With a baby and a pandemic this is not the year for involved fall celebrations. Although fall doesn't really ask that of us, does it? The hints of cooler air and darker evenings invite us to slow down and look for the cozy. Elaborate crafts and color coordinated family pictures at the pumpkin patch (with the inevitable grumpy child) are decidedly not required. I think fall is a time to reconnect to the meaning of home, perhaps something we've been reflecting on a lot this year, and to find simple ways to lift our spirits as we honor a season of change.
On Kendra's recent podcast episode about creating a cozy space she mentioned Myquillyn Smith's advice about creating a fall atmosphere at home led by your senses. The gist is that for the holiday seasons, of which I would include Fall with a capital F, we often focus first on decorating and the stuff that we think makes a season special. But Myquillyn gently points out that instead don't we remember the tastes, smells, and feels of a season? Yes, meaningful things that we bring out once a year matter but they probably aren't the most important things. Bringing the seasons to our senses is often easier, cheaper, and more meaningful than any knick-knack we'll find at Target. As an under-buyer and someone who is often not confident in my decorating ability I love this advice so much. Myquillyn's reflection was exactly what I wanted to hear right now as I contemplate how we will celebrate fall this year.
I love the idea of making a list of ways to celebrate a season. And this year more than ever I am eager to celebrate the change of season. A list is fun and helps me to make time for a favorite recipe, movie, book, or family fun that otherwise wouldn't happen amidst our full days. At the same time, as much as I love fall I can get overwhelmed with the beautifully illustrated fall bucket lists that float through the internet this time of year. Even though if you read the lists any one of the items is often simple, it's the full page of to-do items that can give me more stress than fall spirit. And so this year I am both taking the time to make name the fall things I want to do but also keeping my red pen close by and editing my list in favor of the simple and do-able.
This fall I would love to:
+ Watch fall movies with Chris. On the list: Dan In Real Life, You've Got Mail, Cider House Rules, and Rushmore. We've already watched Dan In Real Life and You've Got Mail, each of which we watched over two days (parenthood). I love adding a fall touch to our movie watching by lighting a fall candle, painting my nails a fall color (Bordeaux is the perfect deep red), or eating pumpkin spice cookies (from Trader Joe's).
+ Read fall library books with the boys. I picked up our first batch last week and ordered this favorite for us to own. I'll try to put together a blog post with our favorite fall books.
+ Make pumpkin bread. Smitten Kitchen has the definitive recipe in my opinion. That cinnamon sugar topping!
+ Read a cozy mystery. I find myself called back to Three Pines every fall/winter and just requested the twelfth book in the series. There's a long wait, bummer! I should put a note in my calendar to request a Louise Penny book at the beginning of August. Erica also recently suggested The Sweetness at the Bottom of The Pie so I requested that too.
+ Drink coffee and eat pumpkin caramel kringle. Did you know that one of my favorite things in life is eating a pastry or leftover cake or pie with my morning coffee? Well, now you know. Trader Joe's carries seasonal flavors of the Danish kringle pastry from O&H Bakery which is based in Erica's hometown of Racine which I find just delightful. In the fall they have pumpkin caramel kringle and it is the perfect sweet bite to accompany coffee on a chilly morning.
+ Burn fall candles. This almost goes without saying but for a list of easy celebrations it deserves a spot. I try to only burn soy wax candles and love the ones from Trader Joe's (Honeycrisp Apple and Vanilla Pumpkin in the fall) and the soy candles from Target although when I went to order some they were out of many at my locations.
+ Celebrate Falliday! The fall holiday I made up a decade ago. Falliday is a laid-back fall holiday that you an celebrate whenever and however you choose. I love to give cozy gifts to my family like slippers or pajamas and make a fall-inspired meal. This year I'm planning to get the boys sweatshirts and probably some long pajamas as well. I'm gifting myself the Falliday gift of flannel sheets which I've wanted for years.
I'd love to know how you'll celebrate fall this year. If you need easy ideas to add to your fall celebration list I would suggest this fall felt wreath craft (mine is pictured on the shelves above) and listening to past episodes of Fall Extravaganza on The Girl Next Door Podcast. Plus we'll have a new Fall Extravaganza out on Wednesday and it might be one of my favorites.