the lid on: done, done and done! I was able to find more cute tins and except for the gifts I mailed all my gifts this year are in tins – or bottles, as the case maybe. Baking is not done, but I’m hoping the weather stays nice so I can bake rhubarb pies and I usually bake pies closer to the day they’ll be given. I just keeping checking and find there is another thing to do, but since I don’t go to great lengths, it is usually fairly simple. I put the Christmas towels in the bathroom, and am using the Christmas dishes in the sideboard. Cards are ready to send and will be sent out on the 15th – these are electronic cards – I now send modern computer cards to most everyone. I still have a few cards I mail out – cards with cash in them and cards for those with out a computer, but I have the cards, I have written the cards – just need to address and mail. I made most of the gifts this year and I didn’t start in November 2013 — I started last December 2012– one year ago, but I’m happy with the results.
    It’s a good list you have and helps keep things on track. Some years are just screwy because of every/anything but they will be in the past soon enough, so don’t worry about it – enjoy the season!

  38. Donna says:

    Loaned some decorations to my daughter for her party. Get them back to-day and will finish decorating here. Have one gift to find for an eight year old boy–any suggestions?? Will bake and clean next week and then just have the food to buy and prepare. We buy the turkey and my daughter cooks it–good deal! Thanks for your up date, it keeps us on our toes!!

  39. leslie says:

    Ugh. It’s 9 degrees, farenheit outside santa Fe and the thought of doing anything like putting lights up just makes me run to the cupboard for chocolate.
    I did buy most of my gifts for all 4 of my kids and my husband. Problem is he has a birthday on Dec. 14th, poor guy, which has me stumped every year as to what to do for him. He’s not picky though. I guess I’ll get him a Christmas tree (snort).

    • Karen says:

      Wanna hear something funny? It was 16 degrees celsius here yesterday! That’s 61 fahrenheit for you American folks. WARM! 🙂 ~ karen

  40. Jane says:

    Didn’t actually take the pledge…..just in my mind. Happy to say, I’m just about ready. Two gifts left to buy, but others all wrapped, house decorated. Waiting to do the tree when my youngest daughter returns from school, but it is up and waiting. Feels great!! Best I’ve done in years and so glad I made the effort as now I feel I can enjoy the season! Thanks for the reminder!

  41. Alicia says:

    Yeah, didnt do nearly as well as I would have liked, but Im still further along with my Christmas stuff than I was this time last year, so SUCCESS!

  42. Carol says:

    I didn’t officially take the pledge, but I privately vowed to finish my shopping by the end of November. However, after several fruitless shopping trips, I have come to accept that I do my best work under pressure.

  43. christine says:

    All shopping and wrapping done, save a couple of online purchases yet to be delivered. Decorating done, except tree because that waits for university kids to be home. Cookies will be made next week (paleo ginger). Don’t do many cookies as husband is celiac and allergic to nuts. My big downfall is cards. Am considering not doing them, or trimming the list severely – ie. to only those who are far away and that we don’t see regularly. I hate doing cards. Weird eh?

    • Margaret K. says:

      Nope, not weird. I never saw any point in sending cards to people we see all the time or speak to at least weekly and will be giving spoken holiday messages. For 40 years we have only sent cards to folks we want to stay in touch with, but who are too far away to see regularly.

  44. Jill says:

    I suck… 🙁

  45. Eve-Marie says:

    Took the pledge and it made for a very hectic November! Hopefully it pays off with a relaxed December.

    House is decorated inside and out, minus the tree which will get cut n’ trimmed this weekend. Cards are mailed. 85% of gifts are bought and warped. Another 5% are bought on-line and on their way. The rest are DIY and I have all of those left, eek! Holiday party dresses planned, as are dinner menus. Turkey is ordered from the butcher. NO cookie dough made! Still, not so bad.

  46. Sandi says:

    I’m doing great! I took the pledge, sort of. . . knowing I was having Thanksgiving dinner at my house and not wanting to have it Christmas-ified already at that point. So my plan was, shopping for all remaining gifts (most of them) on Black Friday, decorating on Saturday, and wrapping on Sunday. And it’s almost all done. I do have a couple of gifts yet to get, but they’re gift cards so I know what I’m getting and where to get them. And then I just have a couple more to wrap–stocking stuffers for my hubby, mostly.

