I am typing this on September 22nd, 2016–the day of the Fall Equinox. This is the day when the dog days of summer officially transition into the crisp, colorful season of fall. Here where I live in northern Colorado, we are already experiencing cooler temps and the leaves have begun to change. I will always be a sun worshiping, summer lover, but even so, I have to confess that there is something special about this time of year that makes me look forward to it every time it rolls around.
I think one of the things that I love most about Fall is the coziness that it brings. Whereas summer is a time for frolicking outdoors and spending the long days adventuring in the sun, sand and surf; Fall is a time to bring it all home. The days are shorter and the evenings have a nip in the air. We spend more time at home with the people we love and settle in as we prepare for winter. We watch football, make soup in the crock-pot, swap out our tank tops for sweatshirts and exchange (at least in my case) our ball gloves for knitting needles.
Regardless of how you like to spend your fall days, here are seven suggestions on ways to usher in the season and celebrate all that it has to offer…
Seven Fab-YOU-lous Ways to Welcome Fall
1.) Treat yourself to a new scarf, sweater or lipstick in a gorgeous Fall color. One of the very best things about Fall is the incredible explosion of color that takes place as the trees prepare to shed their leaves. Celebrate this beauty by incorporating it into your wardrobe with a special, seasonal signature piece. Whatever you choose, make sure that you LOVE it. Make sure it’s soft and sumptuous as well as beautiful. Make sure that it is something that will lift your spirits and remind you of the richness of the season every time you put it on.
2.) Become a student again. For children, the end of summer always signifies a return to school and to routine. Incorporate this tradition into your own life by signing up for a class on a subject that has always interested you. Maybe you want to learn to cook seasonal soups for your family or how to study genealogy. Most communities offer a variety of low cost classes for adults–it just takes a little research to find them. Personally, I love taking knitting technique classes at our local yarn shop and leadership classes offered through our chamber of commerce. I’ve even taken a woodworking class at our Home Depot (I’m certainly not a master carpenter but I did go home with a cute bird house). If you’re not sure where to inquire about classes, start with your local extension office or rec commission–they often have a list of classes available for adults in the community. Then, once you’ve taken your class and have learned something new, be sure to share your new skill/knowledge with someone else who will appreciate it.
3.) Cozy up your environment. As the days get cooler and the nights get longer, we tend to start spending more and more time at home. Make sure your home is a warm and welcoming refuge for your family. Bring out the warm, snuggly afghans, light the autumn scented candles and hang a pretty Fall themed wreath on the front door. Most of all–make sure that your home is filled with love and laughter.
4.) Stock up. This is the time of year when the squirrels start to stash away their acorns for the coming winter. We don’t need to go to that extreme (unlike the squirrels, most of us have easy access to at least one grocery store) but it is a good time to take stock of what needs to be tended to before winter sets in. Does your chimney need to be cleaned? Do you have fresh batteries in your smoke detectors? Is your pantry filled with healthy staples to make some delicious Fall recipes? Do you need to swap out your summer wardrobe for sweaters and long pants? A little preparation now can save a lot of headache down the road.
5.) Bask in the beauty. Each season brings its own special beauty, but it is hard to rival the fleeting splendor that is Fall. The explosion of color that occurs right before the trees turn loose of their leaves, never ceases to amaze me. The rich red, orange and gold foliage seems to set the mountainsides on fire before the snow sets in and blankets everything in white. Wherever you live, do whatever you can to get out into nature and submerse yourself in the beauty of the season. Go for a drive to look at the leaves, take a walk through a local park or plan a day-hike with friends. It won’t be long before those leaves are gone, so do what you can to enjoy them while you still can.
6.) Savor the flavor. If you frequent Starbucks on a regular basis, you know that there are certain flavors that signify the change of seasons (Pumpkin Spice latte anyone?) Indulge your taste buds and celebrate the season by enjoying the special flavors that are particular to this time of year. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, spiced apple, cranberry…so many delicious ways to usher in Fall. If you’re worried about all of the extra calories (ummm…isn’t that why we start wearing sweaters–to cover up our extra padding??), you can compromise by enjoying the aromas associated with these flavors with scented candles. But seriously–let yourself enjoy the flavors, they only come around once a year.
7.) Prepare to celebrate. Fall acts as the gateway to the holiday season. We get to enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving before ushering in the winter holidays of Christmas and New Years. Make the most of these celebrations by decorating your front porch with Jack-o-Lanterns, taking hay rack rides through pumpkin patches, bobbing for apples, picking out the perfect turkey and perfecting your green-bean casserole recipe. Most of all though, celebrate the season by loving your family, giving thanks for your blessings and lending a hand to those who are less fortunate.
Here in Colorado, Fall tends to be a rather short season because we have long winters. This makes this time of year even more special. Regardless of what Fall looks and feels like in your region, take the time to honor, welcome and celebrate its FabYOUlousness with your loved ones over the coming weeks–you’ll be glad that you did.