November, for many, means the official start of winter. Temperatures have certainly plummeted here in the UK, meaning log fires and hats and stews ahoy! Autumn is still very much present though, and utterly glorious. The leaves continue their colour changing, dancing performance, but frost and bare branches are just around the corner. We're on the brink of the seasons change, and it's always a pleasure to note that; to honour it with a nod, because winter will be here with it's full beautiful force before we know it.
I'm really busy pre Christmas but am looking forward to slowing down for the new year- and starting maternity leave too, eek! I am in the process of finalising a few really exciting festive workshops and events, some of which will be open to the public, so i'll be sure to email you as soon as everything is nailed down.
1) Celebrate The Festival of Light
Whether it's a roaring bonfire or a tealight at home, whether for Michaelmas or Diwali; loads of different cultures hold a festival of lights in November, a symbol of holding on to light through the dark months. Look up local celebrations or light all the candles at home. We're heading to Frankie's Steiner school next Sunday for a lantern walk through the woods.
2) Make Christmas Pudding and mincemeat!
Stir Up Sunday is the Sunday before advent begins and is the traditional time to make your Christmas pud and mincemeat. Both benefit from weeks of maturing before Christmas. I love this tradition! Everyone takes a turn to stir and add a wish.
3) Celebrate Advent
Get your advent calendar ready, or count down to Christmas by lighting a candle on each Sunday throughout advent. I always make an 'experience' based advent calendar where Frankie-Rose opens an envelope (which sometimes contains a chocolate) with an activity each day. It takes some planning but it really helps me to be organised in December! I put things like ice skating, baking cookies, drinking hot chocolate, watching a special Christmas film etc on there.
4) Be thankful
Thanksgiving is this month, and although it's an American holiday which comes with it's own controversy, anything which encourages us to pause and mark what we're thankful for is only a good thing in my books. Right now my list looks a little bit like this: our log fire, my Dad being here to spoil Frankie whilst I work, Grapefruit, my cosy bedroom, chai tea and my husband being around for a few days. What's on yours?
December is a busy party month, but can also come with stress and sickness, so do your self a huge huge favour and make time to rest this month. I have literally written out a rest plan to aid this (it doesn't come naturally- got a whole blog post planned on this topic!) This blog post has lots of advice for dealing with cough's and colds naturally- REST- being the most important!
6) Nourish your body
December can be a frantic month during which many of us eat lots of rich and sometimes unhealthy foods, and go to lots of parties. Use November to fill your body with nutritious food so your body is strong for the winter season ahead. Think hearty but healthy.
7) Nest and hibernate
I'm keeping this one on here from last month, and it will probably stay on this list throughout winter. Don't fight your bodies natural desire to hibernate! Embrace it. Take action in your home , however small, to make it a cosy retreat. Me? I'm having another mini round of decluttering, piling sheepskins and blankets everywhere, and lighting candles everywhere I go.
8) Forage for Chestnuts
Late autumn is the time to forage for chestnuts. Hidden in spiky cases, you’ll need a stout pair of gloves to harvest them. Roasting freshly foraged chestnuts is a treat, I tell you. They can be frozen too, ready for Christmas.
9) Make Christmas easier for yourself.
Do something this month that makes the busy festive season easier for you and your family. Decline an invitation you don't feel thrilled about, simply say no to excessive travel, suggest not buying gifts for the adult members of your family, say no to that request from school or work that's stressing you out. You don't have to say yes.
10) Order next years calendar.
I am excited to tell you that Emilie, the wonderful illustrator I work with, and I have created an Embracing The Seasons calendar! Eeek! Proofs are arriving this week and pre-orders will be open soon afterwards so watch this space! I also just received my Get To Work diary for 2017 and I am so in love with it!!! It's really practical and includes room for reflecting on your goals for the last month and goal setting for the coming month too. I am already planning a few things for next year and I am a total stationary nerd too, so a new calendar and diary greatly excites me!
This is just part of the Sunday Supplement which is emailed to subscribers on the first Sunday of the month and includes links to the stuff I'm loving around the web and what i'm eating, reading wearing and listening too. You can sign up in the side bar>>>>>>