The Christmas Pledge Update



You may remember a few weeks ago I encouraged you to sign up for the Christmas Pledge.



That is the festive language you’re probably shouting right now if you didn’t sign up for the pledge.  The rest of us are knowingly nodding at each other as we pass on the street.  We recognize each other the same way most gang members do.

A bounce in our step.  A glow to our cheeks.  A tiny grin that could probably be interpreted as a smirk spreading across our faces as we remind ourselves that we took the appropriate steps to ensure the holiday season didn’t involve condemning perfect strangers to go straight to hell eating cat crap, screaming and arm waving in parking lots, or hiding under the couch until the festive season was over being nourished only by a single corn chip and a lint covered M&M.

So we are not swearing AHHHHHH…SHITFARKLES right now, because we embarked on the Christmas Pledge.  A contractual agreement to get most of what we have to get done for the holiday season by December 5th (only legally binding in a very small region of Norway).

I’m not done everything that needs to be done yet.  Not by a long shot.  BUT, I will be by December 5th.  And possibly sooner.

There are a few things that won’t get done because I just don’t do them yet.  The Christmas tree is always bought the weekend before my birthday (which is December 12th for those of you who want to send gifts).  So that goes up and gets decorated on the 8th or 9th.  I also like taking time to wrap my presents so I’ll be doing that in the second week of the month as well.  But I won’t have anything else to do so I’ll actually be able to enjoy it.

I’ll also be able to enjoy baking Klejner, shovelling snow if need be and maybe even making a scale model of the  Guggenheim out of Gingerbread.

So what have I accomplished up to this point?

  • Christmas Cards are filled out, addressed and MAILED.
  • 90% of presents are bought (still waiting for delivery on a few of them).
  • Exterior of the house is decorated.
  • Wrapping paper and ribbon are all picked out and ready to go (need to decide on tags).

And what do I still need to accomplish?
  • Decide on a dinner menu for Christmas Eve party.
  • Decorate the inside of the house
  • Get remaining presents, and a couple of stocking stuffers.

No problem!
Now … you knew this was coming.  How are you doing with the Christmas Pledge?
If you took it and you’re way ahead of the game I want to hear about it.
If you didn’t take it and you’re starting to shake uncontrollably and can’t leave the house because you’ve suddenly developed Turret’s I want to hear about it.  If you’re so stressed out you’ve taken to chewing on random stranger’s eyebrow hairs … I really want to hear about it.
Have a good weekend!



  1. Natika33 says:

    Oh wow! I’m such an underachieve compared to everyone here. I’ve done absolutely nothing. I have a good excuse though – I’m avoiding it altogether and going to Thailand. (^_^)

  2. Tres says:

    Cards – sent
    Tree – up and decorated
    Outdoors – decked out
    Indoors – glitter and garland everywhere
    Gifts – wrapped and under tree
    Stockings – stuffed and hanging
    Cats – playing hockey with various ornaments from the tree
    Dogs – sleeping
    Meal – catered
    Holy Crap, I am DONE! I love this pledge.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Ok. I have to explain. I actually do the reverse Christmas pledge… Because of my life revolving around a university calendar, I don’t do ANYTHING Christmas until finals are over. I am an overdoer when it comes to holidays. When I tried to get it all done beforehand the shopping and ideas would just get bigger and MORE by the actual day. This led to holiday madness. And Mad spouse when he saw the checkbook. So we have 2 weeks of Christmas Crazy and I enjoy every minute! I only wish I could keep the tree up until MY birthday on January 27 but the man just laughs and takes it down after New Years.

  4. Karen on the Prairies says:

    Happy to announce that I’ll be ready by Dec 5th too. Thank you for the inspiration to pledge!

  5. Pat says:

    Oh, right , December is tomorrow! What have I done? N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!!! Now, I do need to admit that I have a somewhat short shopping list which I have in my head and I will decorate the house from dawn to dusk, tomorrow, the official start of the season in my mind. Tree will go up on the 10th. Sooooo, I do have a plan. And some things, I have just taken off the list as I become, well, I’ll call it, more seasoned. My favourite pass time the few days before Christmas day is to go shopping and not actually shop but to enjoy the stores in all their glory as I will not be feeling any self imposed pressure.

  6. Patti says:

    Wahoo! This makes me so happy! I totally took the pledge last year and it made my life delightful!

