The Christmas Pledge
Take 2.

I got a takeout coffee last week.

For those of you in Italy, Portugal and the like, a takeout coffee is a coffee they give you in a paper cup that you leave the coffee shop with. You do not have to bring the cup back.

So, to further explain you buy a coffee and then … you take it  out into the world with you. Takeout coffee.

You can take it with you wherever you’re going. To another store or on a walk or to the mall.  If you aren’t familiar with  malls, they’re just like hell but instead of fire and brimstone, there’s teenagers and fluorescent lighting.   And Cinnabon.

You do not have to relax in the cafe you purchased the coffee in. The concept of the takeout coffee allows you to maintain your rapid fire North American pace of a chihuahua on speed.

Now that I’ve cleared that up I’ll get back to my story. I got a coffee last week that came in a holiday cup. It was a deep red with white snowflakes all over it. It screamed CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!!

And then *I* screamed CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!!  Right there in the coffee shop.



So it is with great sadness that I must tell you  … it’s time to take the 30 day Christmas Pledge.

It was one year ago, almost to the day, that I announced last year’s Christmas Pledge and invited you to take the challenge with me.  The challenge I present you with, is to get all the crap you need to get done for the holidays, before the holidays. Within the next 30 days to be precise.  That will give you the entire month of December to actually enjoy the holidays.  To embrace them instead of dread them.

If you take my 30 day Christmas Pledge, by December 5th you will be done everything you need to do.  Your present buying, your house decorating, your Christmas Card sending … all of it.  Freeing up the entire month of December to do stuff you want to do.  Create a life sized Gingerbread House?  You can do it.  Knit your pets leisure suits out of cooked spaghetti?  You can do it.

The possibilities are endless when you take the Christmas Pledge.

So take the Christmas pledge with me …


“I,    (insert name here)   being of sound mind and slightly jiggly body, agree to take the Christmas Pledge.  I pledge to get all the crap done I need to, by December 5th.  And then I will lounge and eat chips.” [/print_this]


This pledge is applicable to Hanukkah or Kwanza or whatever other holiday you celebrate that seems to last for a month.

I will be keeping you updated as to my progress (I actually hope to be done by Sunday, December 2nd but I’m an overachiever like that) and I expect you to do the same. Come the first week in December, I plan to be full of Christmas cheer and as far away from hell as possible.


  1. Susan Dulley says:

    Ok, I take the pledge…however, I do this every year. Tree is up on Thanksgiving, so that we can light it just after dinner, during dessert on Thanksgiving evening. Then, the tree stays up until February 28th, or 29th, depending on the year. I work in retail…actually seeing the tree does not happen until after January…of the next year…seeing it in a way that it actually deserves to be seen. I am an amazing Tree Decorator. It deserves many, many hours of admiration. I will send you a pic. You will be amazed. I am, every year. for months, actually. I am ready, on your mark, get set…GO..GO…GO..! There will be snow, won’t there? Please Santa Claus, let there be Snow. That…and the continued health of myself and my children, is all I ask. Nothing more, just that….and a fantastically decorated Christmas House.

  2. Ella says:

    What are your thoughts on Christmas cards? Can you dispense me from doing them? I really hate them. I suppose it’s nice to receive them, but….

    • Karen says:

      Sorry Ella. They’re mandatory. MANDATORY. You will be judged by the amount of cards on your mantle and you only get as many as you give. MUST GIVE CHRISTMAS CARDS TO PROVE YOUR WORTH! That is all. ~ karen

  3. Becky says:

    sigh. ok.. I pledge. Are you going to give us tasks? i don’t think I can handle it on my own without reminders.

    Last time a Christmas challenge was issued, I refused to buy a present– but i acquire a fantastic satin lined box that will hold a present, so that counted in my mind.

    • Karen says:

      Well Becky .. this is actually last year’s pledge, LOL. THIS year’s Christmas pledge will begin next week. Tuesday I believe. And yes .. there will be weekly reminders and a calendar. ~ karen!

