I love Fall. It is without a doubt my favorite time of year. It is a hunkering down, cozying up, and sipping hot tea time of year. A time when my favorite boots, sweaters, and coats can once again emerge from their hiding places. Trees dress their best and bless us with a beautiful dance of falling leaves. The wind picks up and twirls leaves and branches in a beautiful ballet. I love the crisp air, the pumpkin patches, the spicy flavors, hay rides, and voracious squirrels preparing for winter. I just LOVE Fall!
Growing up, my family wasn’t really into celebrating Halloween, though we did do some candy gathering and dressing up for Grandma, the school parade, and a few neighbors. Where I grew up, it usually rained on October 31st, which put quite a damper (literally) on our desire to go out. So in celebration of Fall, we had a family ‘Harvest Party.’ Our little Harvest Parties are still some of my favorite memories of my childhood. Mom would make hot apple cider, homemade doughnuts and carmel corn. Dad would cut the tops off our pumpkins and help us design faces on the fleshy orange exterior with a Sharpie marker. We would watch silly old slide shows, on an actual slide projector and vintage pop up screen, of trips my parents had taken when their hair and socks were long, their shorts too short, and they were child free (you know…the kind of photos kids laugh at of their parents in the ‘old days’). Then after we’d eaten and laughed ’til our bellies hurt, we’d all sit in the living room and light up our pumpkins and turn out the lights. Enchanted by the dancing flames and warm glow, we would just sit in silence, completely content in the moment. Then my mom would say, with a chipper voice, “Lets sing!” and break out in a hymn. My dad would slowly join her and my brother and I would look at each other, moan, roll our eyes, giggle, and then sheepishly chime in. The song, the glow, the family, the love…those are the things from which the best memories are made.
Since living away from my family for the last five years, I’ve really missed those sweet Autumn memories. My friend Danielle shares my love of the season and asked me if I would help her decorate for a pumpkin carving party she was having. I gladly jumped at the opportunity and perhaps even went a little overboard. I created a rustic Fall look with a collection of wooden crates, burlap, leaf garlands, nuts and other natural elements, as well as bringing over one of my favorite vintage steamer trunks. I make hand stamped muslin favor bags, filled with mulling spices. We had spiced pecans, hot apple cider, homemade pumpkin doughnuts, s’mores, and more. Then we topped off the night with some pumpkin carving. It was truly a magnificent evening.
Enjoy celebrating this season! I hope your Fall is full of the coziest nights, most beautiful colors, and yummiest treats!
Have a lovely day!
Photos by Danielle Gillett