    So! I have 95% of my gifts purchased, including the stockings. I have planned what baking and treats I will be making. I have planned what food I will bringing to my assortment of Christmas dinners. TheGuy and I are putting up the Christmas tree this weekend, and we`re going to pick up the two remaining gifts together on Sunday. I invented a new Christmas decoration for myself which makes me scream with glee every time I see it:

    Phew! This is really the BEST IDEA, EVER!

    AND – on Saturday, I`m making Fire broth soup – thanks for the tip about the chipotles, Karen. I found them in the International Section! :)

  7. nicole d says:

    i finished all (but one gift) my shopping on cyber monday, and are just waiting for them to arrive at my doorstep… and i have a good excuse for not decorating… i’m moving… on the day after christmas… so all i have up is a mini tree… anything more would just mean more last minute packing…

    and i’m with you on the gift wrapping… its ready to go, but i want to take my time, and do it all at once, when my other gifts arrive. :)

  8. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    AHHHHHH…SHITFARKLES..I knew there was something I was supposed to do..Oh Well.I’ll be OK..As long as I don’t visit a certain very small region of Norway that please excuse me while I get this guy’s eyebrow hairs out of my mouth..YEAH..That’ll teach ya to get in my way when I’m shopping buddy!!!!!

  9. Pru says:

    90% of the presents are purchased. Some are already wrapped. Cards sent. Overseas presents and cards also sent. Decorations are down – house being decorated this weekend – tree will arrive the week before Christmas. Just working out what baking to do, and filling my diary with fun evenings out which don’t involve racing around the shops and panicing! Yippee! (Oh and I am rather enjoying my friends being envious of me being so cool about CHristmas) ;-)

  10. Jen says:

    Outside lights up, Xmas cards half written. Vacation week next week and I have BIG plans to knock out everything else. That is, assuming the kids actually stay healthy for a week…

  11. Alex says:

    Lalalalalalalala! I can’t hear you. I was supposed to get my cards done by this week and mailed out to my relatives overseas. Apparently now they’re going to get them come January. On the bright side the lights inside are up everywhere and somehow the fairy lights from the University lighting days do a bedroom real justice in the adult years.

  12. Susan says:

    Yep! Just like last year…haven’t started yet! Maybe by Christmas eve I shall haul out a few decorations and haul my tired ass off the couch and stick them up! I will send you pictures!:-) Funny thing about the gifts thingy too. After 4 kids and 8 grandchildren I have never yet not given everybody sensational presents! Somehow it all gets done!

  13. Langela says:

    I have a photobook yet to do and then I done with gifts. Decorations are going up this weekend. Then I just have to wrap and I’m done.

  14. Anita says:

    I started to get out the Christmas things last week and my hubby FREAKED. “It’s not even Advent! It’s not even December!” so I put everything off until December because who wants a freak for a husband? It’ll get done. It always does.

  15. Diana says:

    I`m responsible for the christmasdecoration, Productlabeling and selling christmasgoods since August… So I`m (sorry) overfucked with all of that. When the Holydays are coming and the shopping spree ends, I calm down and get in order what needs to be done….

  16. Sarah In Illinois says:

    Since my house is on the market, I had very little decorating to do this year! (no clutter!) I don’t send Christmas cards but would like to start that tradition next year. I have a couple days off next week and plan to spend one doing a shopping spree. Should be less busy in the middle of the week, I am hoping. We’ve already decorated gingerbread houses. I’m getting there!

  17. Natalie says:

    for the last 10 years or so, I’ve been trying to do this every year. Last year was the only time I didn’t, and it was TERRIBLE, terrible, terrible. Only made worse by reading along with how WELL yours was going last year.
    So, this year so far I’d say 65% of shopping is done, and a good portion of the remaining gifts will be baked (cookies and quickbreads) or canned (caramelized onion jam). Since I will have at least a week off work before Christmas, I am waiting to do those (oh, the joy of being a professional gardener! It gets too cold to work).
    The tree will be cut this weekend, plus finishing off my wreath. The card is still in finalizing stage, but will be printed this weekend.
    Oh, how nice it is to be on top of things!

  18. Debbie says:

    Whoooooo hooooooooot I took the challenge and am 90% done!! Outside decorated (check), inside decorated (check), 90% of gifts bought (check)… next week I’m on the Steven and Chris show for a makeover, then aiming to bake up a storm, which should land me getting ready for the End of the World party by girlfriend is hosting on the 21st (I think you would enjoy this!!) and hubby to return home from Afghanistan on the 23rd!