    And I’m already enjoying the Christmas season and feeling so relaxed!! 🙂

  47. Reg says:

    I didn’t take the pledge, but used it as a guide to keep on track. Organization isn’t my best attribute.
    Cards done and mailed, wrapping bought, thought I had tags left over from last year but I can’t find them. That organization thing mentioned. Outdoors done, 2 gifts left to buy and this weekend schlep the indoor decorations from the basement and put the tree up.
    I don’t bake so I’m off the hook there. I gave up baking when dunking the cookies I made in coffee or tea wouldn’t soften them up. Sis makes enough for us all. One year I got a gallon bucket filled with her cookies. Best gift ever.

  48. Tres says:

    Done! 182 cards sent, all gifts purchased and wrapped, tree and all indoor/outdoor decorations are done. Having a Christmas party scheduled at the house for 80 people tomorrow may have added a bit of additional motivation.

    • Karen says:

      182 Christmas cards???!!!! 80 people???!!! Are you a member of the royal family or something?! I’d have been far more refined in my posts had I known. ~ karen! 🙂

  49. Hope says:

    Your pledge galvanized me into action mid-Nov. although I was to fearful to actually commit …I only have the baking left to do and that is intentional. No matter where I hide it, freeze it. camouflage it if we KNOW it is there we happily hunt it down and eat it before the company ever arrives. There is something about butter in anything….

  50. I failed. utterly failed. Money because extremely tight after some unexpected November expenses so buying any gifts, besides a few stocking stuffers, was out of the question.

    I just ordered half my gifts today, having family photos done on sunday to get into my special exploding box cards done. Then I need to get them into peoples hands. they are 3d boxes so I am only mailing a few because I have to send as Parcels otherwise.

    got all my wrapping paper though. and i know WHAT I am getting just need to wait for more cash infusion… on the 20th. EEP.

  51. Leisa says:

    Didn’t take the pledge but I did print and use the calendar and am happy to report that I’m in good shape. I’m fairly new to your blog and I sit down for a few minutes each morning to read your old posts. I’m still laughing at your John Davidson reference. Thanks for the laughs!!!!

  52. NikiDee says:

    I took the pledge. I ignored the pledge. However I am pleased to say my gift wrapping/gift purchasing is done. See, none of my relatives live anywhere near us (some of you may be jealous…LOL). All gifts are gift cards (not because I want to – it’s what they asked for) so their Christmas card doubles as their gift wrapping! I still have to wrap the hubs gifts but tree is up & menu for 2 is being planned. It will be a lovely quiet little Christmas for us.

  53. Lizzie says:

    Me: I need to buy 6 more presents. Tonight.
    Boyfriend: It’s not even Thanksgiving, did you lose your Klonopin again?
    Me: I took the pledge. Failure is not an option. TAKE ME TO LOWES. NOOOOWWWW.
    Boyfriend: This better not be for me, I will revolt if you buy me one more LED flashlight.
    Me: I don’t lose things, I save them for later in an undisclosed location. And I already bought your stupid flashlight, so suck it… Where are my keys?
    (3 weeks later)
    Boyfriend: So, you have time to help me find something for my mom…??

  54. Bobbi says:

    Pledged, but failed as far as the pledge goes, but for what I usually have done by this time, I have succeeded. Tree up and decorated. Bought and repurposed a tv entertainment center into a pantry for my son and his girlfriend. Spruced up an old jewelry armoire for my daughter. Still waiting for a list from my nephew…we “drew names” and I got his. If no list, he gets a gift card and lump of coal. Am giving wine cork trivets to many friends. My hand is cramping from holding corks and hot glue gun, but I have made many, many to go. Photo Christmas cards ordered, just have to address and stamp when they arrive. Son and his girlfriend making cookies for a cookie exchange I am attending…see what I did there ? Delegated my tasks to others. 🙂 Sister ordered gift for my mom from all of us. Just a couple of gifts left to purchase, but now I have to clean house for a Christmas brunch for my book club on Wednesday.Waffles and fruit, so no biggie on the preparation. All is good. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Karen. In previous years, I would still be wringing my hands.

