No, this isn't about going to Black Friday sales. I don't like crowds, and I don't really like shopping so those sales just look like misery to me. We did enjoy visiting a new bookstore, Purple Crow Books (news story here), in Hillsborough today. That's about all my knee (and my energy) could do.
November, even with the running around and the surgery, has been good. We've spent lots of time outside. We've done lots of gardening. We've watched movies (whoever happens to be around and not busy at the time). We've enjoyed the changing of the leaves, conversations with neighbors, reading books, walks around Hillsborough, visiting the farmer's market, playing games, and walks at Duke Gardens (pictured). We haven't hiked as much as I would have liked since gardening took over the weekends. Along with planting 3 1/2 flats of pansies, we reseeded the yard and manured most of the beds (6 cubic yards didn't do all the beds. Sigh).
I love to have November as November. It's always busy with yardwork as we finish planting and cleaning things up at the end of the growing season. The October vacation is past so I'm more focused on things around us and at home. For me, November is a calmer, focused space between our vacation and the holidays.
I can appreciate that, but I'd never do it. I wouldn't disturb November's wonderful leaf watching, reading, gardening, the usual-but-not-this-year hiking, etc. in order to start the Christmas busy-ness a few weeks early. I'll admit that, because of the Christmas busy-ness, the religious aspect of Advent often gets lost for me - except on Sundays with the readings, the music, and the Advent wreath (This makes me focus even more on Lent). As much as I might regret it, it's not worth losing November for.
Strangely, since I'm not much of a TV watcher, the Christmas season starts when Santa Claus reaches Macy's. I've watched the parade with my kids ever since older son was old enough to enjoy it. We all watched it yesterday. Now that it's done, I'll think about Christmas, plan, shop, etc. - although, this year, I hope to focus more on the baking and doing things with the kids and less on shopping.
I also start the Christmas season up gradually. Thanksgiving weekend, I just mostly think about it. A bit. I don't start seriously shopping until the first few days of December. We decorate the second week, and then we're in full swing. We make Estonian Christmas cookies and Finnish pulla somewhere between the second week and Christmas. We start playing Christmas music either while baking or while putting the tree up - whichever comes first.
That's all in the future, though. This weekend, older son actually will have some free time to go take pictures for our blog about Duke Gardens (we'll see how far I get on my crutch). We have tickets to Phantom of the Opera for tomorrow night (we bought the tickets before I knew that I was having surgery). Dear husband will plant some perennials for me. And we'll have some good conversations which will last long after we finish our meals.
So far, there's just one drawback. I paid extra for two day delivery for younger son's Lego Advent calendar today because I wasn't thinking about the holidays before. If I'd thought about it ahead of time, I would have ordered it a week or two ago, but I wasn't thinking about the holidays then. I was doing November things.
I'll gladly pay extra to have November be November.