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Simple Fall Rituals/Transitions

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Not 100% sure this is the right forum, but I'm looking for ideas on ways to celebrate and transition to autumn. I'm not looking for anything especially religious and/or pagan, so maybe "ritual" isn't the right word--just things that I might try to mark the rhythm of the seasons. Does this question make any sense? I'm thinking, for instance, of certain very seasonal dishes to cook, of putting new (as in "have been stored," not as in "newly purchased") blankets/table linens out. . . candles, maybe. . . Any other ideas? Things that I could involve DS (2 years old) in would be extra special.
post #2 of 62
We start burning candles and I buy at the local farm stand those little decorative gourds to put in bowls around the house. mixed with pine cones (which could be collected at the park or someone's yard as a joint toddler activity) they make a very festive centerpiece. The gourds will start to rot after a couple weeks so make sure you don't put them on raw wood or fabric as it will stain.

We also put mums out on the porch. This my husband's favorite and something we started doing long before our son was born.

When I was a child, we would hunt for fall leaves and my mom would press them with a warm iron between two sheets of waxed paper then tape them to the window. I think I remember this because she was so not the type to do anything crafty (she was pretty high strung and didn't waste time doing trivial (from her point of view) things
post #3 of 62
I try to keep apple cider in the house during autumn, and we usually buy a bushel of apples to eat - so lots of hot applesauce, apple crisps, apple pies. Yum!
post #4 of 62
Mmm, we love fall and celebrate from now til after Thanksgiving!

Lots of good ideas have been mentioned already. We like burning yummy candles and baking pumpkin and apple dishes. Decorating in and out with gourds, pumpkins, corn stalks, even fall colored pillows, table cloths, etc. Long walks outside collecting treasures, like the pretty leaves to press. Raking leaves, jumping in piles, driving somewhere cool to watch the harvest moon come up. Picking pumpkins and apples with friends, making cider and donuts. Making caramel apples. Reading fall kids books, taking long drives with the windows down. Hometown football games and homecoming parades. Farmer's markets, pumpkin carving contests...

There's just so much to love about fall!
post #5 of 62
I used to love to switch to flannel sheets on the beds when we lived somewhere colder.

I love to drink hot cocoa and will do it as soon as the weather starts getting below 90 in the morning, so ds and I have been enjoying it for a bit now.
post #6 of 62
Thread Starter 
These are all lovely ideas, and they're very much getting me in an autumnal mood (not too prematurely, I hope, since it may be a while till the weather gets truly fall-like. I think the transition to flannel sheets may have to be a winter thing for us). I love the idea of the gourd and pinecone centerpiece; I think DS will have a ball making that with me. I'm going to try and locate a really good apple source around here as well; the idea of having a whole bushel to work from is great.

Thanks so much! Fall is my favorite season, too (except I'm not so crazy about the football--which makes me something of a criminal in these parts!).
post #7 of 62
I look forward to hearing more.

I like the idea of ritualizing the change of seasons as well.
post #8 of 62
I don't know if this is a ritual, really, but it helps me mark the season...

Somehow I feel compelled to do a thorough decluttering and housecleaning in the early Fall (and again in Spring). It's sort of instinctive. Banish the clutter now, so our home will be unstressful and lovely to be in during the winter.

I go through all the kids' clothes, decide what to keep/get rid of, decide what to store and how to store it. I tidy all the storage areas - shed, garage, etc. I get the yard cleaned up for Winter so it won't be so icky in the Spring.

Fall pretty much hits around Labor Day here. We start eating cold-weather foods like soups and stews, and drinking hot tea. I bring out the slippers and bathrobes and coats.

I put candles around the house and start lighting them in the evening when it is dark (up on the mantel or other high places when there are littles in the house).

September we enjoy the end of summer and beginning of harvest-time; October is about harvest and Halloween; November is about the coming of winter and our Thanksgiving family celebrations; December brings the transition to winter.

I like the idea of using fall-color-themed napkins/tablecloths, etc, but keep in mind that if you have this tradition you have to store these things.

My kids make decorations and I steer them toward seasonal colors. LOL.

We live in a farming area so there is a lot of harvest-type stuff going on here.

