Choosy Beggars Monthly Calendar – November

With Hallowe’en (otherwise known as SuperChristmas around our household) now behind us and the bare branches of November ahead of us, we at the Choosy Beggars have begun our planning for the coming weeks.

Must November always be that depressing, wind-whipped four-week corridor between the sunny autumn days of October and the fluffy snowfalls of December?  Yes.  But if you follow these suggested steps, it’ll be over before you’ve wept gently into your hands for the third time.


Week 1: November 1 – 7

  • Daylight Saving Time ends, kicking off the time of year when not only is it dark when you leave for work and get home, but if you sit in a place away from windows you can go entire days without seeing the sun.  Enjoy that extra hour of sleep.
  • Now that Hallowe’en is over, get some extra life out of your Jack o’ Lantern by leaving it on your porch for weeks, teaching neighborhood children horrific lessons about decay and disease:  Did you know that raccoons spread a rare form of black-and-red fungus through a mere touch of their rancid paws?  Jimmy next door soon will!
  • Christmas decorations, merchandise and sales will all be appearing at your favorite retail destinations.  Spite them and drink something that tastes like summer.


Week 2: November 8 – 14

  • Prepare for Remembrance Day by purchasing a minimum of five (5) poppies, one for every day that they’ll fall off your coat exactly ten minutes before you walk past a disappointed-looking veteran.
  • Strawberries are a delicious, fresh and healthy complement to any meal, whether they’re a dessert or even the main course.  And while you count the days in the 9 months until they’re in season again, make something out of potatoes and artichokes to drown your sorrow.  Starches sooth the soul.
  • With cooler weather on the way, take advantage of the chill to set your oven on self-cleaning for the afternoon.  You’ll warm up the house, improve the performance of your stove, and enjoy the smells of the melting plastic you always goddamned forget to take out of the goddamned oven every goddamned year.


Week 3: November 15 – 21

  • The first snow of the year is coming!  Prepare by laying down at least an inch of salt across your drive and pathways, to prevent even the possibility of accumulation.  Tip:  If birds can land on the driveway without instantly crumbling to dust, it’s time to re-apply.
  • Use pipe-cleaners, string, old cartons and discarded plastic to make your own toys for your cats.  You’ll save money and temporarily distract yourself from the fact that your life has come to this.
  • Community recycling programs offer your neighbors a weekly opportunity to judge your drinking habits — deflect their veiled criticisms by gaining a mastery of cooking with wine, starting with mussels.


Week 4: November 22 – 28

  • Thanksgiving (America):  Spending the holiday with one’s family is a rare joy, so why not bring along some friends?  The kind you can eat, rather than the tall, fleshy kind?  Friends like liquor-soaked garnishes, sausage-stuffed sides and wine made from beer, the ones you can really count on.
  • Putting off your Christmas shopping will add stress later on, reducing  time with loved ones and enjoyment of the season.  Mark something down to plan to get around to changing that, one of these days.
  • Holiday party season is beginning!  Prepare for spending time with your significant others’ cow-orkers by sprucing up your vocabulary:  words like bellicose, taciturn, breviloquent and unspeakably miserable will help communicate your enjoyment of the event.
  • Kristie

    I never forget to do my holiday shopping, because I love shopping so much that by mid-June I’m like “I better get to the stores and do some preliminary holiday shopping.” And then I buy myself things.

    I HAVE already gotten Chris’s main Christmas gift though, which I’ll post on twitter since he doesn’t have a twitter account but might read this blog. And I bought gifts for my friends at the Hogwarts exhibit at the Chicago museum of science and industry, so lucky them, getting things like quills and snitches!

    What I lack in enthusiasm for Halloween, I make up for in being completely overenthusiastic for the entire months of November and December. I LOVE HOLIDAY SEASON!!

    • Tina

      Ooh, lucky friends INDEED!!! When I went through my hackneyed pseudo-goth stage in high school (right before the militant feminist and somewhat after the hairy hippie chick) I salvaged a few bird feathers and tried to sharpen them into quills that I could dip into India ink and write with. My results were…..sub par, to say the least.

      I love that you’re so enthusiastic about holiday season!!! After a week of eating rich foods, drinking excessive amounts of wine and having a non-stop social calendar, you’d think that I’d ENJOY the holidays! Instead… drains me so much that I can’t wait to go back to work. Sigh. I’m such a party pooper.

      Mind you, I do feel the same way that you do about egg nog……

  • Cherie

    I particularly enjoyed the vocabulary lesson. It’s so infrequent that I have an opportunity to use bellicose in a sentence. Webster says that “bellicose” may even suggest an element of comic bluster. I’d say we all can use that at LEAST once this season, shall we?!