Many people claim fall is their favorite season. They love the fall colors, the crisp temperatures, the apple cider and pumpkin spice everything.
But fall is already zipping by. In fact, before we know it, the holidays will be upon us. We’ll be deep into decorating, gift buying, and holiday concerts. Too deep to savor the simple, cozy pleasures of autumn.
And that’s a problem.
Making the most of the season
What if, instead of ticking down the 68 shopping days until Christmas, we focused on the fact that there are 65 more days of fall. Would our priorities change? Would our happiness level change?
How can we make the most of these few precious weeks of autumn? By preparing ahead of time for the busy days that are coming, and by making sure the important stuff gets put on the top of the list.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Make a fall bucket list. Start by listing the things you most love about fall. Then think of ways to incorporate those things into your life. Do you love the beauty of fall leaves? Then get out and enjoy them! Take scenic drives or hike to a place that affords a grand view. Do you look forward to crisp temps and warm drinks? Invite friends to enjoy a cozy fire and some mulled cider. (No fireplace? Create a warm atmosphere with candles, music, or whatever else might work.) Whatever you do, don’t settle for a few cups of pumpkin spice latte and call it good enough.
- Block out dates on your schedule. Right now, before the craziness of the Christmas season chews up every available moment. Schedule evenings to stay home with family, or visit with friends, or attend the events you most enjoy (the ones you’ve been wanting to get to for years, but never seem to have time for. You know the ones I’m talking about.)
- Plan ahead to avoid last-minute gift panic. Take some time in the next week or two to consider what would make worthwhile gifts, both for yourself and others. (If you have no idea, ask. If they have no idea, ask again in a week or two.) That way, when you’re out and about and you see a potential gift item, you can snag it (one less thing to worry about later.) Also, when Grandma or your sister-in-law asks for gift suggestions, you will be prepared to answer. And, ultimately, your gift choices will be more worthwhile, because hopefully you have avoided I-had-to-get-you-something-and-this-was-the-best-I-could-find-that-would-ship-in-time syndrome.
- Consider ways to simplify before crunch time hits. Maybe you’ve decided that this year you’re cutting back on decorations. Maybe you love hosting parties, but know you can’t go all-out like you’ve done in the past. Take some time to plan how you will accomplish those goals now, before you are in the midst of it all and you resort to default mode. This might involve sorting through and downsizing the decoration boxes in (Ack!) October. Donate now, before you’re tempted to put it all up anyway.
Maybe my ideas sound crazy, but if we don’t take matters into our own hands all our good intentions are likely to be swept aside. Again.
Don’t let it happen!
If you love this time of year, don’t be satisfied with a few pumpkin spice lattes. Savor the season. Grab the parts you love and don’t let them go.
And plan ahead enough that you can savor the holiday season, too.