It’s no secret that I really, really, love the fall. I love the cooler weather. I love the holidays. I love the beautiful scenery. I love the changes. There’s just something about the fall that is magic. I don’t know, maybe it’s from the joy and excitement of finally not having to walk out into a thick wall of humidity and perspiration. Or maybe it’s the anticipation of what’s to come.
I think this year, fall is even more special for many of us. The spring and summer of 2020 has been particularly hard on us. We’ve had to stay home constantly, wear masks constantly, and stay six feet away constantly. We’ve had to do all of these things constantly during a time that is supposed to be a respite from work and school. We’ve done this at a time when people are supposed to go on vacations to visit far away places and people.
But now the summer is behind us. Now the weather is getting cooler. Now we are getting that much closer to the end of 2020. Even though the pandemic is still here, there are still so many awesome things that we can do in the fall while still keeping safe, wearing masks, and social distancing.
1–Watch Halloween Movies
When I envision the fall, or October to be exact, I imagine curling up on the couch with a giant heavenly bowl of popcorn while streaming Halloween movies on Disney+ or Netflix.
In fact, if I had it my way, I would watch Hocus Pocus every night in October. Hocus Pocus is such a classic, a timeless movie of sibling bonds and humor with a dash of the creep factor thrown in. But of course, I don’t have it my way, so usually my TV has the movie Frozen on repeat no matter the month or season.
2–Bake Spook-tacular Cookies and Cakes
Baking is something that I wish I did more of. Between work and changing diapers, it’s hard to find the time to cook let alone bake something fun. This year, I want to be more intentional with my time. Now that my daughter is four and a half and old enough to help without making such a huge mess, it is as good a time as any to start.
Of course, we could “cheat” and buy the frozen cookies at Walmart. You know, the sugar cookies that already has the pumpkin or other fall designs on them. All you do is just slice and then pop those bad boys into the oven. I’ve done that before and sometimes you gotta do what’s easy and fast.
But sometimes what’s easy and fast is not the best way. So, this year, I want to bake a cake and decorate it with black and orange frosting. I want to bake some cookies from scratch and then put some black and orange frosting on them. It doesn’t matter if they turn out to be the ugliest things in the universe. As long as they taste good and we have fun making them, that is all that matters.
3–Stay Up Late On Weekends
Ever since I was young, I loved being able to stay up late on the weekends. There’s just something fun and magical about staying up late, sitting outside, and watching the stars and feeling enveloped by the cool, crisp air. Of course, I can’t forget the mosquito repellant to stop me being eaten up by those pesky bugs.
4–Take Long Walks
This is something that I started to do very recently. I would buckle the baby into his stroller tricycle and push him up and down the sidewalk, while the four year old races ahead of us on her scooter.
I have been loving taking walks while it’s so cool in the evening. For one, it gets the four year old off of the TV. For another, we can all benefit from the exercise and breathing in the fresh air of the fall. It’s such a great bonding activity that all families should incorporate into their daily routines.
5–Make a Jack-o’-Lantern
This is something that I have always wanted to do ever since I was a small child. I would walk by other people’s houses and see the beautifully lit-up jack-o’-lanterns on the porches. They looked so beautiful to me. Some looked downright scary, but still mystical and fun.
In fact, I tried this very thing last October, but it was a fail. It was hard to cut through the tough pumpkin skin. And then, once I managed to cut through the outer shell of the pumpkin, it was hard to scrape the insides away. The result? It was a mess. I had pumpkin guts all over the kitchen floor, my fingers, and even my hair. I never knew how messy pumpkin could be.
But despite the failure from last year, I will try again this year. Anyone have any tips on how to carve the perfect pumpkin?
6–Declutter & Donate
Spring is often the time to do some spring cleaning. But who says that you can’t do the same in the fall? In the fall, you have to break out the thick winter coats and sweaters and put away the shorts and shirts from the summer. So, while you’re doing that, why not go through and weed out the clothes that just don’t fit the same or are out of style?
Decluttering is something that I need to do with my clothes. I have so many clothes, and yet, I don’t even wear most of them. I probably wear only five percent of everything that I own. I keep telling myself that I need to go through and declutter my closet one day.
But I don’t, because I also tell myself that one day I need to keep those clothes just in case I need them. I think this is a huge thing that many people striving to be more minimalistic face: the idea that something will be needed in the future. Well, the future is not guaranteed for any of us so we should just focus on the present instead.
Almost every year in the past, I’ve done Nanowrimo. In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of it, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, writers all around the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days.
Nanowrimo is a time of writers bonding, stories crafting, and late night writing sessions at your local Starbucks or café. It is a most magical time in which ideas are transformed into long, rambling, and sometimes nonsensical books.
Many published books have their roots as rough drafts written furiously fast during the dead of night in November. Many books are still in the rough draft phase. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Nanowrimo gets the writer to actually write something. Books don’t come directly from ideas. They come from many different drafts, long nights of revisions, and buckets of caffeine.
8–Have a Candy Scavenger Hunt
This year, the CDC recommends not to go trick-or-treating. So, how do you still manage to have fun, wear fun costumes, and collect candy?
I plan on buying a giant bag of candy and then hiding it around the house. The four year old will then dress up in one of her favorite costumes and look for the candy. It will be a mix between Halloween and the Easter egg scavenger hunt. It will be trick-or-treating at home, in our safe place.
9–Act Out a Family Skit
I’ve never actually done this, but it’s always sounded like so much fun. Imagine a family dressed up in costume and then putting on a play in the living room. It would be such a great activity especially for kids to exercise their creativity and imagination and get them off their screens.
This is not a political post by any means, but I thought I’d mention it, because it is election year, after all. If you are registered to vote, then go vote. Go to a polling location the day of. Or go request a mail-in ballot. And if you aren’t registered to vote, then go here to register. Make your voice heard this fall and go vote.
11–Jump in a Big Pile of Leaves
I saved the best for last. As a kid, I loved to pile all the leaves into the biggest pile I could muster. And then, I would get a running start and jump into the leaves. Jumping into a huge pile of leaves is the very essence of childhood. It is the celebration of the end of summer. It is the start of something amazing. It is what happens when nature and life collide in the best way possible.
These are the things that I am most looking forward to doing. What are you most looking forward to in the fall of 2020?
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