November is a special month, don’t you think? In pre-Christian times, it was called Samhain and marked the start of the Celtic winter. Although strictly speaking winter doesn’t actually start in the UK until 22 December, it’s still possible to detect that subtle shift in the air. At the beginning of the month the trees are ablaze with coloured leaves, by the end they have mostly been blown away. It’s bittersweet.
My list of November favourites is all about embracing this change of the seasons – cosying up indoors, but also making the most of bright, fine days…
Cherish the autumn leaves
Autumn is when nature’s colour palette is at its most vivid. Early November is that moment when the leaves are at their prettiest – jewel-bright, crunchy underfoot and swirling through the air wherever you look. In a month’s time you’ll miss them – get out for a walk and enjoy them right now.
Watch cosy romantic comedies
While I love bright November days, the evenings are less appealing. I think I’d happily not leave the house past 7pm. Heaven for me is putting on my pyjamas as early as possible and watching one of my favourite romantic comedies. You can’t beat anything written by Nora Ephron – When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail hit the spot every time.
Drink a festive coffee
I am a coffee purist – it’s a double espresso topped up with steamed milk every single day for me. However, even I’m not immune to the temptation of those sugary festive offerings in all the coffee shops. I like to try one every season – it’s a cute novelty I just can’t resist. Bring along your reusable cup and grab one for a lovely autumn walk.
This day, which is always the last Sunday before Advent, is the traditional time to make your Christmas pudding and cake. This year it falls on 24 November. When it comes to Christmas cakes you can’t go wrong with Delia, Mary or Nigella. This year I think I will make this classic from Delia. Get everyone in your house involved and remember to make sure you make a wish when you stir the mixture!
Change your scenery
Daylight is in short supply this month. It’s dispiriting, especially when it feels like your horizons have shrunk. My solution is to try and change my scenery at the weekends. A trip to the coast or a walk up a hill are my favourite ways to blow away the cobwebs. Or, if you already live in the country, try swapping the quiet life for the hustle and bustle of the city. Whatever you choose, change is energising.
Make time for self-care
A lack of sunshine, plus the busy pre-Christmas rush, mean it’s vital that you take care of yourself this month. Take time out to be alone and do what you enjoy most – a bath, knitting, yoga – whatever helps you relax. It’ll give you some headspace and mean you don’t burn out before December even starts.
Moisturise and drink plenty of water
While we’re on the subject of looking after yourself, remember that your skin is going to dry out a lot now it’s colder. Hands get a real hammering, so make sure you’ve got a top notch cream to stop them getting sore. This one by Kiehls is absolutely lovely and smells of eucalyptus. Good skin also needs lots of water. Now it’s cold, it’s easy to forget to drink enough and just drink tea all day. Force yourself to remember, and add in fruit teas and cordials to make it easier.
What will you be getting up to this month?
If you enjoyed this post, why not try these from my archives?
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