November is already racing by, and bringing with the onset of all things Christmas! Goodness! But, but… I am not quite ready to say goodbye to these golden Autumn days. I am holding on to beautiful leaves and that very specifically-Autumn light a little longer before I fully turn my attention to Christmas. Bonfire night, one of my favourite nights of the year, has been and gone, did you make it to a display? I love the magic, colour and the coming together of communities and neighbours that happens on this night. Ours passed in a blur of sickness, but by the glow of the fire so it’s not all bad. This is also the reason for the lateness of this Sunday (errr Tuesday?) Supplement too! But here are a few other wonderful things to make, do and celebrate this month.
October has been wonderful for us; I turned 33, we managed a get away to our favourite place on Earth (blog post this week) and we did some exciting work together too. My maternity pay has now finished so I am officially on the hunt for work again (well, the flexible, baby friendly sort anyway!) so get in touch if you would like to work with me either on the blog or as a stylist.
The 23rd November is Thanksgiving, and I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the power of gratitude.The holiday is American and comes with it's own controversy, but it can be a useful prompt to be thankful. I’ll share more on the blog this month about how life changing I have found this practice to be.
Give yourself a Duvet Day.
December can be a frantic month during which many of us consume lots of rich food and booze, and go to lots of parties too. It can also be emotionally draining too. Use November to fill your tank, so to speak. Clear your diary and take rest seriously. Give yourself a duvet day or Book a pampering treatment.
I keep banging on about it but it really is incredibly uplifting in those last months of winter to have flowers erupting out of the ground (or pots if you rent).
Make Christmas pudding and mincemeat.
This is one of my favourite winter traditions, and especially because I love the taste of both. Making them fills your house with the most wonderful Christmassy smells.
Begin reviewing the year that’s passed.
With only a couple of months left of the year, it’s a good time to start reviewing your year. I look at career stuff, personal stuff and family stuff. This process can be timely which is why I like to start it early to give me a good chance of completing it! Plus, December is often too busy to have much time to think.
Choose a planner.
My diary and planner are coming to and end so I ordered my second Get To Work Book which although pricey, has been wonderful this year. I so recommend it! Its a mix of a diary (week spreads) and a goal setting and review tool. (Not an ad, I just love this book)
Christmas present saving/planning/making
We’re opting for simplicity again this year, forsaking presents for the adults (or organising a secret Santa- now is the time to suggest it) and getting a few small gifts for the kids.
Prepare for Advent.
Advent officially begins in November with the lighting of the first of 4 candles to mark the countdown to Christmas. Whether you mark advent like that, or if you want to organise an advent calendar, nows the time to get sorted. Or: Take part in Reverse Advent. Instead of or in addition too giving yourself (yes- yourself! why not!) child a little present each day, give a little present away. Add something to an empty box each day in November, something you no longer need or or something from the shops. At the end of the month you’ll have a box of lovely things to give to a charity.
Winter can be a tough time for many; shelters are busiest in this season and have the greatest need for donations and volunteers. It’s easy to get caught up in the Christmas season but try to carve some time to help others (easier this month than next)- whether it’s a quick supermarket shop for your local food bank, manning the phones for a domestic violence helpline, or volunteering at a homeless shelter.
Look after your skin.
The temperature has really dropped in the last few days in the UK, and our families skin has started to look a little chapped. Oat baths work wonders for dry skin, put 2 cups inside a muslin bag or pair of tights and swish around the bath.
I wish you all wonderful November's. I know winter can be tough for some people but I hope you can find some peace, quiet and rest in this, the penultimate month of the year.