The holidays seem to get busier and busier with each passing year. I love Christmas music, decorations, trees, presents, the sentiment of the season and even snow, but I can always make the case that I love Thanksgiving even more. It’s quiet and carries less expectations and stress, unless, you’re making your first turkey.

My four-year-old has grasped the concept and is looking forward to taking a day off from the rigors of Pre-K, to eat turkey and pie. Last night he told me that he is thankful for Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, Legos, dogs, and Batman. That list is pretty hard to top, but it prompted me to come up with a thank-you list of my own.

1) Outdoors - The plummeting temps of late November have a way of reminding us to appreciate warm summers, crisp fall days and the changing of seasons. Savor the last few pre-winter days walking through the neighborhood and watching nature prepare. Squirrels are packing nuts away and hummingbird feeders are deserted. Help out the finches, cardinals, and other feathered friends that stay behind. Fill bird feeders with seed, clean out nest boxes and throw a heater in your bird bath.

2) Plants - They have special significance in my family, but plants add beauty and purpose to all of our lives. Visit the botanic center or arboretum, take a walk through our greenhouse and see 14,000 poinsettias, bring a bouquet of flowers to your holiday host, or plant some holiday paperwhite bulbs or an indoor herb garden.

3) Kids - Children can find magic and fun in even the smallest details of the holiday. Find ways to make it more memorable. See who can rake the largest pile of leaves, have a wish bone breaking ceremony or see who can come up with the silliest name for the turkey before he goes in the oven. For lively conversation, don’t relegate the kids to their own table. Mix it up and see the world from their perspective.

4) Food - Whenever or wherever you sit down on Thursday, and before you take a bite, thank the gardeners, growers and farmers who worked to grow that food to get it to your table.

Despite the common threads of family, turkey and football, we all celebrate Thanksgiving in our own way. Savor the flavors and traditions and reflect on what you are thankful for. Legos might not be a part of your life but most of us can agree to give thanks for family and dogs… and we all hope that we won’t need Batman.

Get in the Garden

November To-Do List

1) Check houseplants for signs of insects and treat if needed.

2) Apply Wilt-Stop spray to all evergreens in your landscape, especially Boxwood, Azaleas, and Rhododendrons. This will prevent the winter-burn that turns them brown.

3) Plant indoor bulbs like Amaryllis and Paperwhites for a winter pop of color.

4) Use a mulching mower to chop up the remaining leaves on your lawn so they will break down over the winter.

5) Continue to water new plantings up until the ground freezes. They should be getting one inch of water per week.

6) Decorate your front porch by topping off pots with topsoil and arranging fresh cut evergreens, pine cones and red twig dogwood.

7) Hang wreaths, garland and lights on the outside of your home before December snow and ice make it difficult.

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