The Christmas Pledge
14 Days Left



Yeah, you read that right. There’s only 14 days left until the Christmas Pledge deadline is up.  2 weeks.

2 weeks to finish your shopping, get your decorations up, write out your Christmas Cards and tie up any loose ends.


Christmas really is a nerd.  It’s convinced us all that it happens on the same day every year but in truth … I think Christmas has some sort of agreement with another notorious practical joker,  the space-time continuum.  It’s my opinion that the two of them have some sort of agrement to drive us all to the brink of insanity, laughing their heads off the entire time, as they secretly make less and less days between the last Christmas and the next.

I know we think Christmas only comes every 365 days a year, but it’s entirely possible that it’s now happening once a month.  Feels like it anyway.  It certainly is a surprise every year when it arrives.

So, as motivation here is a list of what I have so far accomplished.

1.  Purchased (mostly online) the majority of my presents.  85% are awaiting arrival in the mail.  I still have perfect presents to think of for 2 people.

If you plan to buy online, do it NOW.  Etsy sellers and even larger companies are inundated at this time of year and things *do* sell out.  Also, many smaller companies who have to keep up with large demand like you to have your Christmas orders in by the end of November.

2.  I’ve brought the Christmas Cards down from their home in my bedroom desk drawer so they’re ready for me to tackle when the mood hits me.

If you plan to do personalized family photograph Christmas Cards, personalized mugs or calendars get a move on.  Getting the perfect shot, Photoshopping and printing all take time.

3.  The very first warmish day we get I’ve committed to not writing a blog post and putting up the outdoor decorations.

Who cares if the decorations are up a couple of weeks early.  If it’s nice out, get it done.  There’s nothing worse than trying to bake Christmas cookies with stump fingers because you lost them to frostbite while hanging outdoor lights in an icestorm.

4.  I have decided on a wrapping scheme and bought the materials I need.  (more on this in a later post)

If you have something in mind for wrapping go out and get your supplies now so you have everything organized and ready to go.  Bows, or the materials to make the bows, wrapping paper, tags and ribbon.  I usually buy 3 complimentary wrapping papers and stuff to make bows that will match all of them.  Some years it’s old school Christmas with Santa Claus wrapping paper, some years it’s contemporary, last year it was sparkly and fun. Check out last year’s Pimp my Bows if you haven’t seen them before.   This year it’s going to be something entirely different again.

In the next 2 weeks my plan is to attack, attack, attack.  Every night I browse Etsy, Pinterest and other sites looking for inspiration for those 2 remaining presents and future Christmas blog posts.  I’m going to decide on a menu for my annual Christmas Eve party and if I have time, make anything in advance that I can and freeze it.  (Uncle Shifty’s Antojitos are a perfect example of something I can make and freeze ahead)

I suggest you do the same.  Or … do this.  Frankly I rather do this.  A completely charming  DIY feather tree from Centsational Girl.  It was one of those things I found while browsing around for inspiration.  But I really shouldn’t make one.  Not until I finish everything else at least.  The space-time continuum isn’t something to be trifled with.  Like Christmas, the space-time continuum is also a bit of a nerd.

Have a restful, yet productive weekend.  Full of naps.   And accomplishments.  And feather trees.






  1. Marti says:

    “I think Christmas has some sort of agreement with another notorious practical joker, the space-time continuum.”

    Does The Fella know about your affair with Brent Spiner? Sheesh, woman, back away from the screen!

    You need to take yourself out for a mani-pedi and CHILL.

    Although I did think that marabou feather tree was amazing when you pin’d it.

    • Karen says:

      Kay – um … I had to Googel who Brent Spiner was. Little known fact about me, I’ve never seen a full episode of Star Trek. ~ k!

      • Christina says:

        I’m a total Trekkie so this upsets me. But not everyone can be as fantastically nerdy as me. I actually referenced the space-time continuum in my blog post on Wednesday. I am not kidding. Not even a little bit.

