Fall has arrived!
It wasn’t when Starbucks started selling the infamous PSL, it was when everyone started bundling up because the mornings were crisp and the leaves started changing colors. It was when rainy evenings were cozy because you could curl up in a comfy chair while sipping tea or cider.
Fall is kicking leaves off of the sidewalk and seeing your breath when you breathe out.
Fall is being cold enough to want a scarf but warm enough to still be outside without shivering.
Fall is arm warmers, boots and knit hats.
Fall is plaid, Thanksgiving and pumpkins.
Fall is also easily overlooked.
I’ve recently realized that, in the flurry of celebrating the holidays, I’ve lost track of what it means to actually be in the season. See, I’m the sort of person who likes to plan ahead and be prepared for upcoming holidays. I already have plans for all the presents I’m buying my family, it’s marked in my calendar when I need to mail them out, I have a day marked for putting up my Christmas tree, the menu for Thanksgiving is pretty much planned out and I already know I’m working on Christmas Eve. It’s the way I am and I won’t apologize for it because it makes getting through the holidays easier. But in the flurry of all this activity, I’ve forgotten to take a step back and just enjoy what is around me right now.
So – in between these planned out moments, I’d like to take deliberate action in order to fully appreciate the season and everything I love about it. I’ve come up with a list of things that remind me of Autumn and I’m going to attempt to do one of them each week. If you’d like to follow along with me you are more than welcome to copy my list which I’ll post below. I’d also like to hear what little things you do to celebrate Autumn!
I’m not talking about Winter or Christmas. That’s a whole different beast. I want to enjoy this season for what it is – crisp, cozy and colorful.
So here it is! My Autumn Celebration List!!
- Go for a walk in the woods when the leaves are falling. Wear a cozy sweater and rubber boots. Bonus for drinking cider or a pumpkin spice latte while you do this. Take the time to appreciate the smells, colors and climate of the season. Find a place to sit and just enjoy the moment without worrying about anything else.
- On a rainy evening, light some candles (more is better!), find a cozy chair and blanket and write a letter to someone. Bonus points if you have Jazz or Classical music playing in the background. Stamp and mail your letter the next day.
- On a crisp fall afternoon bake an apple pie for desert. Bonus if you make one for your neighbors as well. (No need to make pie dough if you can’t, just use store-bought pie dough but definitely attempt to make your own filling. It’s not hard!)
- Organize a bonfire with your friends! Request that participants bring homemade dishes. Make s’mores and drink ale. Bonus points if someone brings an instrument.
- Go for a drive in the countryside or mountains on an old, windy road. Admire the colors and talk to your significant other or whoever you bring with you. Find a little out of the way place to enjoy a hot meal or bring a picnic and find a beautiful stopping point. Only plan where you will go driving. Let everything else happen organically. Bonus point if you find another out of the way place to explore.
- Find a peaceful afternoon to read a guilty pleasure book. Cuddle up in a chair, make some cider and light some candles. Bonus points if there’s a thunderstorm and you have an open window.
- Take the time to sit down and write out the things you are thankful for. Do this in little bursts every day or once or twice a week. Be in-depth bout this and meditate on the blessings you have in your life.
- While cleaning the house listen to 40’s or 50’s music. Use spiced scents in your air fresheners/candles. Use this time to get rid of any clutter in your home. Light candles in the evening and keep the lights dimmed for mood.
- Try to make amends with someone you’ve been angry with or reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Ask them how they’ve been. Keep in mind that the holidays can be a difficult time for some people.
- Make homemade caramel sauce and store it in jars for use on caramel apples and on top of apple pie. Make cinnamon cookies and take them to a friend.
- Plan a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t go overboard but whatever you decide to do, do it the best you can. Make the table nice, buy quality ingredients and get good beverages. Light candles and play music. Really make the day special. Dress up for the meal. Plan it out in advance so that you can enjoy the anticipation.
Some other things I’m going to make sure of this season are to keep my mental health in mind throughout the upcoming holidays. These are meant to be nice times and I hope to use them for reflection and recovery. I’m going to enjoy the season, not just survive.
I’m also going to be mindful as I do things. I’m not going to just go out and do things because ‘it’s the time to do them’. I’m going to find my center, maintain my calmness and keep my brain turned on.
Lastly, I’m going to try to avoid any Christmas prep as much as possible until Thanksgiving has passed. There are some Christmas presents I’m working on already but since I’m doing mostly homemade gifts, that’s a necessity. Other than that, I’m going to do Fall things during Fall, and Winter things after Thanksgiving.
I’m super looking forward to the season! If you have any tidbits you’d like to leave behind, please feel free to comment! I want to know your feelings on the subject of Fall and Winter and what you plan on doing this year to make the season special!