November Holiday Lineup
Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
November is an exciting month! It’s when everyone kicks it into high gear for the holidays, and it and marks the beginning of the hectic travel season. Keep reading for a rundown of some of this autumnal month’s holidays.
November 1: Daylight Saving Time Ends
We hope you didn’t’ forget to “fall back” on Saturday night! Technically DST ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, but if you didn’t want to stay up that late, you probably turned your clocks back before you went to bed on Saturday. Read some interesting myths and truths about this somewhat contentious ritual here.
November 11: Veterans Day
Originally called Armistice Day, this holiday was originally created to celebrate the ceasefire that ended the first World War and to honor the soldiers who fought and gave their lives during the war. WWI ended on November 11, 1918, at 11:11 a.m. (notably, 11/11 at 11:11). In 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of the war, King George V of Great Britain and President Woodrow Wilson of the United States proclaimed the first Armistice Day holiday. As time went on, many other countries adopted the holiday.
Then just prior to or after the second World War, most countries changed the holiday to honor all veterans. The United Kingdom changed the day to Remembrance Day, while the United States chose All Veterans Day (later shortened to Veterans Day). In France and Belgium, the day remains Armistice Day.
Thanking the veterans in your life is a great way to show your appreciation for their service, but if you’re interesting in doing more, click here for ideas on how to celebrate Veterans Day.
November 19: The Great American Smoke Out
No need to wait another month and a half to start your New Year’s resolution! Since 1977, on the third Thursday of November, The American Cancer Society has been encouraging all smokers to snuff out their cigarettes on this day. With a short-term goal of extinguishing this habit for one day, their long-term goal is to give smokers the boost to kick the habit for good.
November 26: Thanksgiving Day
Though up for debate, many sources trace the first Thanksgiving back to 1621, when the pilgrims and Native Americans held three-day feast to show thanks for the bountiful fall harvest and as way for the pilgrims to thank the Native Americans for their kindness. While variations of the holiday persisted throughout the 16- and early 1700s, as first President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed November 26, 1789, the first official nationwide Thanksgiving holiday in America.
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, typically by gathering with family and friends for a lunch or dinner feast featuring traditional dishes like carved turkey, potatoes and gravy or variations of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, candied yams, and a healthy serving (or two?) of pumpkin pie.
November 27: Black Friday
A shopper’s dream (and a claustrophobe’s nightmare) befalls the Friday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday seems to be starting earlier and earlier every year. Years ago, sales started between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., depending on the retailer’s hours of operation. Then came the “door buster” sales that started as early as 5:00 a.m., later even as early as 3:00 a.m.! Last year many stores opened at midnight on Thanksgiving Day. Before we know it, Black “Friday” will be a weeklong extravaganza.
The “black” in Black Friday is a financial term. Many retailers operate in the “red” (in debt) until the holiday shopping season comes along, when their ledgers are finally rendered back to “black.” But if you are not big on crowds, lines, and manic consumers, you might decide to honor the day after Thanksgiving with Buy Nothing Day. This 24-hour moratorium on holiday shopping began back in 1992 and is considered a day of protest against consumerism. And if you don’t mind consumerism but hate the crowds, you can always shop from the comfort of your couch with the next holiday on our list.
November 30: Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday is little more than a marketing ploy to capitalize on those who won’t brave the crowds on Black Friday, but still need to get their holiday shopping done and are looking for the best deals. The term made it’s debut back in 2005.
Black Friday typically has better deals on technology, small appliances, cutlery, and kitchen gadgets, while Cyber Monday is more popular for fashion retailers. In 2014, Cyber Monday sales far outweighed Black Friday sales. According to IMB, “this trend may indicated that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.”
What kind of shopper are you: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or are you a Buy Nothing Day-er?
Month of November: National Novel Writing Month
Looking for motivation to pen your first novel? Or do you need the support to finish those last few chapters? November is the month for you! NaNoWriMo is an internet-based creative writing project that challenges participants to write 50,000 words from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59 p.m. on November 30. According to the nonprofit of the same name, “National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of your-pants approach to creative writing…Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.”