November is the month to....

  • Snuggle up on the sofa to watch black and white movies.

  • Make gingerbread men and decorate them with writing icing.

  • Walk around on a cold and frosty morning with a scarf, hat and gloves on (but be prepared to take them off when it gets warmer)

  • Go to a wool shop and stroke all the mohair yarns they have.

  • Buy some tactile yarn and make a scarf.

  • Find a new book that makes you go to bed just to read it.

  • Rediscover an old book that does the same.

  • Remember to put on hand cream and face cream everyday, especially if you have some really nice lavender flavour from L'occitane.

  • Find your Christmas socks and begin to wear them under your jeans so that if anyone spots them they have to ask....

  • Find a Countdown to Christmas calendar and start it now (47 days to go)

  • Just browse the decorations at the best, even if not the biggest, garden centre nearby.

  • Keep your Christmas organiser to hand and keep ticking off things as you buy/make/acquire them.

  • Buy red candles and put them in your candlesticks. Light them every evening meal. Skin looks better by candlelight.

  • Listen to classical music as you putter. Puccini, Vivaldi or Bach. Good for the brain, too. Until the last week in November when it is obligatory to put on the Christmas CD's and enter into the spirit of the season.

  • Buy the Sunday papers and sit inside until you finish them. Or read them on a chilly Monday afternoon with a decent pot of tea.

  • Tweak the house so that it's ready to be decorated for Christmas without actually putting the decorations up. Change your cushions for red velvet or golden slub silk, clear the surfaces ready for all the decorations, put fairy lights up on your shelves or in the kitchen.

  • Actually, put fairy lights up in the kitchen anyway, and light them while washing up.

  • Collect together your favourite winter/Christmas books and put them in a basket by the fire.

  • Begin a new craft for the winter. Knit a blanket, make a tapestry cushion, embroider towels with your initials.

  • Make your childhood comfort pudding. Was it rice pudding, bread and butter pudding or the wonderful spotted dick?

  • Collect all the December magazines you love and sit reading them every evening. Anticipation......

  • Go to the Chemist and choose the most intensely red nail polish you can, either bright red or deep crimson. File your nails and apply two coats. Red nail varnish is the epitome of decadence.

  • Buy gingerbread syrup and serve it as many ways as you can think of... in coffee, on pancakes, over icecream, and especially mixed with sparkling prosecco a la Nigella (or champagne, if you are a true hedonist)

  • Make a fresh fruit salad. Pineapple, orange, apple and pear, grapes and glace cherries (rinsed) with or without whipped cream. Eat slowly and virtuously with a cool sparkling mineral water.

  • Set aside a basket or shelf for your Christmas victual shopping and begin buying ahead. Cranberry sauce (you know they should eat your homemade, but the jar will always be useful), stuffing packets for emergency Turkey butties on Boxing day, dates, figs, Turkish Delight, chocolate ginger and all the tastes that you need to make a festive season. The turkey does not keep well in this box, so leave that for December.

  • Remember to feed the birds.

I love the season we enter now. Not winter, but pre-Christmas. Lights, action, chill and all. Come January the only thing left to do is to start a blog and cheer yourself up with Alfred Hitchcock. But now.... well, anticipation is a wonderful thing, and I am good at anticipation.


  1. November is a good month isn't it. I'm loving the scarf and glove mornings, the evenings tucked up with a good book and watching the birds return to the bird table. Yay! for November.

  2. That's a good list Jo! You've reminded me about gingerbread syrup - I was addicted this time last year.

  3. Oh and to freeze ( if you have been out today)

  4. November's a good month for me too, I've got more creative these past couple of weeks and having fun thinking of cheap Christmas pressies (on a budget this year!)
    Nice list, mine would be much the same.

  5. I love the run up to Christmas almost more than the day itself. I need to get some gingerbread syrup - I just had my first gingerbread latte of the year - yum!

    So I am now off to start the house tweaking by doing the massive pile of ironing that's waiting for me ...

  6. Love this list! Love this time of year. The anticipation of Christmas is so magical.

  7. Hi Jo,

    Loved your list. I need to remember for next food shopping to get some cranberry sauce. I have never tried to make some myself, so just in case I have to buy one.
    And yes, I got to have a look at the christmas decorations. see what to use, or something else to buy...
    I love this time of the year. :)
    Take care. x

  8. Great list for a fav time of year.

  9. Ah, yes, the fun now begins. Great List!

  10. seems to be a bit of a gingerbread syrup revolution starting here - suppose I'd better get some in then ;-)

  11. The best post I have read today, infact the list is so good I am going to print it off and stick put it on my kitchen board!

  12. gingerbread syrup, eh? Never heard of it but it sounds interesting.

  13. That sounds lovely, black and white movies, and crocheting. I don't know how to knit.


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