  2. Claudine says:


    While my holiday celebration won’t include gift exchanging, except for with my son, I have all the other aspects of the season to contend with.
    Thanks to you my hair salon is completely decorated, including the Yule tree, in addition to being freshly painted.
    Individual cards have been selected, and signed, ready to throw in the mail the weekend after Thanksgiving. Ooh, but I do need more stamps.
    The house tree and all the ornaments are in the living room, which, in a frenzy of overzealousness brought on by how happy I am with the salon, I have decided to paint before decorating.
    And, while the menu is not complete, I have purchased chestnuts for roasting and decided on a roasted vegetable gratinee dish. I am going to spend some time this weekend making gingerbread cookie dough and rolling it out into “walls”, which I will freeze in shape so that I can bake them (with sugar windows) a couple of days ahead to put together individual gingerbread houses.
    I’m so excited to have all this coming together.
    Thank you.
    Oh, and as a side note, Brent Spiner is really cool, although I wasn’t into whichever Star Trek series he was in. I loved him as the crazy scientist studying the aliens in Independence Day. He’s cool and funny, and I follow him on twitter.

    • Karen says:

      Claudine – Did I really inspire you, or are you just trying to make me feel good? I’m happy either way. Even my mother, Betty is getting her ass in gear earlier this year because of my Christmas Pledge. It’s really going to make the whole month of December MUCH more pleasurable. 🙂 ~ karen

  3. karenagain says:

    I have all the neices and nephews presents bought. I hate hate hate Christmas trees and refuse to erect one this year. I will Christmas out the house, but no tree. I hate the whole big ugly tree thing. I have always hated the tree. I hate bringing a messy tree real or not into my house. I feel bad for my beautiful orniments. I shall find a place for them.

  4. karenagain says:

    I wrap green boughs around my deck. I suspend white starry light things from the eaves. I just hate the tree. I just hate the tree. Really, do you like the big tree in the room.

    • Karen says:

      I actually have several trees. A minimum of 3 ever year. If you search “Christmas” in my search bar you’ll see a few of them. Yup. I like the tree. 🙂 ~karen

  5. Angela says:

    I’m done shopping and will begin wrapping this weekend. I picked out the scheme a few weeks ago, but will have to spend quite a bit of tiem cutting snowflakes to use as decorations on the packages.Hopefully I can also muster up the energy to design/order my cards this weekend so they get here in time for me to mail out. I’m also going to make my husband move furniture around this weekend so I can put up the tree before we go to Tokyo for Thanksgiving because we’re going to be exhausted when we get back AND I have the first of 3 Christmas parties next week. And for fun, I’m going to glitterize a pair of shoes to wear to one of the Christmas parties. 🙂

  6. Thanks for the kick up the arse Karen, I’ve just ordered my Christmas cards (charity ones, of course, since they’re such a waste of paper someone should really benefit).

    I’m going to glance over the Christmas list now and realize how many people I still haven’t bought for…

  7. Caroline says:

    AHHH…now I have deadline panic!! I keep seeing great ideas and thinking of more things to do faster than I can get my original list done…damn you pinterest and all your awesomeness!!

  8. Jen says:

    I have a good part of my shopping done….and plan on getting a lot of house things done this weekend. Every year we have a Holiday Kick Off Party on the the last Sat of Nov….which gets a lot of the house decrating mostly done….but it’s the cards, photo gifts, shopping, WRAPPING, baking, etc….trying to squeeze into a jam filled month that always does me in. Every year during me Christmas exhaustion, I am wondering what I can do ahead next year, to stop that feeling.

  9. Brenda says:

    I am getting freaked out with the time line..LOVE the feather tree, I may make one of those, the 3 bluhairs will no doubt destroy it, but what the hay !!

  10. Catherine says:

    Throughout the years, I have compared myself to a General marshalling his plans and troops for battle.

    Some years the troops are definitely missing in action and it is the General who does all the work.

    My first plan of attack every year is to purchase a small notebook and this is where I complile the lists….list of gifts, list of ingredients for the baking marathon and so on….

    I’m on the decorating now. It unfolds in three stages, the decorations are going up now, second stage is the TREE and in the last few days the fresh garland and flower arrangments are brought into the house.

    Getting ready for Christmas is a challenge and we fit all the shopping,decorating,baking and hosting while working and living our lives.

    In the end, the preparations that women do are a gift to ourselves, family and friends.

  11. Natalie says:

    I am always inspired to get things done early, but haven’t actually done so since before I had any responsibility for anything other than gift giving.

    So, in part thanks to you, I have now bought gifts for all except 4, some of whom are getting home made food anyway. I have collected pine cones with which to do something decorate-y inside, and I have almost finished designing the card. Not great, but much better than other years!

