Like hopscotch, anyone who is anyone (think Hallmark, Macys, my children) leap off Halloween, land firmly on Christmas and roll their broke â€“and- tired- of- celebrating selves into a new year with only a quick touchdown in November for Thanksgiving day. All this makes the month of November seem irrelevant, a step child, a wallflower at the dance. A chapter that one can skip without missing anything important to the story.
Case in point. The grocery store, November 1. Milk is the mission. To get to the dairy case I had to dodge the sale bins of Halloween candy (brown corrugated cardboard) and slalom around the even bigger full-price bins of Christmas candy (red and green corrugated cardboard) . When I finally got to the milk it was surrounded by little soldiers encased in waxy yellow cardboard â€“ the infamous eggnog..
To be fair, I did spy a display of cornstarch (bright yellow cardboard), Cornbread stuffing mix (brown cardboard) and pumpkin pie goop (hallelujia, a tin can). I suppose my brain should have registered Thanksgiving but the wreath display above the end-cap made me think Christmas dinner.
Which brings me to November and its one-day claim to fame â€“ Thanksgiving. Other months are filled with days of celebration. October is spent sewing costumes, watching horror movies, getting ready for trick-or-treat. Decemberâ€™s days come with luncheons, holiday parties, gift exchanges and cookie baking. Thanksgivingâ€™s frenetic cooking and eating is twenty-four hours long and the next day Christmas sales wipe November from our minds completely.
For me, though, ignoring November is like skipping over a chapter that really deserves attention. Sure there may be a hot love scene in chapter twelve, but chapter eleven gives you all the subtle little insights into why youâ€™ll care what happens next. So here is my November; here is what I would miss if, every year, I leapt over this chapter in my life.
November is the month when I first feel the bite of a cold wind that reminds me even California has seasons and that, in reality, Iâ€™m still a Missouri girl. It is the month when long days become short and the early darkness makes me feel like nesting. Cuddled under a quilt of my own making I take the time to truly appreciate the feathers of that nest: chicks who come and go, a husband who still finds this bird the most lovable in the flock after 31 years, a warm place to hunker down if the rain comes.
November is a month in which we celebrate the birthdays of my sisters-in-law â€“ a set of twins and one more. They have been my good friends for what seems like forever. It is the month I travel to see my own brothers and sisters half way across the country. I canâ€™t wait because seeing their faces â€“ even if it is only now and again â€“ makes me feel as if I am still young, my father is still with us, my mother will still rule the roost and all is right with the world.
November isnâ€™t the end, so I still have time to do things that will make me feel as if I am wrapping up the year well; it is not the beginning so there isnâ€™t the uncertainty that what lies ahead might not be as good as what was left behind.