Fall crafts lead to yearly traditions 

I am not a very crafty person – nor have I ever really wanted to be. I don’t have the visual eye for it, for one thing, and I don’t ever think that my craft, whatever it is, is as pretty as one I could buy at the store. But something about fall brings out a little crafty creativity in my spirit, as well as nostalgia. 

My mom and I used to bring out a spicy fall fragrance to the house by putting cloves in oranges. Sometimes we’d fill up the whole orange with cloves, but often we would just make various designs on our oranges. It was a peaceful, relaxing time filled with the aroma of fresh oranges meeting with the spice of the cloves. The girls and I do this now most falls, and they love it as much as I did as a kid. They spell out their names, make heart and circle designs, and – what’s fun to watch – is when they decide to change up the design and pull out the cloves to make new ones. 

This fall, too, we started doing Movie Theme Mondays. Mondays are the worst, as Garfield always knew, so I thought we needed some happiness on our Mondays. So each Monday this fall we’ve had a surprise movie with a corresponding dinner. Sometimes it’s on target, other times it’s a miss, but it’s always fun. Some of the movies we’ve watched have included Beauty and the Beast with beef bourguignon (the kids were not impressed and, Frozen with Swedish meatballs and chocolate (of course), and I’m looking forward to introducing them to Star Wars and drinking blue milk.  

Another fun fall craft is making birdseed ornaments. They’re a bit labor intensive (spoken from a non-crafty person, please remember), but the girls love hanging them in trees and watching them little by little disappear. We’ve made the traditional birdseed ornaments with birdseed, flour, gelatin, and corn syrup, but we’ve also put peanut butter on pine cones and added bird seed to that as well. 

Lastly, one of our traditions are thankful leaves. I cut out copies of leave prints (the easy, rounded leaves that are easy to cut, of course). The point of this is for each member of the family to say something they’re thankful for every day in November. If we do the leaves, we tape them to the kitchen window each day. It’s always fun to see what the kids – and the adults! — in our family say. Our kids each year will first mention they’re thankful for each other and then often for their teachers, but when they have to come up with new ideas is when things get interesting. Sometimes it’s as simple as being thankful for having their favorite meal at dinner, but often it’s for something beautiful they noticed in the world and were thankful for. 

So yes – definitely not crafty – but very happy about the little fall traditions we’ve started. 

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