As the fun and mystery of Hallowe’en/Samhain passes on, we enter the month of increasing darkness and introspection. For Americans, it’s a time of thankfulness. A time to remember those of us we love, and gather them for food and fun. Traditionally, it’s a time of the last harvests, the beginning of the cold time, and a time to settle down to long indoor projects.
Modern day traditions include Thanksgiving, football, Black Friday and NaNoWriMo.
Thanksgiving is an American celebration of all we have. Nominally attached to the pilgrims and the probably mostly mythical tale of sharing a first harvest with natives, it has become a family day. Many people have time off work and travel to visit relatives, indulge in pumpkin pie and turkey, and usually just a bit too much family drama. 😀 Part of this tradition usually involves sitting down to watch a football game, or going on Friday to take advantage of the great deals many retailers offer. Do you know the reason for the name, “Black Friday”? It’s when retailers make enough sales to be ‘in the black’, ie, no longer losing money.
Some stores are opening earlier and earlier to gain more shopping time, some even on Thanksgiving day itself. I’m not really in favor of this. Thursday is family time, and it seems rather like poaching for the stores to intrude on this sacred time. Not only do the people leave their homes to go shopping, but retail workers must take time from their own celebrations to man the stores. Often they don’t have much option to say no.
Some folks use the days around Thanksgiving to start decorating for the holidays, be it Christmas, Channukah, Yule, or whatever you celebrate.
NaNoWriMo is a tradition that is peculiar to the writing community. It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it is a self-regulated contest for writers to write 50,000 words in one month towards a novel. They don’t have to be GOOD words, or edited words, just getting the words down on paper. There are all sorts of online tools, badges, and support to keep people going, and many people participate.
For me, November is a time to watch the weather. I love watching the trees change color and shed their autumn splendor. The crackling remnants of the summer shift in the wind, heralding the winter season. The first snows often come through this month, blanketing the land with mystical wonder, a frigid beauty upon the ground.
November is a slowing down from the industry of the summer. Outdoor activities change to more indoor activities. Craft projects are pulled out to work on, home repair and honey-do lists are made, and the fireplace crackles cheerily on.
I do a lot of jewelry-making, sitting in the living room with my husband as we both watch garbage television. It keeps the hands busy while the mind is elsewhere.
What do you like to work on in the winter? I
Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.
– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
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