  55. Ana Rocadas says:

    I completed everything days early. I feel very proud of myself, but everyone in the office hates me because of my terribly annoying efficiency. I told them about the pledge and next year, I’ll just tell everyone I’m wicked far behind instead of telling them how I’m really doing with Christmas shopping. Lying is the best policy.

  56. Bobbi says:

    Oh, and I forgot, every year I give a homemade ornament to nieces, nephews, and a few people who were friends of my kids when they were younger. Some of them are now 30 years old. 20 ornaments made. Huzzah !!!!

  57. Elise Jay says:

    Took the pledge. Got some of it done. 4 gifts left to buy. Need to wrap everything. Decorating this weekend. Normally I like to decorate on black Friday, but I was out of town for thanksgiving this year.
    Thanks for the pledge, Karen. It helped me accomplish wayyyyy more than I normally would have.

  58. Mickey says:

    I don’t want to talk about it!

  59. Sally says:

    I did not take the pledge this year. This is a very special Christmas for me. I will be spending Christmas in a faraway place for the first time ever. I leave for Budapest on the 21st and by Christmas eve I will be in Vienna. I am letting the lovely people of Viking River cruises look after me and my husband for 7 whole days. For the 1st time in my adult life I am letting someone else “do” Christmas. So when you walk (or jog) by my place this year you will not see the usual poop load of garland and bows. Everyone on my list will get a treasure from the Christmas markets of Europe….after Christmas.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Do you see me run past your house sometimes? ~ karen! btw I went on a 14 day cruise one year for Christmas. I brought a tiny fake tree for my room. It was fun!

  60. Julie says:

    I didn’t officially take the pledge but I did it all, and I’m ready! Well except I keep needing to top up gifts, but I don’t think that counts! But I’m getting worried…did I have to actually sign up to get the benefits? I’ve been waiting for the spontaneous teeth whitening, the 3 pound weight loss, and especially for the CARTOON SPARKLES TO SHOOT OUT OF MY EYES!!! I have a lot riding on this, as I have boasted about it to everyone I know!

  61. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Nom-Nom..this chili is delicious..I’m on my 3rd bowl now..

  62. Sara says:

    We decorated the interior of the house. I’m not sure we’ll decorate the exterior this year, other than the wreath that is already on the door. I rarely send cards (I know!!). That leaves presents to buy and wrap and goodies to bake. Ehhh…hmm. Maybe I should feel stressed about this, but I don’t. If I don’t finish shopping this weekend, I might feel behind. Thanks for keeping us all organized!

  63. Lynn says:

    Didn’t pledge but have some gifts bought…… I don’t do my place, I do my parents place as they are in their 80s and still have almost the same number of parties as they used to. It is almost done. The first big bash is on the 15th. My home has become the quiet place to unwind.

    My big question is, WHERE ARE YOU COOKING? Isn’t your kitchen totally torn up by now and in complete shambles? Or did you plan ahead and leave most of the destruction until after the holidays?
    My kitchen took 3 years. Temporary counters balanced on cabinets waiting for the right piece (cabinet, sink, oven, stove top) to show up at the salvage yard so that I could piece together a totally salvage kitchen.
    So how are you doing it? I think it is worth a blog post. Please…..

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynn – Only half of my cupboards are ripped out. The other half will come out just before my cabinets arrive. So I still have my stove and fridge. 🙂 ~ karen!

  64. ally says:

    I did take the pledge. All gifts bought or made. All cards done and mailed, and most received. Gifts to USA shipped. Gifts to BC shipped. All decorating done, in and out. Fantastic daily elf antics underway – I have a following on FB actually. Baking is planned; most ingredients bought; starting tomorrow. Christmas Eve dinner planned. wrapping paper bought; tags printed. Very much on track. 🙂 Let the gloating begin.

  65. Jeannie B says:

    Well, I didn’t actually take the pledge, BUT, I did switch out the front and side door wreaths, from Autumn to Christmas. I sent out three Christmas cards and yesterday, I made shortbread cookies in my malfunctioning oven.
    All I can say Karen, is ” Don’t mess with Santa”!

