Autumn, more often referred to as fall in North America, marks the transition from summer to winter. Temperatures grow cooler, and daylight grows shorter. This sensual transition brings the excitement of family and holiday traditions, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other December festivities arriving at a seemingly rapid-fire pace.
Symbolism of Fall
Fall is a time of literal and figurative contraction as we move from outdoors to indoors. We slow down, wrap things up, and reflect on the previous months of the year. We’re reminded of the abundance of our metaphorical harvest and the importance of generosity as we give candy to children dressed in costumes, invite friends and family to join us at the table for turkey dinner, and adopt families during the Yuletide.
Creating New Traditions
Although it can be tempting and convenient to buy a “Fall Y’all” sign at a retail store, curating a unique autumn experience isn’t as daunting as you may imagine. Moreover, when done as a family, it cultivates meaningful time spent together as families that can be passed on to future generations.
Harvesting Mother Nature
Bringing nature indoors is a terrific and free way to dress up your home and a reminder of harvesting the abundance of our environment. It also speaks to the beauty of the life cycle and honors the importance of decline in breaking down organic matter so that it may be used as nutrients for the life born in the upcoming spring.
Color and Shape
The bright golds, vivid oranges, and flaming reds of fall foliage most often come to mind when we think of fall. Collect leaves and spread their angled and pointed shapes on the fireplace mantle and dining room table. In addition to leaves, consider the rounder outlines and browns of acorns and chrysanthemums, as well as the muted hues of gourds.
Smell and Taste
For many, the smell of pumpkin pie spice—a combination of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg—instantly takes them back to a fond autumn memory. Try adding one or two of these spices to the dishes you typically cook. Branch out with a seasonal recipe with timely fruits and vegetables as the main ingredients. Acorn squash, anyone? Or spice up that go-to pumpkin bread recipe by adding chocolate chips or roasted pumpkin seeds on top. If you want to bring a bit of mindfulness to the dinner table, few foods make children and adults quietly savor a bite like the first taste of a home-baked apple pie each fall.
Temperature and Texture
With cooler mornings and evenings contrasting with warmer days, it’s time to open the doors and windows to air out the house. Get sweaters and throws out of storage and put them in convenient spots for instant coziness when a chill finds you or your loved ones. Of course, a fire is a lovely complement to a soft sweater or throw, so why not indulge? Autumn is also a great opportunity to socialize with your neighbors on your front porch with a cup of hot tea, such as chai, cinnamon, ginger, and more.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions inspired your imagination with your own ideas. Autumn brings us a golden opportunity to slow down and pause from our habitual thoughts and day-to-day activities to reflect on the plenty of good we have in our lives and savor them with our senses.
Do you have a favorite way of celebrating fall? If so, please share it below.