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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  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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. :)

  10. Kim from 3 peanuts says:

    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

  11. 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 =]

  12. 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 :)

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. Dawn says:

    Hmm. I took the pledge, but I cheat a lot :D

    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 :D 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. Thank you for not shaming me :(

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Jeni says:

    ummm…. I did do some things ….

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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’.

  28. 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”!

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. Nancy Blue Moon says:

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

  33. 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!

  34. 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!

  35. Mickey says:

    I don’t want to talk about it!

  36. 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.

  37. 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 !!!!

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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…??

  41. 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.

  42. 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!!!!

  43. 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.

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