November is underrated
Mannion McGinley | Friday, November 5, 2021
It’s Halloween night in my junior year of high school. My sister gets home from trick or treating, drops her bag full of candy on the counter and sprints up the stairs to her room.
About an hour later, I get a call from her to come upstairs.
I open the door and the entire room is Christmas-themed. Lights, a small pine plant in the corner and an adorable holiday box frame sitting on her dresser. She’s already in Christmas pajamas and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is playing, immediately followed by Judy Garland’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
As excited as I was to walk into her room and dance and sing with her that night, and as sad as I was to miss her changeover night this year…
I love November. There’s something to be said for the eleventh month and how much fun it really is. Here are some of my favorite November moments that are easily overlooked in the jump from Halloween to Christmas:
Think about walking to and from class on campus, or walking through your neighborhood at home. The way the sun shines so warmly but every moment in the shade makes your lungs prickle when you take a breath. The way it smells like snow for the entire month but the sky won’t break until at least November 13th. How about the way the leaves fall and progress through their colors the way humans progress through ages? There’s nothing better than a November afternoon walk around the quad, tossing a football, or sitting with a hot tea outside. These afternoons were my favorite as a kid and I wouldn’t trade them for the world now.
Gilmore Girls binges.
Fall TV is always good: the Halloween episodes of the Resident and the Office, the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. But nothing, I repeat, nothing lives up to the Gilmore Girls fall episodes. This November, I will be curled up under a blanket with hot cider or hot chocolate and a plethora of takeout — as is customary for the Gilmore Girls — while I watch each of these episodes. You should watch them too.
Watch “Kiss and Tell” if you’re hoping to see Rory’s first kiss, her first shoplift (although not her biggest) and Dean in his good years; all encompassed in the most November-oriented episode of any show I’ve ever watched. Rory’s birthdays are great for some good-hearted Stars Hollow content, and motherly love if you’re missing home. Watch the Yale-Harvard game, if you want to see Emily implode and “Emily Says Hello” if you’d like to see Richard implode. “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” is the Gilmore Girls at their finest: squeezing four different Thanksgiving meals in one day and eating even more food afterwards.
For Logan fans, there are plenty of wonderful fall episodes and while I can’t name them all, “You Jump, I Jump, Jack,” “But Not as Cute as Pushkin,” “Hay Bale Maze,” and “Gilmore Girls, AYITL: Fall” are fantastic Logan snippets so, enjoy! I would, however, advise away from Luke and Lorelai episodes. The pair somehow tend to have their fights — or at least their awkward moments — in the fall.
Canned. Cranberry sauce.
Now, I know Thanksgiving is an obvious one, and even the most eager of Christmas hoppers stop to celebrate the time with family, eat great food and reflect. Or at least they stop to go Black Friday shopping at midnight. The turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy are always delicious. I’d especially recommend allowing them to bleed together on a plate or squishing them on a rye bread sandwich.
There is one dish though that everyone always pushes to the edge of the table. I wish, instead, the whole thing would be pushed in front of me and that’s canned cranberry sauce.
The tart, slightly bitter but addictively sweet jello doesn’t change how full you feel but tastes so good. This is not to knock homemade cranberry sauce either. Those flavors are delicious, but there is nothing like canned cranberry sauce. I will die on this hill and I am so excited for it this November.
So, if you are jumping from Halloween to Christmas, good for you! I’m excited too. But let’s all slow down and take in November in all its glory. When Christmas is over, Winter will be dark and cold. We’ll be glad to remember how fall came to a close.