It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That phrase may usher in the sound of jingling bells in your mind. I submit to you, the most wonderful time of the year is the fall. The crispness in the air, the colors bursting from tree trunks, the crunch of leaves beneath your feet. Ah! Give me a thermos of chai tea, a good book, and lock me out of the house!
The changing of the season is especially welcome in the deep south where I make my home. After the heaviness of high temperature and even higher humidity, autumn weather makes most everyone giddy. The dog pounces around, eager to play. Barrett, my toddler, stands by the door yelling, “a-SIDE! a-SIDE! a-SIDE!” Even my inside-preferring child ventures out to enjoy the change.
There are so many things to enjoy in the fall. Today’s #FridayFive is Five Fall Traditions. This will not be a Pinterest-worthy brag session for me. We do things simple around here. But, in the fall, we do our simple things together. The slow-down in nature encourages this, I think.
Five Fall Traditions
We are a cliche’ when it comes to our state and football. We dress in our Bama gear every Saturday morning. Expect cheese dip, a veggie tray, and wings to make an appearance, even if it’s just us. We often gather with friends to celebrate. Every few years we make it to a game in Tuscaloosa and the love for Bama washes over us like a tide (as in, “Roooooolllll Tide, Roll!).
Our sweet little city hosts a Fall Carnival every year. The rides are just right for my big girls. There are corn dogs and funnel cakes for Daddy, plenty of picture-taking opportunities for me. My favorite carnival moment in the last few years was when big sister took her little sister by the hand to help conquer her fear of “the best ride.” Claire was careful to watch over her sister as the ride ramped up to its climax, enjoying the smile on Sarah Kate’s face. Something about the wildness of the carnival fosters intimacy within a family.
Here is where I absolutely fall off the Pinterest board! I enjoy pinning beautiful fall decorations. However, when it comes to carrying it out, we generally buy a few mums and pumpkins from Aldi and put them on the porch. It is simple, but my kids still get a thrill from picking their own pumpkin. Some years we even make it to the pumpkin patch. I am pleased their world is still small enough that little things like Aldi pumpkins bring joy. I think the little things would bring me a bit more joy if I would get out of the Pinterest comparison trap.
We are not, what you might call, an adventurous family. I love the idea of hiking a great trail with my family like my friend, Terri. We stick to short, easy-to-manage trails that are nearby. It is, truly, one of my favorite things to do in autumn. The deliberate climb and descent on a rocky, leaf-covered trail demands a slower pace. The steady crunch under our feet becomes the background music for connection. My girls love to stop and wonder at bugs and rocks. The addition of a man-child to our pack will be interesting in the coming years. What do you want to bet I will say, “Barrett, get down from there!” more than once?
This is a tradition in most families. But, not one to take for granted. We live close enough to family to be able to share a meal on Thanksgiving Day. Even our Thanksgiving meal has become our own tradition. While cornbread dressing is the norm around Southern tables, my Grandma makes stuffing with spinach and chestnuts. My husband had quite a time adjusting! Each family member has their own “specialty.” We don’t even have to plan much, just bring our regular dishes. There is comfort in closeness built through decades of being together.
#FridayFive Link Up!
Now it’s your turn! I want to hear about a family fall tradition you enjoy. Share in the comments below or, better yet, write about it and link up using the button below. The Smiths might find something new to add to our list of Fall Traditions!
Be sure to come back next week for Five Favorite Quotes!