A Love Letter to the End of Fall
One of my absolute favorite months is November and I don’t even care that it’s not warm outside.
I will take all the above-eighty-degree days that the weather can throw at me throughout the year (in North Dakota, that’s typically not many), but when it comes to the holiday season, I am all in.
Least Stressful Time of the Holidays
Personally, I love November so much more than December. It gives Christmas vibes without the commitment and stress, but also adds Thanksgiving on top.
Face it – the holidays are stressful for so many people. Shopping, family obligations, decorating, making travel plans in uncertain weather, and more shopping (which not only can be overwhelming, but also financially stressful). In some families, including mine, there are other birthdays or anniversaries to celebrate in the midst of it all.
End of a Semester
For us college students, December means final exams and projects.
November brings the end of the semester into view. We can prepare for finals, wrap up projects, and some of us can prepare for graduation.
We can look forward to spending time with family. Some of us haven’t seen our families since the start of the semester, or else we can enjoy being home for longer than a weekend. Either way, relaxing in a familiar environment can be the motivation we need to finish the semester strong.
Christmas Without Commitment
November gives off the whole holiday feeling, but most of these aren’t included. We still receive a Thanksgiving break, as well as a day off for Veteran’s Day (which is, in fact, our first holiday off since Labor Day, over two months before!)
Referring to the “Christmas without commitment”, I love that I can listen to Christmas music on my own, but most stores and radio stations are still playing so-called “normal” music until December, or at least after Thanksgiving. Christmas music is a love-hate deal for a lot of people, and so many of us are sick of it by the end of the first week of Jingle Bells and Mariah Carey.
I get it. But in November, we can do the music on our own terms, more or less.
So let me tell you about Hallmark movies.
This can be a polarizing subject. I have never met a man who likes them, and I have never met a girl who didn’t have a personalized opinion about when and how to watch them.
To me, it’s ridiculous that Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas starts before Halloween. I will not be watching anything Christmas until November 1st, and after that, it’s fair game. (This may sound ridiculous, but can we all agree that Christmas is overdone as it is? Waiting till after Halloween isn’t that much to ask).
Christmas Hallmark is better in November. You can watch these cheesy, repetitive films without feeling guilty that you aren’t watching the good ol’ classics, such as White Christmas or The Santa Clause. December calls for the good ones, but November is the best time to watch Christmas Hallmark. Change my mind.
Movies in General
Confession: I don’t stream movies. The only streaming I use is the free stuff, like PlutoTV, and their viewing options are limited.
I use cable, for better or worse. Cable means you watch what they choose to run. This is not good in October for anti-Halloween people such as myself, but in December, it means a never ending cycle of Christmas movies on almost every channel. Not that I mind that at all.
When this comes to the Hallmark channel, it means that they are running Christmas movies nonstop, and (shocker) there are very few repeats, even with two Hallmark channels! (Two, because one just isn’t enough, I guess).
There is also a channel on cable called Freeform. In November, they run the top-rated movies, the Oscar winners that everyone wants to see when they are feeling nostalgic around the holidays.The Sound of Music, Toy Story, Cars, to name a few feel-good throwbacks to my childhood. What better time to watch these than when you feel all cozy?
Of course, you can’t have November without Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is just one of my favorite holidays anyway. Not so much for the food (although my great aunt’s Death by Chocolate recipe lives in infamy), but for the traditions, the family, the Hallmark movies in my grandma’s basement, and long walks with my sister and cousins.
Thanksgiving is the least-stressful holiday for me. I don’t have to worry about which grandparents to see, or how to fit in two different holidays with both sides of my family because at my house, Thanksgiving is always reserved for one side of my family, although we always make time to visit our other relatives.
My grandpa always has the fireplace going (all winter, actually). While the adults gather upstairs (bold statement here, since I myself and most of my cousins are adults now, I guess), my sister and two of our cousins and I retreat to the basement fireplace and to watch Hallmark and the Thanksgiving parade and catch up on life.
When the weather permits, we bundle up and head outside to walk the neighborhood.
Topped with pumpkin pie, visits with our grandparents, and a crisp, autumn-wintery feeling, the whole scenario is perfect.
I don’t meet many people who have very strong opinions about one month out of the year, but I don’t mind. I’m so ready for the cozy holiday feeling, the sense of accomplishment that comes from nearing the end of the semester, and a break from classes in the meantime.
I’m not ready for winter cold, but I’ll take the rest of this month just fine.