The Christmas Pledge
Get your elf in gear.


Hello everyone. It’s Karen! Your helpful and annoying little elf-like creature, checking in to make sure you’re keeping up with your Christmas Pledge assignments.

I am an angry little creature.

So it’s best if you listen to me.

These are the things you should have done by now:

1. Over half of your gifts purchased.

2. All your wrapping supplies purchased.

3. Majority of your stocking stuffers socked away.

4. At *least* one batch of cookie dough made and frozen.

If you still haven’t printed it out, you can print out the Christmas Pledge Calendar. It’ll help you along with what you need to do be stress free by December 1st.

I forgot to mention it in the calendar but now’s also the time to thinking about getting your ears cut in two and sewn back together in the shape of elf ears.

Here’s an Instructable on how that works. Plenty of time to heal for the holidays.

Have a good weekend,



  1. Laura says:

    Holy crap! That instuctable was crazy!! People are so weird.

  2. Marti says:

    Bod Mod Pictorials. This is why I started looking at your site in the morning… after the sleeping happened. Yikes, that’s gonna give me nightmares.

  3. Bobbi says:


    Tree up and lights on….so behind already…

  4. toekneetoni says:

    OMG!!! Straight craziness.

  5. Dee says:

    EEEEUUUUUU! That instructable is too much. Wait…your ears are covered in your elf suit. Maybe that’s what you’ve done to your ears and you’re going to surprise us?

    • Karen says:

      Well I’m glad someone finally mentioned Elf Karen. I’m pretty cute. ~ elf karen

      • magali says:

        Cute is debatable but it sure made me happy this morning! 😉
        they should sell this Karen version for the Elf on the shelf.
        also, that girl is not going to know what hit her when her page views go up by the thousands today!

  6. Laura Bee says:

    Still in b-day mode. BUT I did try to put up my lights today. Only 1/2 of a set works this year. One is completely burnt out. One has a broken bulb & won’t work. The one with half…no clue what’s wrong. This year I simplify my lights! Just the rops lights I guess lol.
    My butter is on the counter ready for Scottish shortbread tomorrow.
    Keep up the ass kicking – I really do not want to do anything but bake in December.

  7. Debbie says:

    This is over the top, if I had this done I would be angry too.

  8. Pam'a says:

    I’d be angry too if I had to haul that huge head around on my tiny little elf body. ::snicker::

  9. jenn billesberger says:

    I LOVE the Elf Karen; really, I didn’t realize that was in you! I wonder how we would all look elfing ourselves this way.

    Sooo – 1st year for the pledge; hubby out of town in VEGAS, working full time, (ugh) and went on my lunch to get stocking stuffers and all wrapping supplies. Thank you Karen!! I wouldn’t be simplifying my life without your help; seriously, saw Elf Karen tonight and was grateful I had done your bidding ~

  10. Sia says:

    Is there an instructable on how to get your ears back to normal for when you come to your senses a few years down the road?

  11. Jamie Lynn says:

    ditto on the nightmares, even though I’ve actually seen those before (I’ve just never seen the actual process). Freaktastic. To each their own I guess. For what it’s worth I think elf Karen is adorable, even though she looks pretty pissed off!! 🙂

  12. Shannon says:

    Great timing! I finished yesterday-and boy you shoukd’ve seen the sparkles flying!! Woo hoo! I’m a free woman!

  13. Bre says:

    All I want for Christmas are two elvish ears….interesting distraction from all this Christmas prep (this pledge is such an alto great idea!)
    Tongue splitting next Halloween…pinkie swear?

  14. Tigersmom says:

    You are awesome as an angry little creature. What a great way to start the day.

    It really helped having something that made me smile to look at after the disturbing instructable. Do you think she realizes the permanence of what she’s done because I’m thinking even if you decided to attempt a reversal down the road you’re gonna end up with some gnarly cauliflower ear due to scar tissue and all? Ick.

    I can’t imagine how I am behind in the challenge this year. Perhaps if I stopped finding gifts for me……

  15. CaymanAli says:

    I’m nearly there, making cookie dough this weekend! Do you have any cool DIY ideas for hanging big lanterns for my tree in front of my house?

    Body mods…crazzzzy stuff, I found a website one time when I got lost on the nets. Very scary!

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. I do not. You mean how exactly to hang them? ~ karen!

      • CaymanAli says:

        like to make them yourself, I always want to do them every year but they are so spendy to buy.