  4. Carol says:

    Bar decorating the house and tree … I am already lounging and eating chips … if I manage, in this pledge time, to knit anything from spaghetti .. do I get a prize??

    • Karen says:

      Um. Yes. Yes of course you do. I just can’t think of what the prize is right now. But it’s definitely something. ~ karen

  5. Joyce says:

    I have almost an hour before I go to work. I should be cleaning something or cooking something or decorating something but, instead, I am reading your blog and trolling Facebook. What does that say about the odds of my success if I were to actually agree to take this challenge, hmm?

  6. Jen says:

    “I, Jennifer Renda being of sound mind and slightly jiggly body, agree to take the Christmas Pledge. I pledge to get all the crap done I need to, by December 5th. And then I will lounge and eat chips.”

    I forgot to add this to my comment above. And most likely cram like a crazy woman instead of eat chips.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Jen. This is a horrible thing but … you’ve just committed to taking last year’s Christmas pledge. :) Not to worry. There will be a new one starting next week. ;) ~ karen!

  7. Jen says:

    Okay. Fine. I will give this a shot.
    I’m a MBA student, and looking for work. Hubby works overnights.

    If we don’t get started on this stuff soon…. It’s gonna be a nightmare with with my final in December, the exact Saturday before Christmas to be exact.

    I have to go shopping now, and will see about getting the Holiday Greeting cards while I am out.

  8. Kal says:

    So last year (no kidding) I put a note on my calendar “Karen’s Christmas Pledge” I thought we were starting 1 October so I’m READY. Are you ready to announce it for 12/2013? I can’t even believe I still have the post-it note!

  9. Anemone says:

    why? Already. I don’t feel christmasy yet. I will try to get most things done. But i pledge to not buy decorations. I over did last year. This year it’s clothes! sparkly new clothes! What’s the decorating theme this year though? I doh know what to do. I’ll just repeat.

  10. jojo says:

    Breezy Point New York — now famous for the devastating fire that occurred during the height of Hurricane Sandy.

    New Holiday for me this year — Trik-or-ThanksMas

  11. jojo says:

    (Maybe I should give out red & green Christmas candies tomorrow…)

  12. jojo says:

    In this part of the world, where we’ve been displaced by “Sandy”, and our Christmas stuff is scattered out there in the dunes or the ocean or someplace else, we’re still trying to move past Halloweed. The town we’ve relocated to is hosting Trick or Treat tomorrow, and then we’ll quickly move to Thanksgiving, and THEN Christmas. Weird. My mind is stuck in the days prior to Hurricane Sandy, and I’m convinved it is still October. Ugh.

  13. Zoe says:

    I’m not sure I can handle another ‘to do’ list…..
    (I have a to do book)
    But I like the idea…..and i’m starting writing……

  14. Caroline says:

    “I, Caroline, being of sound mind and slightly jiggly body, agree to take the Christmas Pledge. I pledge to get all the crap done I need to, by December 5th. And then I will lounge and eat fudge.” (I am more of a sweet than salty gal!)
    I guess that means I better get my fall and hallowe’en crap put away tout de suite!

  15. Erin says:

    I solemnly and jigglingly take the pledge. Since we’ve had snow on the ground for the past five days (*[email protected]%!) – it’s a little easier to think about Christmas. Actually, I excited to send the Christmas cards that ALMOST got sent last year. I think they’re all together in a box somewhere…

    Now I’m kinda distracted by that spaghetti knitting vision you’ve planted in my head.

  16. Sara says:

    I do not know how to reply to your reply from my phone. Anyhow, I really think if a certain coffee chain that rhymes with Carlucks ever wanted to go for more of a doodle art look, they really should call you for a re-design. I’m sensing real creative vision and inspiration on your part. :)

  17. Sara says:

    I LOVE your Christmas cup! :)

  18. Karen says:

    I bought paper, ribbon, tissue and name cards yesterday, so I am feeling confident that I can conquer the challenge!!!!

