Every year the debate continues should Christmas celebrations start before or after Thanksgiving? Here in the audacious year of 2017, the pivotal day in question has been moved to Halloween.
I am definitely not a Christmas-before-Thanksgiving hater. However, I am the kind of person that worries about someone or something feeling left out. For crying out loud, I feel terrible if I do not give each of my clothes a turn to be worn in a given month.
November deserves a turn, in my opinion. When I think about all the things I will miss if I were to wish away November so we could move on to Christmas season, I get sad. Already, we have enjoyed our kids’ first time ice skating. We marveled as our brown world got a fresh dusting of white flakes. We enjoyed candy and pumpkin seeds, and still have yet to bake the cupcake mix left on our front door on Halloween (thanks to whomever “boo’ed” us!).
Of course, many of us feel December flies by too quickly, so we get a head start on holiday cheer. I have been there before, and I realized the remedy was not in hijacking November. Rather, we can make December sacred again with a holy hurry, and a rediscovering of wonder.
Others of us find the brown, hibernating world of November to be dull and boring. If that is you, as it was once me, I encourage you to do research on the importance of boredom in our everyday lives.
But how do we rescue the novelty of November? My suggestion: make a grateful garland.
This lovely swag hangs in our dining room, heralding contentment into our home with loud autumn hues. The top strand is one we saved from last year. It displays our kids’ two-year-old “grateful hands” with a daily thanks or “yay God!” The bottom strand is the start of the twins now 3-year-old grateful hands.
To make the hands, I traced their little hands 5 times on a piece of construction paper (one for T and one for E), then stacked 2 more pieces of fall-colored paper to cut out 15 hands per kid. There are 30 days in November, so it is perfect. The paper hands get kind of curly after being stored in a ziplock bag for a year, but they look almost more like leaves that way. I stripped some fake fall leaves from a cheap “bouquet” I found at Walmart and tied them to the garland as well.
Each day, we take turns stating what we are grateful for. I write it on a hand and tape it to the garland. It just keeps getting better. Giving me a big picture narrative for our home. I pine for the day we can buy the right couch, hip frames, and fun rugs for this room. But this November, I cannot stop dreaming about the day we have 10 years of these garlands circling our dining room, climbing our stair well, and swagging over every doorframe.
I love how this simple decoration activity is giving my family an awareness of our blessings. Moreso for me, though, the garland has expanded my perspective of home-making. I do a lot of online shopping, pining for the perfect couch, hip frames, and fun rugs for our new home. I get excited when I think about the day it will feel complete. But this November, I cannot stop dreaming about the day we have 10 years (!) of these garlands circling our dining room, climbing our stairwell, and hanging over every doorframe.
How about you? How do you plan to rescue November from the holiday hijack? Feel free to leave a comment with your ideas!
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and tag me in your grateful garland pics this November!