A Few of My Favorite Things

“But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods … for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them.”

(L.M. Montgomery)

Can you feel it? The crisp wind scurrying families inside, doors decked with harvest wreaths and firelight flooding memories not yet created? Or smell it—spiced cider and hot bread and food that warms all the way down to the soul? November is the red between October’s orange and the gold of Christmas. It’s last-minute dashes to the store for ingredients, fresh bedding in the guest room, conversations that beckon late into the night, a counting of far too many blessings for justice to have been served us. It’s full bellies and full hearts.

Some November gifts to point you toward

Blog Post: Looking Through Lenses of Thankfulness by Lynne Bassler

The post itself is a lovely fleshing out of “spiritual near-sightedness” with a gorgeous picture of the night sky tucked right in. But what I love most about this gift is the prayer at the end, a blending of home and gratitude. (Now might be the perfect opportunity to create your own prayer offering of thanks. Use Bassler’s as a model and incorporate your unique perspectives: your name for God, which gifts capture your attention, the “sacred tools” of your daily work, etc.)

Home Decor: Rustic Handmade Wood Signs from The Junk Vine

These sweet and stylish pieces would make the perfect finishing touch for your Thanksgiving gatherings. Or pre-order some Christmas gifts and call it a day (she has really cute designs and is willing to customize messages if you ask nicely). Your sister, mom, kids’ teacher, favorite barista: anyone you want to bless this season would enjoy the decor. Who doesn’t love chalkboard paint, amazing fonts, and that distressed wood look?

Organization: More Love Letters

Guys, this concept is so revolutionary. Good luck turning on the news without being inundated by the effects of the fall—violence, rage, depression, prejudice, fear. Why not combat the angst with…well, love letters? You can go solo and scatter your own around town/campus. Or nominate someone you know who’s in particular need of encouragement to receive a bundle of letters. Or handwrite and mail letters to others who request bundles. So many options. So much love to exchange. (Pop quiz: How will we be recognized by the world? By our love for one another. I believe Christians should be all. over. this. ministry.)

Book: Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts

If you haven’t yet picked up this fabulous book on gratitude, it’s a must-read. As a bit of a disclaimer, her writing style is very different than most people are used to (okay, fine, I’ve never met anyone who talks like that). Give yourself a chance to get caught up in her rhythm and you’ll be golden. The concept is a crucial one, and this soft-spoken, Jesus-crazy farmer’s wife deals with it well and deeply.

Thanksgiving Tradition: The Thankful Tree

I found this fun idea on Pinterest and wanted to share it. Grab a sturdy branch with lots of twigs attached, and have friends and family write what they’re thankful for, loading down the branch with blessings. You can use paper shaped like leaves as an easy alternative, but I love the look of the chalkboard tree slices. (I’ve also seen it turned into a kind-friendly craft stuck on the wall, like this one.) No matter how you count your gifts, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

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