  19. candace says:

    OMG, knitting spaghetti is a genius idea! Thanks Karen! Haha :)

  20. Teresa says:

    I have not visited your blog since summer… I have missed it! I like you dread the Holiday time… love the concept, dislike the frenzy. So I vowed to myself when we began having children, 3 boys in three years, to not make it more crazy with gifts. Our tradition is one gift from Santa, one from the parents… anything else is bonus (from relatives or grandparents)… they dont know anything else and it makes my shopping experience much easier.
    I am taking the 30 day challenge… except, now I am one day behind!!
    Peace sister!

  21. do you have to eat chips? what about brownies?=)

  22. Chelle (@Asheyna) says:

    “I, Rachelle, being of sound mind and slightly jiggly body, agree to take the Christmas Pledge. I pledge to get all the crap done I need to, by December 5th. And then I will lounge and eat chips.”

    Part of my pledge this year is going to be doing the Organized Housewife’s 20 Days to a Clean and Organized House challenge. I want all my clutter and [email protected] cleaned out by Christmas so I can really enjoy the holidays this year!

  23. laura says:

    I am in. After my spectacular fail last year, this year will be better, right? After all, last year was better than the year before, so I am setting a trend.

  24. Jake says:

    I’ll take the pledge if you change the ‘being of sound mind’ thingy, the jiggly body bit’s right on though.

  25. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    NO NO NO..It is not time for this..It has not been a year..You are lying you BAD BAD Karen!!! OK..I feel better now..I will try..but I’m only doing this cause I like you..just remember..I’m a lot older than you..

  26. elaina says:

    i’m doin’ the pledge!

  27. caryl says:

    I saw a scandinavian site that had a guy using his arms as knitting needles. Think I’ll try it it would probably speed up the spaghetti thing but my lights won’t be up and none of the gifts will be wrapped!!

  28. Eleanor simmins says:

    Great idea. I take the pledge. Today I set up my village. Only with no lights or decorations, I’m saving those for later. Next thing on the list is on the hunt for greens for my planters. I also need some of those red skinny sticks – what are they called again?

  29. karenagain says:

    Do you remember? It does not seem like a year has passed. I hate Christmas Trees! I got lucky last year and broke my leg on the 23rd. I laid in bed on Christmas day and was high on legal drugs. My daughter came over and did all the work. I just instucted from bed in my cozy high how to do everything. It was the best Christmas ever. This Christmas I will have to do a lot though. Unless I break a leg again. It was almost worth it.

  30. Rktrixy says:

    Actually, my pledge is to not start anything until after Thanksgiving. No humming xmas tunes, no buying or making presents, no baking, no decorating, no anything. I hate the stretching out of the season. I hate Christmas lasting more than 2 months (because you saw the decorations lurking in the store, waiting to kick the bats and pumpkins to the corner – admit it!). I don’t like buying a tree until after the 15th because I want the house to smell like FRESH evergreens, not DRY everbrowns. Am I weird? I mean – weirder than normal?

  31. Sebrah says:

    I pledge every year that I’ll be done by 1st December. Then every year I am still wrapping up the kids gifts at 2am Christmas morning. And I wonder why … and I realise it’s cause I didn’t do a damn thing about getting it all ready by 1st December. I saw this pledge last year…. BUT this year I’m PLEDGING WITH KAREN and you know what? I’m quite excited to have not one persons gifts sorted, but 6 a ….. I’m getting there!!

  32. Jody says:

    Yup count me in. Thing is I have come to prefer Thanksgiving over Christmas. It is one day not a month at minimum, no thinking of the perfect gift for everyone,and no little creature or jolly elf to add to the chaos. I’m making out a time table now to get everything done before Dec 5.

