November is a dark month. Even when the sun is shining, it is so low in the sky that it is still dark and grey. Every room in my north-facing house is dark, even when the lights are on.

This month has been flying by. I can’t believe it is already the 23rd. We are having an unseasonably warm November, which in Calgary means that the temperatures are soaring all the way up to 6 or 7 degrees, as opposed to 1 or 2. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, any time temperatures are above normal I am happy, but it seems like those couple of degrees are wasted in November. I mean, it’s still chilly, still dark. The sun is setting at 4:30, and rising after 8. December is, of course, darker and colder, but it doesn’t seem that way because of Christmas, and festivity, and my general feeling of goodwill and happiness that accompanies it.

Four children in my neighbourhood lost their mother and, while it is not my story to tell, the tragedy of that has left me low. But I’m not going to talk about that. The feeling of goodwill and happiness, that Christmassy feeling, I needed that feeling this weekend. So I broke my own rule about no Christmas decorations before December. I brought the boxes out of storage and the boys and I put out a few choice decorations.

The pinecones are from my in-laws’ place in the Okanagan. My husband and I gathered them the year my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, which he beat against all odds. The little balls in the bowl are from my very first Christmas tree after I left home. I didn’t have lights on that tree, and it was odd how many people commented on the fact. I honestly didn’t think that no lights was a big deal, but apparently IT IS. The cute little star snowmen? A woman I worked with once made them for the company Christmas party. She made about 150 of them. Have I ever mentioned that I admire people who are crafty? Because I am the opposite of crafty.

Mark’s favourite decoration is a little train station. Technically it lights up but I have a small fear of fire – and I think that decoration was made in China, so my fear of plugging it in and starting an electrical fire is probably justified. Notice the bowl in the background. The Christmas balls I set in there are from my mother-in-law – old ornaments from the 60’s.

This is my very favourite thing. I bought the creche figurines in Mexico 12 years ago, and I just love them. I always put the angel on the ladder – angels need a little help once in a while. This is also Jake’s favourite.

When something is heavy on your heart, sometimes the best thing to do is find the joy in your life and be thankful for your blessings. And I am so thankful.


  1. I read in the obituaries today, of a mother of 4 who was too young to go. 🙁 It is heartbreaking. There has been too much sadness like this recently, I find.

    I like your idea of pulling out the Christmas joy a little early; maybe I’ll do that too. Just a few little things here and there, to brighten up November a little. 🙂


  2. I totally hear you about he degrees being wasted. It’s still windy, it’s still grey and park time isn’t much fun.
    So sorry about your neighbour. What a loss.

  3. I love Christmas decorations. BUt you’re not actually wildly early this year – Advent starts THIS Sunday! Crazy.

    All of my Christmas stuff is up, pretty much. Not the tree, because I like my house NOT to burn down, but everything else.

  4. Wait wait wait…NO LIGHTS? Lights are the FIRST essential thing. Like, you could have a tree with JUST lights. But not with ornaments and NOT lights.

    So glad people have already spoken to you about this issue.

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