It’s warm in a lot of the places we live during this time of year, but we can still experience a changing season by decorating, baking, celebrating, and bringing in the sense of warmth that the fall brings. Adding in the warm colors, fragrances, and tastes of the season can be easy to do right where we are. Now that we have gathered our supplies from near and far, let’s get started.
I love the warm, earthy colors of the fall. I usually start with my dining table and then work my way around the room. Use a fall colored tablecloth or runner or a neutral solid tablecloth and add in the colors with centerpieces. I often decorate with fresh pumpkins or apples, setting them in big glass jars, baskets, or on top of cake stands. Pumpkins come in all different sizes and colors. Paint them, tie a ribbon on the stem, or carve them. I usually buy the orange ones and decorate with them on my table. They’ll last several weeks and then I cook them.
1. Add some fall colored flowers (fresh or silk) on your table in hues of yellow, orange, and reds. You can also use burlap, twine, and raffia to decorate with. Wrap glass jars in twine or make a banner using burlap or other materials. Layer glass jars with dried green peas, red beans, and popcorn kernels and add a candle to add some fall tones. Pinterest is our friend, isn’t it?!
2. A fall scented candle is wonderful to have and gives a welcoming feel, but if you don’t have a fancy candle just simmer some potpourri with fragrant spices.
3. Try this easy pumpkin craft with your kids.
4. I love coffee times with my friends. One year we had cooking classes with our homeschooling girls. We taught them to make some fall baked goods and enjoyed coffee and fellowship while the girls played. One fall we had a rotating Bible Study and it was fun to break out the fall snacks and goodies. Fall is Pumpkin Spice Latte time. We have to make our own here, but there are tons of recipes online to try. I’ve also tried creamer recipes that don’t use the puréed pumpkin. Instead, it’s a powdered mix that you can keep on hand. We love Chai Tea and Spiced Cider, too! And the smell…Yum!
5. A Thankfulness tree is a great project to do together as a family, the supplies are easy to find, and it makes a pretty decoration. Some other activities you can do are finger painted trees in fall colors or a thankfulness tree with thankfulness leaves.
6. Print out some fall printables and frame them or print on canvas. Hang a chalkboard with verses of thanksgiving.
7. Let’s talk pumpkin. Everything pumpkin! Pumpkin scones, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin smear (cream cheese and pumpkin spread), pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter, pumpkin roll, pumpkin truffles, pumpkin soup. If you’ve never pureed a pumpkin, it’s easy. You can cut it up, bake it, steam it, or boil it. I cut it into 1 or 2 inch chunks, cut the peel off, and boil until tender. I then mash it or put it in my blender. The next step is important. You have to strain the excess water out of your puréed pumpkin. I set it in a mesh wire strainer and let it sit over a bowl for a few hours. Then it is ready to use in your recipe just as you would canned pumpkin. I’m thankful for my friends who cook huge pumpkins and always have bags in their freezer to share 🙂
8. Don’t forget the apples! There’s apple butter, apple cake, apple pie, apple crisp, apple pancakes, apples with caramel dip, and much more. I have a friend who makes the best cinnamon apple jelly and gifts it to us every year! It’s tradition now, but I’m going to need her to mail me some this year.
9. I love baking cookies during the fall. My favorites are candy corn shaped cookies, colored leaf cookies, chocolate chip with Fall colored M&Ms, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin snicker doodles, sugar cookies with fall sprinkles, and pumpkin biscotti.
10. Making trail mix is one of my faves. I keep a large, glass jar of trail mix which usually includes things like roasted peanuts, popcorn, cheese balls, M&Ms, chocolate chips, raisins, Craisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pretzels, Cheezits, goldfish, candy corn, candy pumpkins, chocolate covered almonds or raisins, and Cheerios. The list can be endless! We like to munch on it and it’s fun to serve to guests. I’ve also made little bags of trail mix as gifts.
We often have a fall festival that includes all the fun foods, games and activities. It’s a great time of fellowship and fun to be together remembering some of the traditions of our home country. We’ve done appetizers, chili, fair food like corn dogs and funnel cakes, and even a roasted turkey with all the trimmings. Whoever is in town is invited and some have even made a 3-hour journey or a plane ride to join us! We set games in carnival style outside and have each family plan a game and be in charge of that game while the kids play. We’ve had apple bobbing, a fishing pond, ring toss, bean bag toss, frozen watermelon eating contest, face painting, candy guessing games, scavenger hunt, cake walk, musical chairs, and pumpkin bowling (this got very messy!). Kids could come dressed in costumes or not. Of course, the kids loved the bowls of candy and treats we set out for them at each station. We’ve carved pumpkins together asking each family to bring a pumpkin to carve. It’s fun to be creative (and competitive) together. You know what else sounds like fall? A football game on TV…even if it’s a recorded one.
“Fall” here in the tropics is a bonding time as we make special memories with family and friends. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these ideas and will share about how you like to celebrate the season and make your home festive. I give thanks to the Father for the family and dear friends He’s placed in my life! Happy Fall!