Yesterday we had a pumpkin party with my son, and his second cousins. It was planned spontaneously, so really pretty much unplanned, but still lots of fun. We carved pumpkins, danced the Monster Mash and pretended to be Ghostbusters. We ate pizza and played outside until it was time to "fire" the pumpkins.
Kids add so much to the seasons. Which really makes me concentrate on the goodness of a particular season instead of the drawbacks of that time of year. Instead of dreading the lead in to winter that fall is, I'm out in the pumpkin patch. Or searching out scarecrow festivals. Or adding apples to every dish I make.
This fosters an attitude of gratitude for the fun and excitement the seasons can bring. I'm someone who gets the winter blues very easily, I can actually feel the loss of light that comes this season. I used to be able to pinpoint within a few weeks the time each fall my mood would darken and I'd begin to feel less social. I'd spend all winter barely talking to anyone and avoiding social situations.
Fortunately, I have a son now, and it's hard to cocoon if you have a kid. You want to give them all the wonderful things each season brings. Which means searching out that wonderfulness. So this weekend we did the pumpkin party. Today, I've got a Frankenstein costume to sew.
Soon, we'll be watching the first snow of the season flutter from the sky. But instead of watching it and anticipating icy roads, freezing cold, and layers and layers of clothes. I'll be looking at it with the sense of wonder my son feels. I'll see it as snowmen, hot cocoa, Christmas, and all the other wonderfulness that accompanies the season. To help you along, here are my tips for enjoying the seasons- anyone can do these things (no kids needed):
Tips for Making the Most of Each Season
1. Think about the colors of the season and start to pull them into your home. Add a throw or a pillow or some art that will change the color tones in your home.
2. Bring as much of the actual nature of the season inside as possible. Collect leaves and press them, create a mini art quilt, or add any decorations that might accompany the season. I love to bring in branches, honeysuckle, and apples and scatter them around my home. Hang them from the chandelier, drape them over paintings, and string them over windows.
3. Make a list of all the fun things you can do that are unique to this season. Then incorporate as many of them into your life as possible. It doesn't take long to visit an apple orchard, or pick up pumpkins from the farmer's market.
4. Think of the smells and tastes of the season and incorporate them into your home or life however you can. Stop and indulge in a pumpkin spice latte on your way to work, make pumpkin bread or squash soup this fall. For winter I love cranberries, turkey, the smell of gingerbread, and hot cocoa. Ooh- and my new fave for winter- coconut cake and my old favorite, sugar cookies with peppermint frosting.
5. Make a little scrapbook for each season- or around a holiday. I think it's fun to work with all the seasonal supplies that are out there and by creating a memory book for each season I think you'll have both an added incentive to do steps 1-4 as well as create something that you can pull out next year before the season begins to help you anticipate the season to come.
If you can think of anything else, or have something that totally makes a season for you, I'd love to have you share it with us in the comments. :)