Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November Holidays You Might Not Know About

I am super, super excited for Thanksgiving.  I love that the week of is straight-out holiday fun (2 days of 1/2 day, parent teacher conferences, then 3 days off) and I love the little traditions I have on Thursday- getting the paper and looking at Black Friday ads while we watch the parade, crying when Santa gets to the end, bustling around not really knowing what I'm doing in the kitchen.  There's a lot of controversy about such a "greedy" time of the year, and I while I do love to eat more than necessary and Black Friday (ONLY THE MORNING AFTER) is fun for me, there is a lot you can do celebrate this week that's so wholesome, you'll forget you elbowed someone in the face for an iPod.

Friday is a big shopping day, but it's also The National Day of Listening, put on by Story Corps, one of my favorite organizations humans have ever created.  Story Corps records stories.  Sounds simple.  It's amazing.  National Day of Listening is the day after Thanksgiving to let you capitalize on family time and asks you to sit down and record a conversation with a relative.  They have questions to get you started, tips on recording, and you can listen to other stories.  I remember sitting with my Grandpa Kauffman while he told me about the summer after high school, traveling across country with 3 of his best friends, getting to California and spending the summer sharing a small room in a boarding house, working shifts in a factory, and exploring the opposite coast.  WHY DIDN'T I RECORD THAT?  Because it feels weird and unnatural.  But I would trade those few awkward seconds to be able to listen to him telling me that story today.  Head over to the website and check it out.  Don't wear any eye makeup while listening.

On Saturday, small businesses shine.  Small Business Saturday is nationwide initiative to support small businesses during the holiday season.  In the past I've spent the day trying to visit local businesses and buying from small online shops.  Lots of stores are having events, and Etsy (my favorite online shopping experience, run by individual craftspeople) is usually hopping with sales Friday through Monday.  Some of my favorite local places include Magpie in Davis Square, the Gardner Ale House, and The Great Escape Play Cafe.  I'd love to hear some of your favorite places, let me know where you shop local!

This is not a particular holiday, but I'm starting a new tradition with Milo and Elliott this year.  I recently came across this really beautiful picture book about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the balloon artist that helped start the floats.  Balloons Over Broadway is so pretty and quirky, I'm not positive why but the parade is really the most important of Thanksgiving for me.  It's something I feel really good about adding to our Thanksgiving week.

Are you going to participate in the National Day of Listening?  Hit up any small businesses on Saturday?  Adding anything new to your holiday routine?  I hope you have a beautiful week counting all the things you're thankful for!

(image credit)

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