  66. Carla says:

    I love reading all your comments! What a great group of people. I was hit hard financially and emotionally this year, so Christmas isn’t going to happen. Just laying low to recuperate. So I guess, my list is complete. hoho

    • Karen says:

      I think Christmas needs to happen Carla. Even just a little bit. I know all about financial and emotional hardships, and I still think you need to grasp something special from the season. Even if it’s just buying a pine scented candle, a can of mixed nuts and spending a night watching your favourite Christmas movie in p’jamas. That is my advice. Dr.s orders. ~ karen

      • Maggie says:

        Carla, if you’re in Maine please come spend Christmas with us! 🙂

        • Carla says:

          Thanks Doctor and Maggie. Will take the p’jama advice. I’m on the left coast of Canada. I love to hear it’s awesome for people. It gives me a sense of hope for the coming Christmas’.

  67. Nancy says:

    Well Karen, I did take the pledge and am so thankful that I did. That is not to say that I’m near done. November was not a good month for me, my sweet Mom passed away a week after we had to put our dear little doggie down. So there was a two week period that we were numb and are now coming out of it by bits and pieces.
    Thanks to your pledge my cards were mostly done and shopping nearly done. Those are things that are important to me right now, reaching out to friends and family. My plan is to wrap and send out stuff by Weds and this weekend we are going to put a tree up and maybe a wreath or two outside, otherwise it will be low key.

  68. Amie says:

    I have two presents left: My Mom, half my father-in-law and half my niece.

    Everything is decorated.

    Wrapping was kept simple this year, because we have to fly a lot of presents with us. I may bring bows to add once we get to my parents.

    No Christmas cards. We aren’t big card people, even for birthdays. We would much rather give people a call for the big occasions.

  69. Jeni says:

    ummm…. I did do some things ….

  70. Margaret says:

    I love this pledge! I didn’t take it but I sort of did it and it’s great. I now have a permanent wrapping station set up in my dining room, hidden in a sideboard. I have always wanted this and now I have it. Half the presents are wrapped (which was done for free in my local toy store – amazing). I have all the wrapping, ribbon and tags to wrap the remaining gifts and I have only 3 left to buy. The inside of the house is decorated, and the outdoor decorations are hanging on a hook by the front door waiting for my husband to hang. I didn’t prepare any cookie dough but since I am not planning on entertaining at all this year, I may just bake some cookies with my kids one Saturday. If we feel like it. I will not be stressed about anything Christmas related. It’s the best feeling ever. Thanks Karen.

  71. Shauna says:

    I didn’t take the pledge because I was too busy. I am still too busy and have only bought a few things for our son. We have 3 parties to attend this weekend, starting tonight. Tomorrow, at some point, I will force my husband to decorate with me and buy a tree – before going to a friend’s 40th birthday party. At some point, I need to figure out what I’m going to buy and actually find time to just order it online. Cards? pff. Homemade gift tags – actually done, I made some for my craft fair and can use those. I need to leave this post before I get stressed out and have to face reality.

  72. Thank you for not shaming me 🙁

  73. Laura M says:

    I was a secret pledger too. Husband did all the inside and outside decorating. I THINK I’m done shopping except for 2 gift cards. Still have to do the Christmas cards, wrapping, food and prepping the guest rooms. We’re hosting the family Christmas again this year. It’s the 50 plus cards I’m dreading the most. Hopefully next week.

  74. laura Bee says:

    Well, of about a dozen strings/sets/nets of lights, only 4 work. So, outside I have a long rope light draped over the little pine trees in front of the house and along the fence. With a glowing orb at each end! Looks kinda neat. One is jammed in the sedum and the other on a bush. Our tree has a lot less lights for now and only 75 decorations. (Counted them for the first time, just for fun) Waiting to see if my friend finds her old ones for me. The I’ll put the rest on and give afinal count!
    Baked with my sister yesterday. 2 batches of fudge and one shortbread. Some more to do but we love it. Some presents bought and wrapped. More to make. Some stocking stuffers done as well. Just need nuts and oranges. I did something bad to my knee and I am fighting off a cold, so I am slowed down tonight.
    I’ll give myself a score of 75/100 on The Pledge. I am happy where I am compared to past years. Thank you for the boot.