  12. christyl says:

    haha…i bought my pop-up tape yesterday for my pop-up tape dispenser. Once you go pop-up tape dispenser the roll with teeth just seems so wrong. I didn’t get mine last year until it was too late and alllll the tape was sold out! I suppose the pop-up dispensers have caught on with a lot of folks!

  13. Michelle in Htown says:

    OK, type-A personality here: Do you freeze those delicious-sounding Antojitos before or after cooking?

  14. Annie says:

    Ok, I pledge, too. But I’m starting a bit late so I’m feeling a bit giddy and panicked at the thought of getting it all done so wonderfully early.

    The good news is that now I know what I’m asking for this Christmas! I want that AMAZING mirror and candelabra lamp. so cool. awesome. Are they your handywork?

    • Karen says:

      Hah! The mirror my sister bought me, and the candelabra I bought from a store that was going out of business. I love them both too. 🙂 ~ karen

  15. Kristin says:

    I’ve read all your stuff, but haven’t commented before. However, I’m so dang proud of myself, I just must! Took your pledge… Have every present bought and wrapped except one that is in the mail. Made an advent calendar for my husband and I, dragged up all the decorations from the basement (no centipedes, but wicked spiders), and have my husband fearing death if the lights aren’t done by the day after Thanksgiving! Cards are waiting to be mailed and even made some cute Thanksgiving day ones for out of town relatives.

    The best part? EVERYONE IS JEALOUS! They all teased and said I was doing it too early when I took the pledge? Now, they look longingly at my present pile and ask if I might help them come December.

    Hell no!

    • Karen says:

      Kristin! Yayyyy!!! Doesn’t it feel *great*!? I feel good, and you’re doin’ better than me so you must feel fantastic. ~ karen

  16. Rachele says:

    I can’t take this pledge. NO. Way. But only because I have taken the handmade pledge as well, and I still have a long way to go on most of my presents. I will get my house decorated by December. All my “in-a-jar” gifts will be ready. But there is no chance that the Battlestar Galactica quilt will be complete by then, or my kids’ new jammies, and I have to wait until the appropriate time to bake anything perishable. I would have to start waayyyyy earlier than when you introduced this idea to me.

    • Karen says:

      Rachele – That’s alright. The whole point is to finish whatever you can in advance so December isn’t too crazy. Sounds like you’re on your way. ~ karen!

  17. Linn Caine says:

    I hope you all are at least enjoying yourselves with the “frenzy” road you seem to be on. Me, I’m just calmly anticipating Thanksgiving next week, and THEN I’ll be able to start “enjoying” myself along with ya.

  18. Thera says:

    I haven’t even started, but ours is a simple Christmas and I have things I have to wait on.
    We have three small children, so I don’t get the Santa List until the Santa Claus Parade (which is tomorrow evening). I don’t get ornaments out until hubby has dug a path through the basement (also happening this weekend). We too are waiting for a warm day for the outdoor lights, and we don’t get our live tree until the first weekend in December (not next weekend but the one after) so it doesn’t die too soon.
    We do not do any entertaining, I refuse to.
    We will have one work party to attend and maybe one dinner party (already have the dress etc).
    We don’t send out cards, again I refuse to.
    I will be baking and making ornaments next week though and that Feather Tree may make the list!

  19. kate says:

    ah! the Christmas project — here is my update — cards and card list ready, stamps bought for the mailed cards (some cards will be shipped with the gift); gift shopping is at 90% complete – the only ones left to buy are for those to whom i give coffee and i buy that as close to Christmas as possible. I have the ornaments and decorations ready and at hand, but do not have the house on schedule for decorating — the decorating is always the hardest part for me — it was a lot easier when I had kids at home; we always had a good tree and a train running around the tree. All I can think of so far this year is a wreath – maybe I will put out a creche and a wreath and put poinsettas on each side of the doorway but none of this until after U.S. Thanksgiving – Oh, I will do some baking but that will be much closer to Christmas – not in the timeline of the pledge. This has been a good thing to do — kept me on track. Good luck you all with your preparations!

    • Karen says:

      Kate – Not to worry. The pledge is only to get a bunch of stuff done in November so you have more time in December to do things like baking etc. So you’re perfectly on track! (love the train going around the tree) ~ karen!