        • Karen says:

          Oh! Well tell me what type of lanterns you’re talking about and I’ll give it some thought. My *first* thought for your house was to do something like my glowing outdoor orbs ,but hang them upside down like my bird feeders. Clean and contemporary. But admitted, don’t look very much like lantern

        • CaymanAli says:

          Yes, that could probably work I think…how to hide the cords though….any ideas? We have a really cool Kapok tree which would work well. What about those solar powered light things, could they work inside an orb I wonder?

        • Karen says:

          They will, but you have to make sure they get light. I would just hang the orbs by a white rope, and tape the cord to the rope so it isn’t dangling. ~ karen!

  16. Kelly says:

    i would love to see you post an account of an average day. you’re amazing! as to christmas wrapping all purchased, personally i’m a believer that is a january item. like toilet paper, stockpile on sale cause it never goes bad.

  17. Ninety-nine percent of all presents bought so wrapping stuff is next but who on earth has the self-control to make cookies this far in advance? Freezing doesn’t make any difference; my mother tried that and gave us a lifelong love of frozen cookies.

  18. jainegayer says:

    I didn’t take the Christmas pledge. I knew I couldn’t live up to the schedule.
    And now it’s November 15 and all I’ve done, Karen is collect pine cones. Pines cones for those little pine cone thingys you made which being the slacker I am, I probably won’t get to. I’ll just throw them in a bowl.
    But now I have a vision in my head of you as an elf. Whoa, and I haven’t had my coffee yet. I’m gonna need lots of coffee.

  19. marilyn says:

    what is this world coming to? elf ears! really!

  20. Kim says:

    Why in God’s name would someone do that to themselves? I do, however, love the angry Karen elf!

  21. Dawn says:

    I’m getting there. Gifts on the way, wrappings in storage (even extra tape!) plus I said “no” to two different things in December that would have taken me away from the house when all I want to do is have time with my kids.

    Cookie dough is a thing I like to do with the kids help so that’s in my December relaxation plan.

    Thanks for the inspiration to get ‘er done early!

  22. Mary Kay says:

    OMG – I am no where that far on my pledge – but on the upside – I plan on having some of our difficult and time consuming cookies DONE this weekend – YAY!! OH and the niece with the gaggle of kids finally got back to me and now I have all their sizes. So I will blame it on her that I don’t have half of my gifts bought since she is half of what I got to buy!

  23. Ella says:

    Elf Karen. I just looked at it about 10x. Couldn’t help it. Scrolling up and down. Just like when I am jogging past roadkill, I just HAVE to look. 😉

  24. Wendy says:

    Okay. Remember me. I’m the gal who had the awful date in September at Indigo during which my guy told me it was too early to do the Channukah shopping. You agreed with me that boys are dumb. So, one afternoon I deserted my family to their own devices–literally, they were all enraptured in the light of phone/tablet screens–and headed back to Indigo. I did almost all of my shopping in less than 2 hours. Books, candles, napkins, etc. Now, today, I have an afternoon off, I’m gonna finish the deal (still have kids’ presents to buy, and one “Secret Channukah Witch” gift, and I am so done. I have wrapping. I have ribbon. I might need Menorah candles.

  25. Sarah In Illinois says:

    I’n not quite half way done shopping but I have a good start!

    Forgot about the frozen cookies!

    Wrapping paper purchased, need to find the ribbon that I have in mind!

    I’m on my way!

  26. Lol That is just too much, but you do make a cute little angry elf! Cheers

  27. Carolyn says:

    Wow…. Elf Karen you would scare the crap out of any kid not in bed before Santa comes, Don’t get a job at the Mall.. I hate to see mother Elf you popped out of … She’s probly meaner looking….
    Well, here it is. I haven’t done one thing on the list.. Please Santa spank me… It is Friday… I need a smaile on my face.
    Maybe I’ll put my tree up this week end…

  28. Jasper says:

    Wow, scarey elf Karen..

  29. laura gerber says:

    Hey Karen – thanks of course for the elf ear instructions. I’m going to jump right on that. Do you think it’s possible that when you have links to other websites you could set it up so they open in a new window? Right now if you click on a link it takes you out of your post, and then of course I always want to go back….


  30. Sarah A. says:

    Elf Karen is a bit terrifying… just the thing to get me back on track! Wrapping is bought, gift idea list is flushed out , but I haven’t bought many gifts yet. Today is the day! Thanks for keeping us in line!

  31. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    I think the girl in the Instructables looks cute with the elf ears. In the world of body modification, that looks quite tame. Not that I, personally, would do it. If the fans who thought that was extreme, they should google tongue splitting. Now that is a body mod that will give you the heebie jeebies!