    • Karen says:

      Good girl. ~ karen!

      • Laura Bee says:

        K, added another wack of decorations so there’s about 100. Ans close to 100 balls. Plus the strands of red wooden beads I scored at a thrift store last year on 1/2 price day. And my daughter & I made a long garland from one of the cardboard snowflakes that fell down at work. Look up next time you are at Canadian Tire ~ all silver & sparkly! Makes up for the lack of lights.

  75. safetydog says:

    Didn’t officially take the pledge, but doing very well. House, inside and out, decorated. All gifts have been purchased or made, except for my 2 kids. All current gifts will be wrapped by tomorrow. One set of out-of-town gifts delivered last week, the other sets to be sent out Monday. Christmas letter to be finalized tomorrow, and cards to go out Monday. It will just be our immediate family this year, so cookies and meal planning can be low key. With all this extra time, I may make cookies or candy for the neighbors – who knows!

  76. JacquelynKaci says:

    There is a similar table you are looking for to fit in your kitchen on Zulilly! Amazing and great price! Go look now they also have amazing chairs, just thought i
    I would share since I just read you post about being in a magazine!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jacquelyn! I’m actually right in the middle of redoing my kitchen and there won’t be room for a table so it looks like I’ll never be able to get my dream table and chairs. The funny thing is, now that I don’t need one I’m finding them everywhere, lol! ~ karen!

  77. JacquelynKaci says:

    Oh and I love love love your blog! Didn’t officially take the pledge but the calendar checklist definitely got me ready for December! Keep on keepin’ on

  78. Dawn says:

    Hmm. I took the pledge, but I cheat a lot 😀

    I’ve always hated doing cards, so my friends don’t get any, people at work get an e-card telling them about the charity that got their card money instead, and the only real cards that get written age to my elderly neighbours. So they still need doing.

    I don’t need to bake, me and the hubby divide and conquer for Christmas and visit our respective parents instead of taking on all the fuss ourselves 😀 We have ‘our’ Christmas on the 27th, so there’s some planning needed for that, but not too much.

    I love wrapping, so that gets saved for the final run up to Christmas, and I’ve always got loads of leftover wrapping paper so don’t need to buy any more.

    I don’t decorate at the start of December either. It always feels a bit too early. I might do it this weekend or next weekend…

    However, I HAVE bought most of my presents. 🙂 At least, I think I have… Wanders off to check…

  79. Sera says:

    Is your kitchen going to be done in time for your party?
    I did not take the pledge and I probably should have because it probably would have made me feel better about Xmas. Although, I did host thanksgiving for 19 people this year and so I needed a rest after that. I’m feeling a bit like Carla, I too was financially hit hard this year (and I’m a bit emotional about not having a real job) so I’m really struggling with the gift business. But, I’ll probably make some cookies today, and slap on a holiday movie to get in the mood. I really wish we had some outdoor lights so maybe I’ll see if I can rig something. I may have to get tricky with an orange extension cord.

  80. I’m one of those humbugs that doesn’t do holidays (though I promise I’m the nicest humbug you can imagine). I used to find Christmas a huge source of stress and be just wrecked by it. Some time around seven years ago, I just stopped doing the bits I didn’t like. I kept that up for a few years and finally got it streamlined down to the bits I really really like (and not a single thing I don’t like or feel obligated to do).

    So now, The Boy and I lay in a new boardgame to learn and play, ensure we have a good supply of breakfast making supplies, stock up on the necessary elements of holiday beverages, and tuck up at home for a long weekend of relaxing and resting and hanging out. Pretty much the only prep is trying to be sure the house is tidy before hand so we can enjoy the relaxing without feeling like we should be doing housework.

    I know it’s not what would work for everyone, but it works well for us. So if I say I’ve already bought the board game and stocked the liquor cabinet, does that count as having met the pledge goals?

