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. Chris says:

    Not to brag or anything, but my christmas cards were handmade, addressed, stamped and ready to be mailed in JULY!! I did wait until after Thanksgiving to put them in the mail.
    Chris =]

  2. Nicole says:

    Uh, the dog ate my pledge?

  3. Ana the Hated (@ParrotTalkBack) says:

    Interior and Exterior decorated
    Christmas cards all sent out
    Gifts 80% bought, waiting for delivery

    To do:
    Assemble wrapping paper, ribbon, tags
    Wrap gifts
    Plan menu for party at fella’s place
    Clean car & trunk for gift delivery

  4. Alicia says:

    Hey Karen! I took the pledge! I’ve gotten all of the christmas decorations out (although not put up yet) and the fall decorations put away. I’ve made out all of the cards for work, taken the photo and had our “friends and family” cards made, settled the menu for christmas dinner and have started buying for my kids. I’m much further along this year than I was last year, thats for sure!

  5. allyson says:

    Christmas cards done and mailed last week. Outside decorating done. Inside decorating done, except tree which is scheduled for the 8th. All gifts bought, awaiting delivery on one or two. Elf on Shelf arrived on Dec 1st as scheduled – so far he’s been moved each night as required. All stocking stuffers bought. All entertaining planned, baking planned and ingredients purchased. one pair of socks left to knit. Even gifts for teachers, etc. are purchased and ready to go. so there!

  6. Annie Kip says:

    crap – I am so not on top of things this year. I am having the worst time coming up with presents for my kids who don’t want or need anything. Isn’t that REE-diculous!!?? But I knwo they will be really sad if there are not things to open on Christmas morning, besides socks and underwear.

  7. andrea meyers says:

    i was actually considering skipping the cards this season. but no! its the ONLY time we have a decent family photo, im obliged to mail it to everyone we know, and they dont even care!

  8. Nina says:

    Happy early Birthday, Karen! Well, this pledge is so awesome and something I wish I’d done 30+ years ago. I’m usually the one under the sofa hiding and eating a lint covered M&M. This is the very first time in my entire life that I got up in the wee hours of Black Friday and went out by myself and came home with 95% of all the gifts I need to buy. whooooo hooooo!!!! I am always stressing about the gifts and what to buy for whom, and how many, etc.. Not this year! Still no tree up, but that will happen on the 8th. Christmas Day dinner is at my home every year and it’s potluck, so I’m in charge of the ham and turkey.. ahhhh… I’m so relaxed now. Just a couple more gifts to buy. Oh and that’s including 9 grandchildren! yikes.. Here’s wishing everyone an awesome Christmas!

  9. jojo says:

    ahhhhhh. shitfarkle! Is it really December already? Still stuck doing hurricane clean-up, and hoping that “good weather” (meaning no snow) holds until I can get my house closed up and secure. Brain is almost ready for procesing the fact that November just slipped away.

  10. Chris says:

    I wish I could have made the pledge but I knew it might not be possible so less pressure was the best way to go so I can sing jingle bells when someone is flashing me the bird in the mall parking lot. I cannot get my front yard decorated yet since they are delayed to do my roof. Until it is done I will have a well lit backyard!!

  11. Diane says:

    Ahhh I love a challenge and the Christmas Pledge was a great way to end the year. I have all the decorating done (minus the window lighting which will be finished mid week) and the tree is complete. All stocking stuffers and gifts have been purchased/made with the exception of one gift that I will order tomorrow (and awaiting one more delivery). I’ll be wrapping most of these tomorrow. All of my cards are ready to mail. The rest of December I will craft and bake whenever and however I wish, with no deadlines and no stress. Oh and snoop…now there’s lots of free time for snooping, to find my presents from Santa! No…I would never do that! :P

    And as always, the next two days will be spent decorating my Dad’s house. Fa la la! :)

  12. Nancy says:

    Shitfarkles! Shitfarkles! Tell me why am I sitting here reading how much everyone else has done and I’m staring at totes of Christmas stuff to put up? I’ve been traveling a lot in the last few weeks, back and forth to see my mom who is terminally ill in another state, so I really have the blahs. BUT, I want and need a kick in the a** to get moving! I know it will make me feel so much better to have the normalcy of the holidays in my home. I think I’ll try to start this weekend and have it done by the 15th to enjoy at least a few days, do you think it’s doable?