  19. CBuffy says:

    It helps that (US) Thanksgiving was “early” this year, but yup, nearly done. And wow, does it feel GOOD! Now I can go to the store, mall, etc because I WANT to. Without that panic-y “deadline deadline” feeling. I do enjoy Christmas shopping. The music, the fake Santa, the decorations. Just not the angst that goes with… THANKS!

  20. Jody says:

    My husband and son are away this weekend so just me and the dog and decorating this weekend. Most of the gifts are bought and lots of wrapping is already done. I’ll bliss out on Christmas movies this weekend while finishing the wrapping and few cards to be written. I love The Pledge.

  21. Michelle says:

    I am just about done with everything. Presents are all wrapped and everything is decorated inside and out with the exception of the tree. My son’s birthday is 12/13 so we try to do it after but it does not always work out that way. 12/12/12 this year for your birthday and for my grandmother that is turning 86. What great numbers to play in the lottery!!

  22. Sandy says:

    I have got to wrap a few more gifts and do my Christmas cards and I am done.

  23. heidi says:

    I didn’t take it but all the gifts are purchased. Now I just need to make a list of other stuff that must be done. And I cheat, I almost always send out new years cards. (that way I can use photos from our trip to Florida the week between Christmas & New Years – beach pictures are more fun)

  24. Mary Kay says:

    Procastinators – UNITE (tomorrow!) I will be one of the last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve – usually for stocking stuffers but we (my husband and I) are still out there and it is kinda of fun – watching all the men scramble to get their wives something.

  25. Tisha says:

    I didn’t take the Christmas pledge but I have 95% of gifts bought and just need to wait for them to arrive and wrap them, and put the tree up. My tree would have stayed up all year if it was up to me, but the hubby decided in April, that since we were having our house appraised, it might detract from the value (don’t ask) and took it down. He refused to listen to my argument about it being practically Christmas again and so it really could have stayed up with no problem.

  26. Julie says:

    Yup, got the holiday-turrets that you speak of… I have had at least one sick kiddo throughout the entire fall, so any holiday prep that requires leaving the house has not been done. Anything that can be done from home is done. Does anyone know of any pediatrician’s offices where you can Christmas shop, get your gifts wrapped, or bake while you wait? I’m sure someone else is in a similar boat and might know this doctors office:)

  27. Melissa says:

    urgh, &*%^ grumble, grumble $hitfarkles.

    Damn straight, I’m uttering that festive language right now. I miss the days of getting things done ahead of time. I still manage to buy my Christmas presents throughout the June to December time frame, but I seem to scramble with the other stuff. I think if I took cards out of the equation, I’d be much happier… so maybe I’ll tackle all those other items over the weekend and be done by the 5th.

    Can I still be in the club if I icksnay cards?

  28. Thera says:

    Read the post, made the pledge, not a single thing done as the flu has been running amuck through our house :(

  29. Jamie says:

    tree up and decorated.
    most of presents purchased and wrapped.
    Inside of house decorated.
    Cards purchased through (will mail for you with free stamp!) and were scheduled to go out Dec.1st.
    Teachers gifts planned but not finished.
    getting new outfit to wear to holiday parties today.
    Christmas channels programmed into station in car.
    Christmas music playing in house.
    Feeling Great about holiday season!

  30. Meg says:

    Done: house decorated inside and out, cookies baked and frozen, 90% of presents bought and wrapped. To do: cards, Christmas eve brunch menu. Thanks for inspiring me to get stuff done this year!

  31. Kathy W says:

    No, no, no…my birthday is December 6th, and nothing Christmasy starts before then. Except shopping, of course.

  32. Erica Filpi says:

    My cards were mailed the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my yard is decorated, teachers presents are purchased (wrapping paper is coordinated by classroom so it’s a quick grab and go), Toys For Tots toys are donated, inside my house is coming along. Now presents, I am only about 75% done shopping (and out of that I have wrapped 1/3 of those), but considering I have 6 kids I am doing great.

  33. Maryanne White says:

    I love the Christmas Challenge, it keeps you timely so the days just don’t fly by. I am almost done, wrapping will be done next week but that isn’t a big deal since I went green a few years ago and use very little wrapping paper. I have to finish decorating the house inside but will do on Sunday after spending a day in New York City tomorrow. That visit will put me in the mood to finish.