  81. Amber says:

    I got scared of the pledge and am now even more scared of the Pledge People. Like you all might start staggering around in the streets on Christmas Eve, mocking and ridiculing the ones like me who are hiding under the bed with a bottle of Pinot Gris and a stack of unwritten cards.
    But I did my bit for the season and for the family.
    My mum called me up to say that she had somehow been invited to a Christmas Cookie Swap. She doesn’t bake. She has never baked. I had a deprived childhood because of this lack of baking. I had to bake my own cookies at the age of nine! And now she’s off to make a good impression with the new neighbors with her cookies… except that she still doesn’t bake. And the nice lady who invited her had suggested “Just 3-4 DOZEN cookies”. So mum called me in a panic. In her words: “You can’t tell a new neighbor S**T NO!”
    I told her to make a big pot of coffee, up-end a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream into it, pack it in a thermos, and wait for the friendships to evolve. Problem solved.
    And now back to bed with my wine and cards 🙂

  82. Chris says:

    I had a week off for (American) Thanksgiving and use it to get everything done! By December 2 I had wrapped all my presents, mailed packages and Christmas cards. I do have to admit that I made the Christmas cards in September and had been buying/crafting gifts since January.
    Chris =]

  83. Karen..I am so excited! This is perhaps the best I have ever done. House was decorated, gifts were purchased (except one— a bike for my little girl that needs no wrapping) and everything is WRAPPED! that is a first for me. We are still working on getting the cards out this weekend (i send a lot).

    So, I was thinking of you yesterday as I decided to get some Christmas movies and make gingerbread houses and cookies with my kids (not “work” but to enjoy the season since the “work” is done). It was an epic fail !!! Gingerbread walls started falling down, a child cried and threw a fit, I yelled cause she would not follow instructions. It was not pretty nor fun. We’re baking the little gingerbread people today and I hope that goes better. Maybe getting all the work out of the way was not the best idea after all;)

    • Karen says:

      Well that didn’t work out at all did it, lol? I love making Gingerbread cookies. I’ve had them on my list to do for about a month now! Today may be the lucky day. ~ karen

  84. Barbie says:

    I didn’t totally take the pledge, but it did make me get started earlier than usual. I am all done except for gifts…and that was unavoidable this year. So I feel pretty good. House is 90% decorated and outside is done. Wreaths are shipped. Only a few things left. Next year I WILL do the pledge so I can be even MORE ahead of the game. 🙂

  85. I haven’t done squat. here’s to next year!

  86. Jane AC says:

    I didn’t take the Pledge, but made an effort to get my act together and get things done early. Then my mom died in mid-November and plans went out the window. However, the outdoor lights were up in good time, my cards are addressed and ready to mail this week, my tree is bought and sitting in the shed (I don’t put it up until the week before Christmas), all but one gift is bought, and only one needs to be wrapped. I have yet to pack and mail a box of gifts. The garland and lights for the stairway are still sitting in a chair in the living room, and I hope to get that done today. Ingredients for cheese balls are in the ‘frig. But right now I have to go out and shovel the driveway because the plow went past about half an hour ago and filled the end of it with snow. Again.

  87. Tasha says:

    We took the pledge!
    -cards done
    -gifts done except I need to buy my husband chocolate covered pretzels. That will be done tomorrow.
    – decorating gets done after my husbands birthday, so tomorrow! Yay! But the Christmas books came out on the first and are being enjoyed.
    – wrapping is done with pre-made cloth bags, and they are up north, so that will be done on Christmas Eve.
    – DH is baking as we speak, and he likes it so that comes under his umbrella.
    – tickets to the Nutcracker and Mixed Nuts (dance school’s version) booked

    Once again, the pledge has made Christmas much better! Thank you!

  88. Sarah In Illinois says:

    For the most part, I did great! Decorating done inside and out, cards done, lots of shopping done. But where I am stuck is not knowing WHAT to buy for the parents and brother that have everything and the kids that can only come up with ideas that require a second mortgage.

  89. Jenny says:

    Badly. I decorated. And that’s it. Extensive overtime, death and lack of funds have contributed to a stressful holiday this year. Christmas Pledge final grade; F.

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