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Posted: Nov 18, 2018 6:11 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2018 6:39 PM

November is National Novel Writing Month, and a long weekend is coming up. Are you gonna churn out the next "Gatsby" (or just autoplay your favorite streaming show)? Here's what you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.

(You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. You give us five minutes, and we give you five things you must know for your weekday, plus a Sunday edition to get your week started smart. Sign up here.)

TODAY

• If the White House headlines these days don't offer enough drama, two new documentaries dive into past tumult at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. "Enemies: The President, Justice & the FBI" premieres at 8 p.m. ET on Showtime, while "The Clinton Affair" debuts an hour later on A&E.

MONDAY

• With global concern still high over the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi King Salman is due to address the government's top advisers. He's expected to touch on domestic and foreign policy, though it's not clear he'll mention Khashoggi's death, which just prompted new US sanctions on 17 Saudis. The CIA has concluded the King's son, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, personally ordered Khashoggi's killing, a senior US official told CNN, though the Saudi government denies the de facto ruler was involved.

• The International Space Station's first 3D printer with its own recycling machine is expected to dock with the orbital laboratory. The "Refabricator" will recycle plastics and old 3D-printed parts into new 3D-printer "ink" so astronauts can make tools in space, saving time and money.

• The holiday season officially kicks off when the first family's Christmas tree arrives by horse and carriage at the White House. The 19½-foot Fraser fir was nearly abandoned, its North Carolina grower said. "It's going from Herbie the Love Bug to a Bentley," he told The Charlotte Observer. "It's like a Cinderella story."

• It's the Chiefs at the Rams on NFL's Monday Night Football in Los Angeles. The marquee game between two of the league's hottest teams was supposed to be played in Mexico City, but the NFL found the poor field conditions too dangerous.

TUESDAY

• Keeping with the holiday spirit, President Donald Trump is due to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey. The flock from which the lucky gobbler will be picked is slated first to get the spa treatment at a Washington hotel. It's apparently a tough choice, because the White House wants all of us to help decide which bird gets spared. The Trumps then head to their Florida resort.

Holiday air travel is due to ramp up, according to your friendly Transportation Security Administration screeners, who expect 25 million-plus travelers -- 7% more than last year -- to take to the skies during the 11 days surrounding Thanksgiving. AAA forecasts 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday.

WEDNESDAY

Giant inflatable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Elf on a Shelf and the iconic Charlie Brown come to life in New York ahead of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Character balloons are among the biggest (get it?) draws to the annual event, along with live performances this year by Diana Ross, Martina McBride, John Legend, Barenaked Ladies and more.

THURSDAY

Bird is the word, and we wish you and your family a joyful Thanksgiving. To start the day, the Macy's parade steps off at 9 a.m. ET and traverses a 2½-mile route from Central Park to Herald Square; here's how to watch. Meantime, some 240 million turkeys were projected to be raised this year in the US, so we hope you're hungry. If you want to harness your gratitude to help someone else, CNN's Impact Your World has lots of options.

• As your meal settles, the rivalries heat up, with a trio of key NFL matchups that offer an all-day escape (if you're not so hot on your relatives).

FRIDAY

• Of course, before the leftovers get to the fridge, the sales begin (if they haven't already). Black Friday is the first day of the Christmas holiday shopping season and so named because retailers hope to begin turning a profit for the year (or because cops and bus drivers on this day loathe the terrible traffic.)

Golf's first-ever live pay-per-view event tees off, with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in a $9 million, winner-take-all duel in Las Vegas.

SATURDAY

• And as you chip away at your gift list, remember Small Business Saturday. The #shopsmall movement encourages consumers to support the 30.2 million small employers that make up 99.9% of US businesses.

• Hearts will be broken and bragging rights won as college football's fiercest opponents square off from coast to coast on rivalry weekend.

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