November Is A Great Month To…

November is a month worth celebrating! Here are things to do and see and rejoice in. November is a great month to … read this post!


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

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


Thankfulness, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is “a feeling of being happy or grateful because of something.” Yes, it is a happy feeling, but I like the definition of gratitude in an article by Psychiatric Medical Care: The Difference Between Gratitude And Thankfulness. The article states…

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” (Beattie, 1990) 

November is a great month to be thankful and grateful.

Begin A Journal

Since we are talking about thankfulness and gratitude, let’s start writing the things we are thankful for down on paper and build gratitude into a daily habit. Do you journal?

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

When we look for things in our lives to be thankful for, we change! We become happier, kinder, and more grateful! And we smile more. When we write even the littlest thing down, we can go back and count our blessings. For me, I look for God in my life. I’m amazed how, when I look, I can find Him working everywhere in me. And I am thankful!

November is a great month to journal.


Cross-holidation is a word I made up quite a long time ago. I’m sure you are very familiar with the concept of this word. It’s when someone puts outdoor Christmas lights on their home, and they still have pumpkins, sometimes rotting, on their porch. Or it’s when stores are filled with Christmas decor before Halloween. It’s mashing up different holidays in a bad way.

However, I am now using cross-holidation to also mean something wonderful too. Like the ability to enjoy two holidays at once. Like watching Hallmark Christmas movies in early November while enjoying fall’s breathtaking colorful display outside. We can walk and chew gum, right?

November is a hugely busy month! It’s a celebration of the remains of fall, and Thanksgiving, while we prepare to celebrate the beginning of winter and Christmas. Why not hold on to that celebratory attitude of November and take in and be delighted by the beauty and blessings this month.

November is a great month for cross-holidation.

See The Beaver Moon

The moon on November 16th is called a Beaver moon. It’s the first full moon of November and reaches its peak at 4:16 am. Its name comes from a time in our history when Beaver trappers used the full moon to trap beavers before the swamps froze and the beavers retired to their lodges for the winter.

I hope it snows before then and November 16th’s early morning skies are cloudless. A full moon on a snowy landscape is said best by Clement Moore… “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.”

November is a great month for a Beaver Moon.

Days and Holidays To Celebrate In November

There is a lot to celebrate and be grateful for in November! Every day has something fun or special to acknowledge.

Nov 1st– All Saints Day, National Cinnamon Day, 2nd-All Souls Day, Deviled Egg Day, 3nd-Sandwich Day, Housewive’s Day, 4th-Pumpkin Destruction Day, Common Sense Day (hmmm, I wonder why those two celebrations are on the same day), 5th-Guy Fawkes Day, Love Your Red Hair Day, 6th-National Nacho Day, National Saxophone Day, 7th-Dunce Day, National Bittersweet Chocolate With Almond Day, 8th-Roast Dinner Day, National Cappuccino Day, 9th-Fried Chicken Day, Chaos Never Dies Day, 10th-Forget Me Not Day, National Vanilla Cupcake Day,

11th– Veterans Day, 12th-Fat Rat And Mouse Day, National French Dip Day, 13th-World Orpan Day, National Sadie Hawkins Day 14th-National Pickle Day, National Diabetes Day, 15th-National Clean Your Refrigerator Day, National Raisin Bran Cereal Day, 16th-Have A Party With A Bear Day, Guinness World Record Day, 17th-Homemade Bread Day, World Peace Day, 18th-Nation Puerto Rico Day, 19th-Homemade Bread Day, Have A Bad Day, 20th-Beautiful Day, Universal Childrens Day,

21st-World Television Day, National Entrepreneur’s Day, 22nd-National Cranberry Relish Day, 23rd-Thanksgiving Day, 24th-Black Friday, You’re Welcome Day, 25th-Small Business Saturday, 26th-Shopping Reminder Day, National Cake Day, 27th-Cyber Monday, 28th-National Giving Day, French Toast Day, 29th-National Square Dancing Day, 30th-Stay At Home Because You Are Well Day, National Mason Jar Day.