  34. Diane Amick says:

    Thrilled to be among the pledgers who are right on track…decorating (inside and out) DONE, cards purchased (done) and addressed TODAY, gifts all purchased and WRAPPED!!! (now just need to get them shipped), baking may or may not be a factor this year – haven’t decided if I need this as neighbor gifts yet (just moved into this subdivision in May – have only met 5 area neighbors so far)- Hey – maybe I’ll just have a party and invite all twelve families – then I’ll know them! I even had time to make numerous crafts that I’m taking to a holiday bazaar December 8th – wish me luck or guess what everyone on my list gets next year!!!

  35. ev says:

    Ah, Christmas. Or, Bah Humbug! Took THE PLEDGE, failed miserably! Found out the homemade cards I designed will cost double to mail–still pondering that. Bought a new prelit, (allergic to tree pollen) which is going up on the 8th or 9th. Due to unforseen financial difficulties, still have gifts to buy. Daughter and son coming here on 15th to bake ____loads of cookies (I have a big oven), and they share w/me, so that will be done. All in all, I am about 55% done (nothing wrapped yet). So I hang my head in shame and am prepared to be shunned!

  36. Hi Karen, I thought about taking the pledge, as of course it is an awesome idea…I am so glad that I hesitated as I would now be feeling like the biggest failure! :) I do have a few tiny excuses for my complete and utter lack of organization this year,however, you have inspired me to start planning NOW for the pledge next year! Enjoy your weekend! -Cindy

  37. Cindy Marlow says:

    I’ve been a bah humbug Scrooge for several years but my six year grandson is living with me now and it is no longer an option. We put up a Charlie Brown tree that we dug from the yard that really sparkles. I still don’t send cards but I am vending at a holiday bazaar next weekend and next week I will make the rest of my products. I will use my bazaar (or bizarre) money for Cam’s gifts. That’s all she wrote!

  38. mimiindublin says:

    Afraid to write it here in case I jinx myself…
    Not sending cards this year as Hubby’s Mother passed away. Can’t believe what a huge chunk of work that was till it came off my list, might never send another card!!
    Mince pies made, frozen but not baked.
    Please keep us updated on your list Karen!

  39. Kate says:

    + Advent gifts for my sister – purchased, wrapped and given
    + Advent gifts for my mum – purchased, wrapped and given
    + Gifts – 90% purchased, some still on their way from exotic places
    + Christmas dinner – planned but not executed (unsurprisingly)
    + Secret Santa gift for workmate: bought

    To come:
    + Christmas tree (this weekend)
    + Some remnant wrapping

    I’m starting to breathe a sigh of relief and it feels goooooooood.

  40. Janie Farmer says:

    I am glad I didn’t take the Christmas pledge ’cause I am so totally screwed. Cardiologist decided to implant a heart thingy in my chest 2 weeks ago so very little is getting done because of the pain. The tree is up (allergies = artificial)on an end table (so the puppy can’t reach it) in the corner, no ornaments (to give the new kitten I bottle fed time to get use to it), not plugged in. Mikey the kitten doesn’t give a RA about the tree but, Arlie Farliegh and Liliuokalani (7 & 5 yr old rescues also bottle fed) are eating the tree. I like to think they are flossing after a meal….. I’ve been notified that most of the gifts ordered online before BF are no longer available so have to come up with plan b. Went out to dinner with friends who are up from Florida. Had my husband grab the pain meds before we left. Took 2 when we got there but, realized halfway through the meal that something was seriously wrong. He rechecks the bottle and had grabbed the muscle relaxers instead of pain meds. Forget Santa just send all his ffing elves.

    • Karen says:

      OMG! ~ k

    • Bobbi says:

      Janie…hoping you can just get some rest !! Don’t worry about the holidays….remember, those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      • Janie Farmer says:

        Thank You Bobbi! My life has been like this for as long as I can remember. I should be use to it by now but, I’m not. Went to the grocery store with hubby the day after the pill mix up to pick up a few things, had a seizure right by the check outs. UGH! So I lose my driving privileges again for the next 6 months unless I tell the neurologist I was doing yoga….on the floor.

  41. Dawn says:

    I would be finished, except we have no idea what to get the in-laws as a ‘main’ present. Zip. Nada. Not a sausagey clue.

    My family is much easier – we don’t do presents, just food :-)

    Oh, and I need to choose where my ‘charitable donation’ is going – my alternative to sending workmates Christmas cards :-)

    • Dawn says:

      Hah – flash of inspiration has hit. Tickets to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ are the answer. (Do you get that in Canada? I know the US has ‘Dancing With the Stars’ – it’s pretty much the same thing, but with UK celebrity-types!)

