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The Gift of October

by Joanna Gaines
Published on October 1, 2021

October is a gift that returns to me every year.

A gift that never holds back, but arrives in plenty—of beauty and abundance—expecting nothing in return. And it comes right when I need it most. The daily hustle of life and responsibilities and packed calendars that return with the fall can easily unravel even our best-laid plans and better intentions for a slow shift toward a new season. But in October, the world quiets down and I’m reminded that only a handful of things truly matter, and I want to give myself to those things and those things alone. That’s what October gives me, and that’s why as September draws to a close I know that a deep, restorative breath is right around the corner.

Some of my best memories are wrapped up in October. It was the month I met Chip for one thing, and that was just the beginning. This same month 18 years ago I opened the original Magnolia shop—what we now call the Little Shop on Bosque—with a fall candle burning and a rotation of jazz CDs filling the space I had worked so hard to get ready for my first customers. I can still hear the sound of the front door opening, and the deep assurance that, despite the butterflies in my stomach, everything would be okay. And in the many Octobers that have followed, magic seems to meet me here. From dreams born and dreams fulfilled, to simple memories of our family spending more time on the porch in the cooler weather, October simply stirs a sense of hopeful expectation.

The beautiful thing about October is that it shows up for us all, revealing the best of what fall has to offer, and with an open invitation to truly embrace this final act of the year. For me, there are a handful of things I do when the gift of October arrives on my doorstep. I love to open up the windows and let the cooler breeze sneak in, burn my favorite fall candle, and dust off that old playlist from the opening day of my little shop. Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones. . . these are just a few of the artists I played on repeat on a dinky little cd player that, looking back, probably had terrible sound quality. But I still felt the magic. In a moment, this playlistOpens in new tab could take me back to the season I spent in New York City as a college student, stepping into the small city street boutiques that would remind me of home—and that would one day inspire me to open this little shop of my own.

Welcoming October also means making way for a few seasonal shifts inside our living spaces, intentional time together, and, of course, a first taste of fall cooking in the kitchen.

If this time of year is stirring a little something in you too, I hope you’ll join me in embracing every bit of magic it has to offer.

I’ve got a feeling this could be the best October yet.