November is a great month to celebrate every day!

Re-Read October Is A Great Month To…

NOVEMBER-vase of fall leaves

The October edition of our Great Month Series has lots of ideas that would be perfect for November too. Especially those ideas about Christmas, like perusing your Christmas decorating stash, creating a Christmas color story, begin a Christmas decorating plan, and more things to check off your Christmas list. Actually, there are a lot of great things you can do from the October list in November. Check it out HERE.

November is a great month to do lots of the things on the October list!

Plan Holiday Meals

NOVEMBER-Christmas cake

It’s not too early to make a meal plan for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and any other gathering you will have over the holidays.

I’m hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is easy for me because we eat the same thing every year. Everyone has their favorites, so there is something each person at our table looks forward to. How about you? Is your Thanksgiving meal the same every year? What’s the food you look forward to the most? For me, it’s the stuffing drizzled with gravy. YUM!

Christmas meals vary. We have such a big brunch on Christmas morning and hors’ doeuvres in the afternoon that dinner is often easy. But easy can be elevated.

This year I’m making a very festive make-ahead main dish, Holiday Beef Brisket.

Here is my very favorite HOLIDAY BEEF BRISKET. With just a few ingredients, this brisket is cooked in my slow cooker a couple days before Christmas, and the flavorful, sublime au jus and brisket are warmed up for Christmas dinner.

Holiday Beef Brisket

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

Here are 8 Favorite Holiday Recipes you might like to make too! These are easy recipes with a Holiday fair!

November is a great month for Holiday meal planning.

Transition Decor From Fall To Christmas


I find it so much easier to gently transition 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, which takes longer. PHEW! Lots of work and lots of shuffling and schlepping decor!

An Easier Way

Have you been thinking there must be an easier way? There really is! Wouldn’t you like to gently float from fall into Christmas without losing your Christmas spirit! Here’s what I’m doing right now to transition from fall decor to Christmas.

I’m taking down all my “overtly” fall decor right now. November is a great time to remove all my real and faux pumpkins, mums, and gourds. Then I decorate a few areas at a time with Christmas decor.

An Example

The first thing I decorated this year was our foyer table. I kept the lanterns that I used in the fall and added a few pinecones. And I styled a bowl of ornaments and gold pears. Once Thanksgiving is over, I’ll add an evergreen wreath to the mirror and some gilded reindeer to the console table.

I also decorated the mantel with transitioning in mind. The Norfolk pine garland was hung, and fairy lights, pinecones, and pheasant feathers were added. After Turkey Day, I’ll add ornaments, magnolia leaves, and some interesting ornaments to the mantel for Christmas.


Christmas DIYs And Projects

Most of us don’t start our Christmas DIY projects soon enough. And then we either rush to get them done or give up and don’t finish them! I know because I do that, too! Last month in October Is A Great Month To… I gently reminded us to start our Christmas projects. If you are like me and have not started any projects yet, now is the time to get busy!

You might like to go to the Christmas DIY category on the blog. You will find easy projects like; Decorating With Pinecones: A Festive Ultimate Guide, Drying Oranges So They Stay Vibrant, How To Make Scented Pinecones, and The Easiest Christmas Arrangement.

There are a few new DIYs I’ll share with you this month because November is a great month to work on Christmas DIYs.


Can you guess the first thing that takes a back seat in my life when I get too busy? Exercise! And exercise is just what I need the most! How about you? November and December are big months for celebrating, getting together, and eating! And the busyness of the season is often stressful. It’s important to make a personal commitment to move our bodies and clear our minds.

My exercise of choice is being in the water. Walking, running, and working on my aquatic exercise plan. And when I can’t get in the pool, I like to walk outdoors. I’ve decided that when my days get too full, instead of cutting out exercise altogether, I’ll cut my exercise routine in half. At least I’m moving! Better than nothing.

Along with exercise, remember to…

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

November is a great month to keep exercising.

Make Cookies

Now that we are exercising our way through November, let’s talk about cookies! November is the month to make cookie dough and freeze it until you are ready to bake it. Oh, I love doing this; it’s so smart.