  33. Kate says:

    I pledge the pledgy christmas pledge thing!
    Also the 5th is my birthday so I’m going to call it the ‘relax and enjoy your birthday’ pledge too.

  34. Chau says:

    Karen, believe me I do want to take the pledge. I do, I do, but I have to get through Thanksgiving (US) first. I will try my best :-)

  35. West Coast Nan says:

    I do love a challenge, I’ll do it! Now to get the rest of the famdamily on board. There are a lot of Grinches at my house, maybe the smell of Christmas baking will grow their little hearts…

  36. Kylie Anderson says:

    It is imperative that I take this pledge. My due date is December 5th! Unfortunately there will be minimal lounging with chips, though……

  37. FLP says:

    Thanks, Karen, for getting us on the right road. I try to eliminate one thing each year that I thought was so essential and I have found that my kids, now adults, don’t seem to notice as long as a few of their favourite cookies and traditions appear. I have cut down to just a few baked goods instead of thinking that variety was the spice of life. Guilt be gone.

  38. GwenDee says:

    We still have American Thanksgiving to celebrate. So I will start slowly. Plus it is 80 degrees.

  39. Shauna says:

    It’s not fair that you don’t have to still deal with Thanksgiving like we other North Americans do.

    I do have most of the shopping done and since I don’t send out cards, I can check that off my list. Everything else must wait until after Thanksgiving. Will you be providing us a list of possible shtuff we might need to do? i.e., what you will be getting done?

    • Karen says:

      Shauna – if I have time I’ll try to do a mock up Calendar “to do” list by the day. You know. Martha Stewart style. If I can fit it in with all the Christmas preparations I’m doing. ;) ~ k

  40. Sherry says:

    I do so pledge! I came here to find last year’s list because I didn’t know if you’d do it again this year. This year, I’m hosting a Christmas Cookie Exchange Dec 9th so I’m going to be totally, completely ready for Christmas by the first weekend in December.
    Thank you Karen!

  41. Elen Grey says:

    In my infinite insanity, I designated Movember (historically known as November)as hospitality month. We are entertaining every weekend (sometimes twice!) the entire month of Movember. The male guests will be Shades of Scraggy, so we can all allow ourselves to dress flannel-shirt casual. Score! The house has been cleaned within an inch of my life, inside and out. The garden has been put to bed. Outside lights will go up before finger-freezing weather. Today? Tomorrow? I’m halfway there. No? Come December, I’m kickin’ back. Decorating the tree. Triaging Christmas cards. Getting a takeout coffee. :-D Right now. Here be pumpkins.

  42. Brie says:

    I’m so excited to see what kind of new bow invention you come up with this year Karen! The pine cone bows of last year were such a hit! Also- did I miss the tutorial on the awesome snow globe thing you kept promising? I’ll have to look around.

    I accept your challenge…. again.

  43. *humming “deck the halls” * Loving this post Karen, cos it reminded methat just cos I’ve bought 2 (yes 2!) presents, I’m not finished!
    Baking is next on the list, bring it on!

  44. Paula says:

    I’m all in. I have several presents bought already and I actually have lists made for the rest. I can’t wait to enjoy the season.

  45. Ellen says:

    I, Ellen, being of mostly sound mind & very jiggly body do solemnly pledge to have all the cr*p done by Dec 5….. But I might give myself a 1 week extension, cuz I have 2 horrendously busy weeks in mid November working on the biggest rummage sale in our city, & clearing away afterwards… But I’ll make a plan & try to stick to it…

  46. Treva says:

    I took your pledge last year and almost got it all done on time. I nixed the baking at the last minute and didn’t send out cards but you gotta not do what you gotta not do- or something like that.

    I just started playing hockey for the first time EVER last week so I, Treva, being of crazy mind and aching body, agree to take the Christmas Pledge. I pledge to get all the crap done I need to, by December 5th. And then I will lounge, drink buckets of wine and eat chips AND dip.

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