From the Dirt…Breathe Before Christmas

by Amber Jensen,

Thanksgiving is an entire month for me. I drag it out as long as I can. From the first day of November to the very last day I give abundant thanks and celebrate gratitude in as many ways as I can think of. I wish I could eat like Thanksgiving all month long but I haven’t found a sustainable way to accomplish that without going into a pie or gravy coma. 

Is it just me or does it seem as if Christmas is making it’s way into stores and the media earlier and earlier each year? While I was shopping for tiny vampire teeth and butterfly wings for a Halloween costume, the Jack-o-lantern figures were right there next to the plastic Santas and reindeer. It leaves very little room for a holiday of thanks and gratitude to breathe or even wiggle?

That brings us solidly to November. The month that contains my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.

It might just be me, maybe it is, but I need room to breathe and center myself before Christmas. It seems Christmas gets an entire month for the glee and glitter of all things North Pole and Happy Birthday Jesus. 

I need a month of thanks in my year. I need the whole darn month. All. Of. It. 

I need to practice intentional gratitude for an entire month to give me some solace, before expectation enters the picture, and my kids start having melt-downs wondering when they will get to open presents, or who they will see for a visit and when or why I don’t put up more holiday decorations.

November is the perfect opportunity to get clear on priorities and to get present to what is fully important in our lives. November contains the perfect holiday to bring us exuberantly into the Christmas season. 

So, right here, a couple weeks before it’s time to stuff ourselves with family tradition meals and enjoy the company of those we hold dear, perhaps we could all take a collective breath in, hold the intention of gratitude just a little longer, and breathe out any expectation of November to be a pre-Christmas month. 

This month, I am grateful for the slowing of the season, the way nature keeps moving into a sleepy slumber and the way we have so many opportunities to spread the spirit of thankfulness and gratitude to everyone we encounter. 

It may be less than six weeks until Christmas but it’s a month of thanks and gratitude we can hold in reverence.

Amber Jensen is an author, journalist and freelance copywriter specializing in pieces that highlight the human condition as connection and contribution. She hails from small-town Idaho and makes her chaotic home on a piece of dirt in Eastern Washington, with her adventure-seeking husband and four wild children. Learn more about Amber by visiting