Thursday, November 5, 2015

November, You're Not So Bad

As I boxed up our Halloween decorations this past weekend, I could not help but think about poor, underrated November. Smack between October with its brightly colored leaves and pumpkin patches and festive December with its twinkly lights and Christmas carols and maybe even snow, November is the introverted middle child of this most wonderful time of the year.  November is so unassuming.  Most of the leaves have fallen, but in many parts of the country it would be foolish to start wishing for snow.  And though it holds my very favorite holiday of all, Thanksgiving doesn't really demand the kind of encompassing preparations the holidays of its book-ended months do.  On top of all of that, November bears the burden of the end of Daylight Saving Time, an event that according to the Internet might be the end of the world for at least fifty percent of the population.  

Poor, misunderstood November.  It's not your fault.  

If you are one of the many who loves to hate November, I'm here to ask you to reconsider.  I'll even give you ten good reasons to give this quiet fall month a chance.


1.  It's Still Autumn.

November is unabashedly a fall month.  The weather here in the Midwest fluctuates between warm and sunny days and cold, blustery days that let us break out our favorite sweaters and knitted hats.  Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but they are still on the ground, providing crunchy trails for hiking on the weekends and new vantage points once hidden by leaves.  It's a great time of year to get out and explore a new park.



2.  Leggings.

November is the perfect time to break out a pair of fleece-lined leggings and not take them off for the rest of the month.  Last week, there was a lot of chatter on social media about a video of a bunch of men telling women how to wear (or not wear) said leggings, which I did not watch.  Instead, I put on my own favorite pair and wore them for three straight days and I regret nothing.  

3.  Extra Hour of Sleep.

You know what else happened last week?  We all got an extra hour of sleep.  (Unless you have children under the age of five, you didn't get an extra hour of sleep, and I'm truly sorry about that).  I'm not a big fan of Daylight Saving Time and the whole switching back and forth, but I was feeling pretty happy about it last Sunday morning.  We also use "fall back" in our house to reset our clocks, which by November have shifted to staying up too late, and all of us are now getting to bed at a more reasonable hour thanks to the time change.  

4.  Candletime.

This totally fictitious holiday popped up on my Facebook feed this week.  Lighting candles and drinking some yummy hot cider every evening? I'm in.  What a charming way to acclimate to the darker evening hours, plus I love a fake holiday.


 5.  Movember.

Speaking of fake holidays, how about an entire month dedicated to growing facial hair (and raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer)?  I'm considering participating by not shaving my legs in solidarity.  They're going to be under those leggings anyway, right?

6.  NaNoWriMo.

Or, if you aren't into facial hair, maybe dedicate the entire month to writing a novel?  I absolutely love this idea, and though I'm not working on a novel, I did assign myself some daily goals and word counts for the month of November and have already drafted out a couple of truly terrible children's book plots (and one workable idea).  My kids are on board too, which is making our homeschool days a little more interesting this month.

7.  November Movies.

Usually November brings about the release of at least a couple of good movies.  I don't make it to the theater that often, but I'm more likely to make it a priority this time of year than any other.  We also have a fancy new theater opening up the road today, which makes me even more likely to check out a film this month.

8.  No More Pumpkin Spice.

I love pumpkin bread as much as the next girl, but I'm so over pumpkin spiced everything by the end of October.  I really don't need my ice cream, cream cheese, tea and body lotion to be pumpkin spiced.  November brings back a variety of flavors to the shelves and menus and I am so ready.

Image: Jell-O

9.  Thanksgiving.

Speaking of flavors, my very favorite holiday is in November.  A whole day devoted to preparing some of my favorite foods, drowning them in copious amounts of homemade gravy and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?  Yes, please.  



10.  Giving Thanks.

Oh yeah, and the most important part about Thanksgiving, practicing gratitude.  I've talked about gratitude practices on this blog before, but November is always a great month to kick start a new gratitude habit or revive a lost one.  I love reading my friends' posts on social media, which often point me towards more things to give thanks for myself.  



There you have it!  Ten reasons to elevate November a little in your hierarchy of awesome months. What do you love about November?

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