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! So now I make the dough for most cookies ahead of time and freeze it. And then, on cookie baking day, all the work and mess of making the dough is behind me and I can cut, bake and decorate!

Several years ago, I came across a Christmas mother dough that made 5 different cookie doughs; Butter, sugar, linzer, gingerbread, and chocolate. I was very skeptical, but I also was super curious and decided to give this mother recipe a try and made all five. They were delicious!


You can see the process for making a whole Cookie Box Of Beautiful Christmas Cookies that are scrumptious!

And my make-every-Christmas sugar cookies are my favorite cookies ever are My Very Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. This is a super old post with absolutely heavenly cookies!

And Grown-up Gingerbread men are spicy and a bit peppery! Oh, I could eat them as fast as I make them.


I wrote the post for this recipe three months after I first started blogging.

November is a month to make cookie dough.

Decorate A Tabletop Tree

You don’t have to get out your big tree yet, but think about decorating a tabletop tree! These darling trees can have just as much impact as a big tree! They are so amazing, and they can fit into almost any room.


I used to not like tabletop trees. That is because I never had one. In the post How To Decorate A Tabletop Tree, there are tons of ideas to help you choose, use, and decorate these great trees. You just might be a tabletop tree fan by the time you are done reading the post.

Start A New Hobby


When I was young, my mother had an orange mohair cardigan sweater I loved! I thought it was so chic, albeit a bit scratchy, when she hugged me. And it smelled like Channel, which made it worth putting up with the scratchiness. She knitted it herself, which was a bit surprising since Mom was not very crafty. But seemed to take to knitting in a startling way!

On the other hand, I am very crafty, but unlike my mom, I did not get the knitting gene. So it’s amazing I want to pick up my knitting needles for the third year and finally finish a chunky throw.

I usually save this tip for the New Year, but I’m getting the itch to be crafty. Maybe you are too.

I’m so wildly busy and tired during this time of year that I often watch TV in the evening. I do not like to fall into this default setting of 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! How about you? Why not fill up some of your time by taking up a new hobby!

Fun Hobbies

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- I’ve been doing this, and it’s addictive
  • Indoor gardening- just got a microgreen kit here
  • Crossword puzzles (we love these too)
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Dancing (lots of YouTube videos)
  • Reading
  • Learn a new language
  • Origami
  • Book Clubs
  • 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. November is a great month to start a new hobby.

Christmas Cards


Christmas cards are a wonderful holiday tradition. I don’t like that they are becoming less popular. People should keep in touch, especially at holiday time. There is such joy in 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!

November is a great month to write Christmas cards.

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

Happy November!

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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!

  12. It may sound strange, but Thank you for sharing the meaning of Gratitude. This can be the beginning of a stressful time for many and it is a great reminder to stop and take a deep breathe and remember what we do have in our lives and savor the moments, not get wrapped up in what we should have and should do.

    Thank you.

  13. Yvonne — LOVE that white footed bowl in your entry way and the table top tree! Looks wonderful.

    Can you please share the sources for the gold pears, the white bowl, the table top tree and basket the tree is in?


  14. Suzee Fox says:

    I am enjoying your blog so much. What’s funny Is I don’t know how I actually landed on Stonegable blog but I’m so happy I did.

    I fell in love with your table top trees. My husband and I are retired.
    We don’t put up a large tree any longer so when I saw your tabletop tree
    I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I’m going to try to make the one with
    The large Bow and pinecones and red balls etc. in fact I ordered my
    Tree today along with some pinecone ornaments and other items.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to new ideas.
    Thanks so much! Happy Holidays
    Suzee Fox

    1. Suzee, you will love your tabletop tree! So happy you are enjoying StoneGable. Keep reading, I have lots to share.

  15. I did not get Nov 3rd email in my box I don’t want to miss any . I enjoy them so much and they have changed my whole house.I also live on a golf course.Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    1. I’ll re-add you to the mailing list. Thanks for being part of the StoneGable family, Fay!