  13. Melanie says:

    I’m surprisingly far along in my pledge duties, considering I refused to actually commit to the pledge (because I’m a wimp). We’re getting our tree tomorrow (because getting a real tree in California before December means youll have a dead tree carcass in your living room come Christmas day.) We’ve got all of our decorations purchased and ready to hang once the rain clears a bit and stockings all cut and ready to be sewn. We’re starting from scratch this year, making new traditions together and all that crap so I have a lot of extra things to do since theres no giant box of musty decorations to start with, but I think we’ll be pretty far along come the 5th. :D

  14. Pam'a says:

    I’m incredibly impressed with you all, honestly! For the rest of us, it might be important to know that it’s spelled “Tourette’s.” I’m nearly there. ;)

  15. Judy says:

    Didn’t take the pledge. First, I’ve heard of it but I am preparing for xmas. Here’s my progress.
    – Cards mailed. I do the photo one with the kids. I send out 50.
    – Gifts to Australia and Newfoundland ready for mailing this weekend.
    – Tree and Advent calendar are up.
    – House is 70% decorated
    – Most gifts are purchased
    Left to do
    -Door and Table arrangements. Taking a workshop on Monday and Tuesday at the RBG.
    -Stocking stuffers for the kids. I made giant ones years ago so I fill them with everyday things like toothbrushes and shampoo. The kids thinks it’s a riot.
    -Sewing a new christmas runner for the dining room table. Have the fabric. Just need to sew.
    So I might make your deadline of Wednesday. That would be great! I work in retail so it’s super busy this time of year.

  16. Sarah says:

    I still haven’t mailed my thank you cards from my wedding in September.

  17. Sue says:

    OK, I didn’t actually take the pledge because ya know I wanted to play both sides of the fence. Take credit if I was successful and hide under a rock if I wasn’t. But I’ll take credit for 90% of presents bought and wrapped. House decorated, cards addressed and stamped, menus in place. Tomorrow will finish the outside lights and put up and decorate the tree where plenty of shits and farkles will be uttered! This will leave plenty of time for imbibing in spirits and playing ping pong in a pirate hat. Oops did I just say that?

  18. Teresa Messick says:

    Ah, yes! I took the pledge and I am right on target! Yahooty! We are going tonight to pick out our tree and will decorate it when we get home. My teenagers are rolling their eyes because they are way too cool for such holiday frippery, but one day they will come back to their senses and rush home from college to hang their ornaments! All but three gifts have been purchased ( I know what I’m buying) and it all sits blocking access to my closet. I decided to get crafty and repurpose the brown packing paper that we get at work for my wrappings…I seriously need to tackle that this weekend because for one, I can’t get to my closet, and two the crazy schedule of school performances, birthdays, and Christmas parties commences next week. Thanks for the challenge and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season!

  19. Kathy says:

    O.K. so today, in the giant windstorm and power outage, I braved the streets to find light and a plug for the computer, and saw a crew cleaning up after chipping my Christmas tree!! Yeah, I tend to salvage my tree from something the paid tree guys cut down, and it could have been the top of that redwood tree had they not chipped it first. O.K. another storm is blowing through tonight – I’ll be out with the saw really early in the morning – might find the tree after all!!!!
    The presents, they just come in the mail and the UPS guy, right? So I leave the lights on, when there are any, so they can find my address. That’s how it happens???

  20. TorontoBoy says:

    These days Christmas is simply a marketing campaign. Without trodding down the religious path unnecessarily, I think that people have forgotten to appreciate the simple things in life. Like simply appreciating the fact that you got to walk on this earth another 365 days and spend it with those you treasure and love. For the past 3 years I’ve asked loved ones not to buy me any gifts. As they say, objects are simply that … objects. I’d rather people treat me with the same level of respect that I offer to others.

    • Karen says:

      TorontoBoy – That’s Thanksgiving! I love every single thing about Christmas. I like the giving the presents and getting the presents and the twinkle lights and the special foods I only make this time of year and the good mood it puts people in and the decorating and the fact that it happens once every single year. I love all things Christmas from the Coke Santa Claus to the brown wrapping paper. ~ karen!

      • TorontoBoy says:

        Touché Mrs. Karen, touché! I will have to admit that I do enjoy the Christmas decorations and ornaments that adorn most people’s doors, rooms, windows, and front yard. Recently I was surprised to see the larger than life lit reindeers that tower over the shoppers in the Eaton’s Center.

  21. Pati Gulat says:

    Not doing a whole lot this year because we’re spending the 8th thru the 16th in North Carolina cos MY GRANDDAUGHTER will be born on the 11th !!! Have bought all the gifts tho and they’ve been shipped and also decorated the inside today. I didn’t take the pledge but now that I’ve written all that out it appears I JUST MAY be right on track !! WOW !!

  22. Jasmine says:

    I hosted an evening last night showing and selling my husband’s woodwork and my paintings-until that baby was put to bed I could hardly think about pledging ANYTHING. But, along with prepping the house, I managed a couple of Christmasy things. I have a wreath on my door (yay!), the Christmas boxes have been brought out of storage (yay!) and I created the most adorable Dr Suess Christmas tree outside my front door (triple Yay!). I love it so much that I am considering having one inside from now on. (If I could attach a pic, I’d show you and you would be unbelievably impressed and jealous)

  23. Reg says:

    I didn’t take the pledge, but I wanted to. I was afraid of failure and consequences. People pointing and guffawing, picket lines in front of my house with ‘Martha would not be pleased’ written in large neon letters, very neatly. But I’m almost done. Presents all bought, no circling mall parking lots this year looking for parking. Still have to wrap and do the interior and exterior. I usually wait for a minor storm to put the lights up. I have to suffer for my art. Actually, today looks like a good day for putting up lights. It’s really cold, dismal and windy.