Coming back to add that one of my favorite fall rituals is a hike in the leafy woods. Follow it up with a snack of apples and peanut butter, maybe some cider, and it IS fall.
post #9 of 62
I light candles in the afternoon when I get home from work.

Flannel sheets went on the bed this weekend, and my sleeping hat and fuzzy blanket that I wrap around my head and neck while I read in bed (my head is right at a window) came out of storage.
post #10 of 62
I love apple picking, we generally go a couple times in September. We will also buy bulk second quality apples and make applesauce. Last year we were way too ambitious and made a ton, but were exhausted, I'd like to keep it an every year tradition and just make less.
post #11 of 62
I love Fall!!!!! I light candles in the evening. Buy apple cider, place fall mums in the front of the house. We make a scarecrow. Pot roast in the croc pot.
post #12 of 62
collecting pine cones and chestnuts, bringing in plants before the first freeze...i have some fall decorations and wreaths i get out
post #13 of 62
Reading this thread has made me really happy, and now I have a nice warm, fluttery feeling inside.
I love the changing of the seasons and fall is my favorite!

Things that stick out to me as "fall" from when I was a kid are:
-Hay-bale rides from the neighbors
-Exploring outside, I loved pulling out the fluffy part of the milk weed and watching it fly away. I also loved squishing pokeweed berries, or making a "witch's potion" out of them
-Picking out a pumpkin for Halloween, carving it with my dad, and then playing pumpkin baseball after Halloween was over and it had rotted a bit

I am so excited to start new traditions with my daughter, I hope we can do things that are as special to her as my childhood memories are to me.

Thanks for all the other great ideas!
post #14 of 62
Fall is usually a big decluttering time for me. I go through clothes, try to organize the garage(doesn't always happen), donate what remains of the garage sale items or freecycle them. Do a clean sweep throught the whole house to make sure I got everything. I also clean up the yard and do a thorough deep clean of my house.

I also take out the warm blankets. Light candles. Make soy hot cocoa. Bake tons of cookies and cakes. Crock pot meals. Tofurkey and mashed potatoes...mmm yummy! Snuggling in our warm blankets and reading stories.

We are trying a new tradition this year.Camping...we usually go in the summer time but this year we decided to wait until fall (and I had to get a new tent). We plan on going sometime in the middle of October.
post #15 of 62
I love fall too! Fall is such a special time, we harvest the garden, go apple picking, pumpkin patch and decorate our home with pumpkins and gourds. I make pumpkin pie, apple tarts and veggie stews with carrots and potatoes. Just tonight I made carrot cake. Yum! Also as it gets colder we gather wood for the fireplace and sit by the fire sipping port wine with blue cheese.

Fall also marks my most crafty time of year as I'm gearing up for holiday gifts. We start making vinegar and soap batches for gifts. This year I'm also working on some ceramics.

Ahhhh... I love fall.
post #16 of 62
I just switched the foyer table runner from the green spring/summer one to the red harvest colors fall/winter one. I'll be changing the candles over form floral to cranberry type and I'll be getting the annual cinnamon broom. Child has window clings for holidays so those go on the front door as holidays arrive.

I also change the handsoap in the bathrooms to a more "fall" scent.

I've just gotten into square foot gardening, so there's the garden's seasonal patterns as well.

Then there's food -- more soups/stew type than salad/cold dish type.

post #17 of 62
So nice!
post #18 of 62
Just yesterday, we bought a thing of three ears of corn (you know the kind you see in the fall where it is pretty colors and already dried out?). I made a pretty bow with some burnt orange ribbon that I had in my giftwrapping bin. I grabbed a suction cup and hung it on our glass door. It looks so nice, and the corn was only $3.
post #19 of 62
happy fall y'all!

today is the autumnal equinox. we're going to a wedding this afternoon so that will be most of our celebration , but thanks for all the other good ideas.
post #20 of 62
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
I don't know if this is a ritual, really, but it helps me mark the season...

Fall pretty much hits around Labor Day here. We start eating cold-weather foods like soups and stews, and drinking hot tea. I bring out the slippers and bathrobes and coats.
That's it. I'm moving to Vermont. I live in Texas; what is this "fall" we speak of?
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