I love the month of November. For me it kicks off the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Here at StoneGable the weather is turning quite chilly and I love to bundle up! The evening are longer and our candlelit home never looks better! Yes, there is a lot to love and do in November!

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Even though our holiday season might look different this year let’s commit to making the most of it. And not waste one day on worry or frustration!

Let’s live in the moment and use each day of November with gusto and thankfulness!

Here are some fun and productive things to do in November…


NOW is the time to plan all those holiday meals. YUM! Even if you are having just a small group for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner plan them all now.

Also if you are having any small gatherings sit down and plan all of them! Make a list of ingredients you will need too.

My Christmas dinner is already planned. We will have a very intimate Christmas this year but my Christmas dinner will be delicious.

Here is my very favorite HOLIDAY BEEF BRISKET.

It is a slow cooker make-ahead main dish that makes its own wonderful sauce and it is sublime! All I do for dinner Christmas day is reheat it.

Believe me, this is a winner Christmas dinner. I often serve it with celery root mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and a big Christmas salad.


I find it so much easier transitioning decor from fall to Christmas instead of taking all my fall decor down in one or two days and then putting up all my Christmas decor.

PHEW! Lots of work and lots of shuffling and schlepping decor!

There really is a much easier way to gently float from fall into Christmas without losing your Christmas spirit!

I usually take all my “overtly” fall decor down the very beginning of November. Most of my real and faux pumpkins go and so do mums, gourds etc.

I might leave one or two pretty little pumpkins still around but I replace my fall decor with Christmas decor that will work for Thanksgiving too.

Like snow and deer sheds and pheasant feathers and pinecones and boxwood.

Look for a post on Wednesday about how to transition from fall to Christmas effortlessly!

Also, now is the time to check out all your Christmas decor and see what you might need to purge and what you also might need to get.

Here is a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS EMPORIUM that full of Christmas decor. My blogging friends and I have looked all over the best online stores to stock our virtual Emporium!


Most of us don’t start our Christmas DIY projects soon enough. And then we either rush to get them done or give and don’t finish them! I know because I do that too!

I’m making these darling MASON JAR FROSTY LANTERNS to add to my Christmas decor this year!

Even if you are not crafty you can make these! And they would make the sweetest gift!

Aren’t these CLOTHESPIN SNOWFLAKE ORNAMENTS so pretty? I’m making them to go on gifts this year! I love the idea of a gift on a gift!


One of the nicest things you can do for yourself and other is to start a journal/ diary/ gratitude journal etc!

The thought to write a journal came to me because I wanted to remember the day recently that my two year old grandson asked to FaceTime me. And I answered the phone and was greeted with this sweet face and a loud, “HI. GIGI!”. I thought it was so precious that this little guy thought of me!

Even during the pandemic our lives are so busy and we tend to forget the little joys and moments in life! Commit to spending just 10 minutes at the end of the day writing in it.

During this month of Thanksgiving let’s be thankful. And write even the littlest thing down.

Wow, you will be so surprised at all the sweet little things that have happened in your life!

And while you are at it, get some fun pens to write with like THESE. They are my favorite!


Can you guess the first thing that takes a back seat when I have a super busy day? Exercise!

And exercise is just what I need the most! November and December are big months for celebrating with food!

Make a personal commitment to move your body!

I usually swim but since Covid the pools around me have been closed. So I’m walking. But to be honest, I’m really NOT walking! I’m not doing much of anything.

So, why not join me and commit or recommit to exercise! I’m dusting off my treadmill this morning and planning a date with it each day!

Along with exercise remember to…

  • stretch
  • take your meds and vitamins
  • drink lots of water
  • eat sensibly


Let’s move away from exercise and talk about something more important… COOKIES!

November is the month to make cookie dough and freeze it until you are ready to bake them.

I used to make lots of different kinds of cookies at Christmas. But I’ve gotten wiser over the years and trimmed my cookie baking to just a few cookies we love the most!

My favorite cookie are MY VERY BEST SUGAR COOKIES. They are a must try!

Make the cookie dough, form it into a disk or log and wrap it in plastic wrap, put it in a labeled freezer bag and freeze it until you are ready to use it.

Here are our other favorites…


You don’t have to get out your big tree yet, but think about decorating a tabletop tree!

They are so easy to decorate and so much fun! Yes, it is a bit early but it’s just the best size tree to decorate and it gives you a little head start on Christmas decorating!



I usually save this tip for the New Year but I’m getting the itch to try something new. So I thought you might be too!

I’m so wildly busy and tired during this time of year I often watch tv in the evening. I do not like to fall into this default-setting, mindlessness every night.

I love to read, but when I’m tired reading makes me even more sleepy!