      Incidentally I can’t believe how many people put their tree up in November. Crazy fools :-D

  42. Hazel says:

    Doing well, but need to keep momentum up!Putting off sewing a bag for a zimmer frame(!) and got a few other sewing bits to do. I also want knit a mouse fairy if I have time, otherwise that’ll be a fabric pincushion mouse.
    Cards mostly written, must do the last few.
    Have even done birthday presents for both parents which fall in the next 6 weeks (including my dad who is IMPOSSIBLE to get presents for- v chuffed!) and the two of my children whose birthdays are in the next month. Yes I know. The one closest to Christmas is my 3rd and when the due date was calculated as Dec 25th the midwife just laughed.

  43. Barb says:

    Oh, one other thing I started doing years ago – sending my Christmas cards or letters in January. Everyone is used to the idea now and it gives me a chance in a slow month to sit down and enjoy writing to everyone. Real cards. Real handwritten letters. Real postage stamps.
    Some may think I’m bonkers but it works for me.

    And I purchase any wrapping or decor in January for the following year. Although my wrapping has changed to pinked edge fabric, or rubber-stamped newsprint. I recycle everything. The Christmas cards get made into small gift boxes for the next season. And I reuse any boxes, wrapping or ribbon we receive from anyone else. No pine cones out here though, so it’s a swag of a cedar bough. Just some ideas.

  44. Tasha says:

    We are doing well! Christmas album made for the Grandparents. Gifts 90% bought, some need to be delivered. Cards (all three that we are sending this year!) bought from cute neighbour girl, with cheques to be written tomorrow. We made Christmas bags our of cloth a few years ago, so wrapping involves finding one of appropriate size and putting it in there. That will be done after we travel to my parents.

    To be done: pdfs purchased for husband (Dec. 4), candy purchased for child (Dec. 4), decorations up (this weekend), flag to make for my dad (next week, don’t ask). Now, if I could make all the bloody Christmas parties go this easily, I would be a happy camper.

    Once again, thanks!!!! This makes Christmas better for everyone.

  45. Barb says:

    Yep. Forgot to do the pledge thing but I’m nearly done too. I’ve been in this habit for years as I always started teaching skiing on the weekends and working at my paying job during the week for the month of December so there was just no time to get anything else done that month. I’m retired from both now but the habit continues which suits me fine. I shop and make stuff year round. Makes life a lot calmer and I can go skiing for fun while everyone else is swatting it out in the mall or wherever. Shopping online has been a godsend in the last few years. Also having to ship parcels overseas by the beginning of October gets me started, otherwise I’d have to pay the outrageous sums the post office wants for airmail.
    I still have baking to do at my leisure too. I don’t like to start that too early. Then time is needed to deliver gifts to my friends and neighbours. Enjoy the season by crawling out from under the couch earlier in the year !

  46. Melissa says:

    oh crap, holiday cards. I bought everything but never got them together.

    I’m making soap dishes during my pottery class for everyone, and they still need to be fired, but will be by Christmas. I bought local nice soap to include.

    We don’t get our tree until the 10th or so, any earlier and our heater dries it out to much.

  47. Sara says:

    Wait, there’s something happening this month? Huh…

    • Karen says:

      Well yeah. Duh. Christmas! But that’s not what we’re getting ready for. We’re prepping for Christmas 2013. Having prepared for THIS Christmas a year or so ago. ~ karen

      • Sara says:

        Sadly, I am a huge believer in Christmas pledges. I personally love to sit in my pj’s watching Elf over and over in December. However, this year I DID NOT take into account that my daughter’s first birthday was November 20th and that I’d want to pretend I was Martha Stewart, minus her minions, for that. I’m still recovering from the ground zero pink explosion. On to red and green I go. Maybe I’ll watch Elf in January. Her birthday was super cute though. You can check it out here if you need to verify my story. Ha!

  48. jamie lynn says:

    i’ve looked at christmas crafts. and i plan on making one eventually. that counts, right?

  49. Rox says:

    I’m done! Tree is up, all presents are wrapped and hid. Baking starts tomorrow and Christmas eve jammies will be washed before wrapping tomorrow too. We’re celebrating on the 8th because it was the only day our whole family could be together, so while everyone is at the mall, I’ll be playing with my Grandies under the tree!

  50. Lynne says:

    Pfffffft. Now I’m officially pissed. Oh well – there’s always next year and the year after that and the year after that …..

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