  20. Natalie says:

    Karen you are awesome! This is such a simple and obvious idea that I would have never thought of on my own. I am usually one of those fools out on xmas eve scrambling for my remaining gifts. Thanks to your pledge I have already ordered gifts online (like you) that my receivers may actually like and find useful. I am determined to make this year better than all of the previous high anxiety ridden years. Your pledge idea is the greatest gift I could have received 🙂 THANK YOU!

  21. Nancy says:

    I saw the beautiful feather tree when Kate first posted it..I absolutely love it but I’m afraid my cats would attack it as they love cat toys with feathers on them..I am also doing good with getting ready for Christmas…

  22. Shauna says:

    I really wish our Thanksgiving was on the same day as Canada’s. I can’t even think about Christmas until our next holiday (next week) is over. I have a table full of decorations to take up to the family beach house for decorating. Once that is all over with, then I can pack that away and start thinking about Christmas. I’ve bought a few items and have my decor theme chosen – that’s the only thing I can currently check off my list.

    • Karen says:

      Shauna – I was just thinking the other day I’d be in a fit if I had Thanksgiving to get ready for right now as well. I have a special post coming up on Monday for all my American readers on the Thanksgiving Turkey! ~ karen

  23. SK Farm Girl says:

    I took the pledge and so for, so good! Christmas cards written, addressed and mailed. Holiday wreaths up on the outside of the house and garage (17 in total making my house look like a Norman Rockwell painting – love it). Most gifts purchased that need to be purchased. My family is doing a hand-made-with-love-gift exchange this year – almost done with the hand-made thing. Baking is a work in progress as my cousin and I are selling our baking this year at a local bake and craft sale. My goal is to make 200 dozen squares/bars (1/2 done), 4 dozen jars of antipasto (yet to make), 2 dozen jars of pepper jelly (done), 2 dozen jars of pickled beets (done), 2 dozen jars of cranberry sauce (done)and together, my cousin and I will make Christmas pudding. Trees aren’t up yet – Sunday. THe main tree, an adorable vintage tinsel and green tree with vintage dec’s and a feather tree (to be made yet). Gifts are not wrapped, but wrapping materials, etc. are ready for me. Crap, what have I forgotten? I need nap! First a glass of wine, then a nap. Or maybe another batch of brownies, a wine and then a nap . . .

    • Karen says:

      Um, you’re kind of putting me to shame. I MUST SEE A PICTURE OF A HOUSE WITH 17 WREATHS!!! Put it on my Facebook page PLEASEEEEE. Or email it to me. Either way, I HAVE to see it. ~ k!

      • SK Farm Girl says:

        K – will do in the next day or so. Just so you know there are only 11 wreaths on the house, four on the garage and one on the barn/garden shed = oops 16, not 17! Can’t count so well; too cold to take off my sox and count using my toes! LOL! Neighbour lady threatened (in a fun way – I hope) to take a wreath a day and see if I noticed any missing! LOL! Happy Holidays fellow bloggers!

  24. misskher says:

    Everyone made fun of me when I had my tree up before Remembrance Day, but I was like, “KAREN MADE ME DO IT!!!”

  25. Langela says:

    I have the kids’ presents all bought and paint bought for one of them. We are redoing their rooms this year for their gifts. They picked out their new bedding and colors, etc. I won’t have all the painting done by the deadline. I have to wait until Thanksgiving is over before getting out the Christmas decorations, but I usually do that the day after Thanksgiving and it only takes a day to get it all done. Today we are building the set for our church’s Christmas play.

    Something I learned last year that was helpful was to declutter the house before getting out the new decorations and bringing in the gifts and making the cookies. It was so nice to start fresh and so much more relaxing to work in a clutter-free house.

  26. Dru says:

    eek! I’ll have to do this after all turkeys longer on the farm and sold for Thanksgiving dinner..I think I’ll have a week or pressure..

  27. Farquist says:

    I lurked. I didn’t take the first pledge-plea seriously. Thought it wasn’t for me. Thought I could never do it. Too much self-doubt. Yesterday, I made a list, went to the stupid mall that I hate, successfully dodged 4 people I knew and got everything on my list. Done. Finito. Over. Even booked the photographer for the family portrait where we all plan to wear blue and black…like a bruise. May have to rethink that plan. Thank you for the inspiration. You have made my Christmas merry and bright!

  28. I have ordered the cards…in fact, they arrive this week, I have started the inside decorating, bought about 50% of the gifts. I am trying like heck to fulfill my pledge so I can rest and relax with my family:) I think I might make it:)


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