  32. Jeannie B says:

    So that’s what Karen looks like without her make- up. Makes me feel better now. As for the “Hobbit” ears, what a curious thing for a girl to do. I’m sure you can still buy Dr. Spock from Star Trek ears, out there somewhere. Certainly less painful. I didn’t take the Pledge because I can’t get motivated until the first snowflakes fall. But, good luck to everyone else! I know, I’m a real dud! Bah Humbug!

  33. wisconsingal says:

    Eww! Eww, eww, eww! Elf ears! Body modification artist! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!

  34. Sarah AFranklin says:

    You are the most delightful nut to fall off the tree. That’s why I love your blog!! Thank you for always giving this old woman happy way to start the day.

  35. Julie says:

    I can’t figure out why we are freezing cookie dough instead of cookies…..but if Karen says so, I guess I have to!

  36. Rhonda Smartypants says:

    That is one scary Christmas Pledge Elf. My family opted to celebrate Winter Solstice last year and want to repeat this year — haven’t come up with a Winter Solstice Pledge yet, but this celebration is a whole lot less stressful, financially challenging, and consumer-driven for all of us. We’ve only a few children to play Santa for in the immediate family and decided to continue those practices. Our celebration consists of a small potluck of winter-based dishes (cabbage rolls, French onion soup, trifle, etc.), candlelit room, and a ceremony where we pledge to bring more light into our lives.

    As for the Elf Ears Instructable — sorry, the Elf was so scary I didn’t dare open the link.

  37. I love the Instructables website… but I somehow missed that post. Hmmm, as usual the attendant comments are an eye-opener to all the wonderful weirdness our world contains. I prefer the weirdness right here, Karen. You are a lovely Elf (don’t frown like that or your face will freeze).

    You will be happy to know I am shopping at our fundraising eBay auction today, proceeds to Beads of Courage children’s charity, all handmade charms for sale. Link on my blog above.

  38. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Can those ears be fixed once she gets older and realizes she is an idiot?? I am going to print out Elf Karen and hang her on the wall for the holidays..and send a copy to all of the naughty children I know and tell them that this is who comes to visit on Christmas night when children are bad..HAHAHAHA..That is my evil laugh..

  39. Trina says:

    Or become a Jehovah’s Witness for a while.

  40. nancy says:

    I don’t have to buy wrapping supplies and cards cause I never used most of the stuff from last year. And the year before. Everyone I know has candles coming out their ears. I don’t know what to get most people, if I buy something wonderful early, I can’t wait to give it to them!! And if I do hold out and wait for Christmas, I usually say “what was I thinking??”

    Also, wanted you to know I discovered Bogs are orthotic friendly.

  41. Barbie says:

    OMG! Karen! The elf pic! PRICELESS! I laughed so hard!
    ….also….OMG! To the elf ear link! hahahahahahahaaaaahhhaaaaaaa!!!! Made my day!

  42. Rachel says:


    I laughed so much at your elf.

    I TOTALLY fail at xmas. I got nothing done.

    Save me!


  43. Kelli says:

    Pffft. If I haven’t even managed to get my dad a birthday card until today (his bday is tomorrow) what makes you think I’ll get all of that done by Christmas, you silly elf?!

    and OMG the elf ears, REALLY?!? Sure it looks cute when you’re 23, but like a tattoo, when your 73, not so much.

    Or even at 43. Ugh.

  44. jenny says:

    The Karen Elf is haunting.

  45. Rachel says:

    Done. Check. Double check. Shopped, wrapped, done. Tossing out all Christmas catalogues that arrive in the mail. No need for them due to awesome pledge!

  46. NikiDee says:

    OMG! That bodymod! For a sec I thought it was a joke. I’ll never look at an elf in the same way again.

  47. sky says:

    When you “popped” up in the bottom right hand corner it spooked me! I seriously thought that you were starring at me! Yikes! I cannot stop laughing.

  48. safety dog says:

    Oh great and wonderful Elf Karen: I have purchased 1/4 of gifts – but this also includes 4 Christmas-time birthdays. Started wrapping today. Cards and stamps are purchased, mailing labels printed. Does it count that I already did a lot of baking for (American) Thanksgiving? First things first.

  49. Zoe says:

    I’m doing pretty well…WAY better than normal so for that I’m pretty pleased with myself.

    I wont be wrapping until I get to Ireland because all I need is some mean customs man to unwrap everything and make me cry!

    However, I’m almost done with my shopping (which for me is huge), and if I’m not done I have ideas which i half the battle – except for my sister…And i’ve started writing cards and plan to finish in the next two days! 🙂
    Thank you for showing me the Etsy way :)!

    This pledge has saved my sanity!! Thank you thank you thank you 🙂

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