So I’m picking up knitting needles again! I learned to knit as a young child when we lived in Scotland and have knitted off and on for decades. So I’m starting an easy chunky throw.

How about you? Why not fill up some of your time taking up a new hobby!

One hobby that looks so fun is a grown-up paint by number. You can find companies that will put one of your own photographs into a paint by number image.

Bobby is really a great artist so I thought this might be fun for him. Don’t tell him, but this is one of his Christmas gifts.

Here are some fun hobbies to think about…

  • Sourdough bread making- been doing this and it’s addictive
  • indoor gardening- just got a microgreens kit here
  • crossword puzzles (we love these too)
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • dancing (lots of youtube videos)
  • reading
  • learn a new language
  • origami
  • virtual book club
  • try geocaching
  • play games like cards and scrabble (LOVE scrabble)
  • learn calligraphy
  • play an instrument
  • write letters, notes, and cards to those you love

If you have a hobby you love please tell us in the comments.


I think Christmas cards are much needed this Christmas! People need to know other people are thinking about them.

Even if sending Christmas cards are not normally what you do, think about sending them this year!

There is such joy about getting Christmas cards!

Buy cards now or take pictures for your Christmas cards and get them printed!

And please write a personal line or two to each person on your Christmas card list!

There’s a lot of fun, meaningful and productive things to do in November! So get busy and enjoy this glorious month!

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  1. Kathy Menold says:

    Yvonne, l like all your suggestions for this pre Christmas season. My plan is to slow down and stay in the moment. It is too easy to get dragged down and forget how much we have to be Thankful for even during this crazy time. I want to show those around me some extra kindness and love. Even if my husband and I are the only ones at the Thanksgiving feast this year I plan on making it special with a pretty table and delicious food. Actually will be a good time to try out a few new recipes!
    Enjoy November and remember to Be Kind.
    God Bless You and your Family

    1. Sounds like you are in the true Thanksgiving and Christmas spirit,Kathy! xo

  2. Your suggestions are so welcomed. Today I will put some of my Fall decor away and I will use my exercises bicycle. I am a knitter and very interested in the throw you will knit. Can you tell me which pattern and yarn you are using? I think I would like to knit it too.

  3. Putting away Halloween decorations today and going through Christmas to eliminate things I have no room for.Going to slow things down and keep everything simple.Enjoy your November,I will be looking forward to seeing your house decorated for Christmas.

  4. Andrea Cooke says:

    I’m like you. I get an itch to knit. I’ve been wanting to make a throw like the one you describe. Can you share your pattern and yarn choice?

  5. Media Branwell says:

    I ordered a paint-by-number in March, once we realized how much time we’d be spending at home. It is large (16”x20”) & is taking more time than I would have guessed. I’m really enjoying it though since it’s very relaxing as I paint & listen to Christian music. ? Although I used to enjoy a jigsaw puzzle occasionally, I didn’t like spending all that time on it & then tearing it apart, having nothing to show for it. Once I finish the paint-by-number, I’ll enjoy using it as part of my home decor.

    1. Good to know Media! Jigsaw Puzzles are a big deal. Lots of people love them.

  6. As always, great ideas, Yvonne. Very excited to see your home again this Christmas. I, too, need to bundle up and get walking more regularly. Thanks for the encouragement. May I also suggest that we think of our elderly friends and neighbors, who have self quarantined for so long. How about a card, note or call? Even better, a jar of homemade soup or plate of food. I know our elderly friend sometimes skips meals or grabs junk food, as it is too much effort to make a nutritious meal. Just leave it on the stoop. You will receive the greater blessing. Promise.

  7. I have always wanted to learn to knit. Following videos just doesn’t do it for me. I can’t wait to see your beautiful home decorated for Christmas!

    1. Well, you would not want to see it today! It is a MESS! I’m changing up a lot of my decor so things are everywhere!

  8. I learned to knit by watching a neighbor when I was a child and I loved Thelma’s Knitting shop on 2nd Ave. in Coatesville. I knit today and also crochet, embroider, make cards and jewelry. This year I’ve made “pocket shrines” for a church fair that won’t be happening. Oh well, there’s always next year.

  9. I am starting a new hobby. Like you I am ready for something new. I am learning how to decorate cookies. I have never used a piping bag and decorated baked goods. This is giving me something new to focus on other than the current affairs. I am retiring next year and am looking forward to baking and decorating lots of cookies with my grandchildren. I hope you and Bobby have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  10. I’ve decided on my theme this year, a winter wonderland with lots of deer and trees in my vignettes. I’ve started to clear surfaces of most decor, then will do a good cleaning and get started. I think we all need a little extra cheer this year.

  11. Lovely post as usual. I too learned to knit when I was a youngster. How about knitting beanies and other garments for premature babies, washing clothes for doing the dishes, scarves, the list could go on and on!