  24. Zala says:

    It’s strange and unseen before this year but I have most of the ‘musts’ under control. But now am freaking out and stressing about the things I want to do for fun. Weird.

  25. I cut way, way back this year. I have to do cards, and a pile of baking that has to wait. But I’m ahead on gift making- though through some weird dimensional rift my list is getting longer rather than shorter. At least the tree didn’t go up on Halloween this year.

  26. Cathy says:

    OK, I didn’t officially take the pledge, but a year ago we agreed to open our house to the town’s garden club Christmas tour, which is this Sunday. So, as of tomorrow at 4pm, two Christmas trees are cut, set up and decorated, two dining tables set, $300 worth of fresh garland hung everywhere, blah, blah. Did I mention we have processed and bottled about 30 bottles of our own honey and I canned about a dozen jars of pepper jelly for gifts. That being said, I haven’t bought or written cards, shopped for any gifts, or made one cookie. But, now that the decorating is done, maybe I’ll actually have time for that stuff!

  27. marilyn says:

    omG doesn’t anybody fly by the seat of their pants anymore!!!

  28. Brian Cessna says:

    I’m glad you now use the postal service. I remember when you used to stuff the card through the smallest slot of a tack box the day before Xmas. It would be destroyed. However, I did display the crumbled card on the top of my tack box. I cannot remember but I’m sure the next time you were in you took the card down! haha..
    ps. I finished in October!

    • Karen says:

      HI Brian. LOL! I don’t remember doing that at all. Ahhhh riding. Best time of my life. Haven’t been on a horse in years now. :( And you’re right. I probably did take the card down. Sounds like me. You know. Being all nice to people but not wanting anyone to know. I have a reputation to uphold. ~ karen

  29. Shauna says:

    I’ve bought most of the presents and some of the stocking stuffers. I still need stuffers for my son. My husband likes to do the outdoor decorating, so I’m waiting for him to get the Christmas shtuff out of our carriage house. I have multiple kids birthday parties (1 out of town) and a craft fair I’m selling at this weekend, so decorating may have to wait. I don’t send out cards. I vowed every year to do it and never did. I’ve now realized it’s not me, I won’t ever do it, so don’t even put it on the list. I MAY send out Happy New Year cards.

    As for your birthday – you need a P.O. box that you can give us so you feel safe to receive gifts without the fear and threat of all of us stalking you and showing up at your house for Christmas Eve dinner.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I do have a P.O. Box for that exact reason. :) ~ karen

      • Shauna says:

        Great, then I think you should post it because I totally, maybe, probably (if I can get it on my to do list) will most likely, perhaps send you a gift for your birthday/Christmas:)

        After all, you give so much to us all year long.

  30. West Coast Nan says:

    I can honestly say I am in control this year! Most of my gifts have been purchased. The tree and inside will get done this weekend and the outside lights are up, just a few Grinches need to be go up as well. I only send out a few cards so they can be done this weekend too. Cookie exchange on the 16th means I will bake that weekend so everything is fresh and then I mail off all the cookies I get that my family don’t like to my Dad on the 17th (that’s awin-win in my book). Just have to do a major grocery shop for everything – I like hitting Stupidstore at 7am on a Saturday to get through quickly with the least amount of other shoppers. I don’t think I even need to go to the mall!

  31. Larita says:

    Didn’t take the pledge, but almost done with gift shopping. Oh, heck… when I think it through, I’m not even close. I just have the easy ones bought and have a bunch to make yet. No decorating before Dec 1 around here, possible later as I have two toddlers and an entire month of “don’t touch!” seems a bit much. No meals or get-togethers to plan.

  32. Sarah A. says:

    I took the pledge and I just about on track. 80% of gifts purchased, and I’ve finally decided what to buy for the last 20% so that will be done today. Travels plans made. Outside decorations layed out in the garage & waiting for a break in weather to put them up. Tree to be purchased this weekend. It feels so great to have Christmas handled! Thanks, Karen for getting my butt in gear!

  33. Dana Kee says:

    I’m on-on! 90% of gifts purchased, Christmas cards filled out and going in the mail tomorrow (I refuse to send them before it’s actually December), Wrapping paper is ready to be put to service.

    Remaining To-Do’s:
    Decorate house and tree (again, it MUST be December before I’ll do that)
    Decide who’s house to eat dinner at
    Mail gifts to out of town family

    So glad I took the PLEDGE!!

  34. Laura Bee says:

    Hoping to get the lights up outside today. Presents are all done but one or two & the stocking stuffers. Starting baking with the sister tomorrow. Feeling very relaxed.

    • Laura Bee says:

      ok, I just doubled the chance of actually doing the lights & tree today by pulling them out of the basement. Thanks again.

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