Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Hello Pilgrims and welcome November! I do hope everyone enjoyed their 2017 Trick or Treat festivities and the weather in your neck of the woods was suitable for all the ghosts and goblins. We were fortunate here in good ole Northern Kentucky to have clear skies and chilly (very) temperatures. But to be honest, it made the evening that much more fun. We, along with the neighbors on each side of our home, got together (bundled together!) and tried to cozy up to a nice fire while passing out treats.
It finally got dark enough that I could take some pictures. In years passed I like to decorate the walkway with luminaries, but for the past few years I have been unable to find them in stores. So, thanks to Amazon, I was able to get a pack! Needless to say, I was made fun of because I was getting antsy to light them...men! Regardless, I held my head high and turned on my battery lit candles 😊. Sorry my shadow and my son's big monstrous truck is in the picture! The picture below that you can faintly see them glowing, but I was happy with them. I blocked off our driveway so the ghosts and goblins didn't invade...
The evening was a success and we had a nice size bag of our favorite chocolates left over for us to devour the whole month of November! And, now that it's November.....let the Christmas music begin!!!😁
I will be honest, I'm not into the Christmas music right now. I like Christmas; it used to be my favorite holiday, but anymore I've found that now that the kids are much older, I lean towards Thanksgiving as being my favorite. And sadly, I believe here in America, Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick. I'm sure all my fellow American readers know what I'm talking about, but for all of my international readers, November 1st all but signals the beginning of the Christmas decorating and shopping season. Thanksgiving is our next National Holiday, celebrating a fancy dinner the Pilgrims had with the American Indians. It's a time to celebrate the word's meaning-Thankfulness. It's sitting down at a huge table or many tables if you're like our house with the traditional perfectly stuffed turkey, dressing (aka stuffing), mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and finishing with a giant slice of pumpkin pie. What used to be a nice relaxing day of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and a football game, has since turned into a day of combing through the advertisements looking for the best deals to go shopping for the next day...BLACK FRIDAY... Do you even know what Black Friday means or where it got it's name? I didn't. My best guess was it was dark out when people went shopping at 5 in the morning! Evidently it got its name when retailers looked at the books and the numbers were in the red (negative), but after the shopping day on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving-the unofficial start of Christmas season, the numbers went from red to black (positive). And it seems just in the past few years, more and more stores now stay open or open mid afternoon on Thanksgiving Day...sad...I feel bad for all those who have to work and don't get to spend time with family and good food. I feel worse for all those who choose not to spend time with family and would rather head out looking for the "best deal". I just hope that in time our country doesn't give up celebrating Thanksgiving. That is why I am doing my part not to decorate for Christmas right now. 90% of the time I have my family over for Thanksgiving and my house shouldn't feel like Christmas when they come over, it should feel like Thanksgiving! I try to prolong the autumn season as long as I can, but the only thing that weighs heavy on me is the fact that I have sooooo many Christmas decorations that 32 days just seems awfully short for all the effort needed to get it all out and enjoy. But I need to practice what I preach and I might as well start now before any grandchild comes into the picture. I want them to understand the value of Thanksgiving as well as the tradition.
Although I am not listening to Christmas music just yet, probably because the weather has warmed up a bit and it doesn't feel like Christmas, it hasn't stopped me from watching my favorite movie(s). My family will tell you and will roll their eyes doing so that I have all but worn out my copy of the movie The Family Stone. I watch it throughout the entire year, but no where near as much as I do this time of year. And coming in in a very close second place is The Christmas Story. I've have beat myself up trying to figure out why I love these two movies so much and it all comes down to one thing...my life.
The Christmas Story captures the exact feeling of what it was like growing up for me. The story takes place years before I was born, but the simple ways captured in the movie was exactly what it looked like and felt like when I was a child. In the movie, the house was quiet and they listened to the radio programs, but it was a calm atmosphere, snow outside, the smell of dinner, and the wearing of sweaters because your house just never got warm enough. Growing up it was the same thing only we had a big console television, but it was calm and quiet and cold from the outdated furnace we had hiding in the darkest of darkest basements. Like the movie, we were always blowing fuses and my dad loved Oldsmobiles. It was normal for dogs to run around the neighborhood like the Bumpus' hound and Christmas wish lists were made by looking through a Sears catalog, the biggest catalog of the year, the holy grail of catalogs! And getting a Christmas tree at a Christmas tree stand in parking lots of local businesses was tradition! But, the visit to see Santa...THAT was a big deal! I even remember standing in line going over and over in my head all the things I wanted and didn't want to forget to tell him. And like Ralphy, I would freeze or forget because my brother would cry and then I would get scared or something! That movie was my life! From wrapping ourselves like a tick about to pop just to go outside and play to staring at window displays at all the department stores during the Christmas season... And of course, after doing some research, I found that the house where the movies was filmed is in Cleveland, Ohio, just one hour from Amishland. So, back in 2010, I made family plans for us to visit it before heading to Amishland...and it was wonderful! No one was near as excited about this as I was obviously, but by the time we took the very inexpensive tour of the house and went across the street to the gift store and small museum, EVERYONE had enjoyed themselves. 🎅🏼
And as for the Family Stone! I guess it's more about the Stone family being more like our own. The kids aren't as old as the movie kids, but the personalities are so spot on. And if you know my kids, I'll let you guess which one is the most like Amy in the movie!😂 I have been told by ALL THE KIDS and Bill that evidently I am exactly like Cybil (Diane Keaton in the movie). Regardless, just look at the cast of characters! What's not to love?!?!
Like I said earlier, I'm big on tradition. I love making memories more than anything and it all starts with little traditions for me. For our family some of the traditions are big family get-togethers, cutting down a Christmas tree at our favorite tree farm 45 minutes away, Chinese dinner on Christmas Day!, family charade Christmas Eve, having papa over to decorate the tree every year, midnight mass, and must have Thanksgiving dinner dishes like custard pie! Whether it's music, movies, decorating, or cooking, I hope you find what makes you happy preparing for the Holiday(s) Season!