It’s the first week of October, and I’m walking into the local Target to buy some fall boots and….before I even make it over to the shoe section, my eyes are immediately drawn to a huge display of Christmas trees, colored lights, ornaments, etc. I’m awe-struck (and not in an “oh, ‘tis the season!” kind of way).
I immediately feel myself getting flustered. Weren’t we JUST saying goodbye to sandals and sundresses a week ago? I’m still trying to ease into the transition from shorts to tights – I can’t think about Christmas until I’ve found the right pair of boots! (The reason I was there in the first place.)
Then I realized. Isn’t this how it goes every year? The holiday months are flying at us – as the stores are ever-so-eager to remind us. Before you know it, we’ve gone from ghosts and goblins to jingle bells and New Year resolutions. After leaving the Christmas-invaded store that day, I sat down in my car and sighed. Then I thought, “Wait! Where are all of the Thanksgiving decorations?” And that’s when the realization set in – we always seem to overlook November as it sits squished between Halloween and the holidays…
With the “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas,” November festivities get thrown under the radar (ok, the occasional Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special gets its air time, but still!). It seems like the biggest public reminder to celebrate Thanksgiving is the Annual Macy’s Day Parade. But honestly, by that time, November is basically over, and we are already racing (literally) off to find the best deals on electronics and stocking stuffers before we’ve even finished our plate of turkey and grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie.
I get it – the November spirit has a lot to compete with. Consider its gentle status compared to the overwhelming expectations of the month that follows – the gift buying, the winter vacation, the Christmas “cheer.” All great – I’m a big fan of December. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just thinking we could show November some love.
So this year, I’m challenging myself (and you!) to focus on the now – the November “comfort” if you will. I’m hitting the pause button on the inevitable holiday madness. I want to reflect on November. I will fully appreciate the last of the changing leaves, the crisp autumn air, the pumpkin-spiced everything.
Join my quest in quiet celebration. November is the month to go on that last-of-2014 beautiful fall hike with the family or take the kids out for a day of apple picking and tasty pie making. But most of all, November is the MONTH for being thankful. We’re good at giving thanks on Thanksgiving DAY. How about taking a moment of gratitude in the peaceful November chill for 30 days straight?
I can totally get inspired to say a month of thank you’s when I think of Thanksgivings past with my family. It’s little surprise that my favorite memories are all about time spent in the kitchen cooking our family recipes from the generations past while also experimenting with new dishes – often with questionable levels of success. In this issue, we have some delicious “lighter” Turkey Day recipes (p. 34) that just might inspire you to put a bit of new in the old of your Thanksgiving family traditions!
And for those like me, whose Thanksgiving Day is orchestrated by the sounds of tackling, whistle-blowing and cheering fans coming from every TV in the house, I’m sure you will enjoy our entertaining football stats on p. 16 – use them to impress the family at the dinner table – we won’t tell! But if football isn’t on your plate this month, we still have TONS of other great reads and FAMILY resources inside.
So if I’ve convinced you to take time this month to cherish the November “comfort” – I’d love to hear how you enjoyed the month before we all inevitably fall into December’s joys and challenges. Tell us on Facebook about your November adventures, and we’ll be sure to share some great ideas as well. And in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I’d like to give my first November “thanks” to all of you, our readers, for being such an important part of our FAMILY.
Note to Target and the rest of retail…please let us get through January without an Easter Egg sighting.
Editor, Washington FAMILY Magazine