How is it October? It has been so hot and we’ve been so busy that I’m having a hard time getting into the season like I usually do. But this weekend I couldn’t put it off any longer and I had to pull out our old Halloween calendar and fill it up. I’m sure you’ve seen these around, they count down the days to Halloween with an activity or tacky treat to mark each day. For some reason, the anticipation of Halloween (which is just an anticipatory step towards Christmas) brings out the extra-crazy in me and I want to make sure we do all of the fall things. I made this 7 years ago when I was a new mom and so excited it was finally socially acceptable for me to show up at the pumpkin patch as many times as I wanted since I had the kid.
Fun fact, my first job ever was at Pumpkin City, a pumpkin patch in the middle of a target parking lot where my creepy manager slept in a trailer to watch over the merchandise at night. I was happy there because pumpkin patches, even in the middle of a parking lot with creepo dudes, are better than every non-pumpkin patch place.For this, I’m pretty sure I ripped off the basic design from a Pottery Barn version that year? I used felt, rickrack, hot glue (or a sewing machine if you can operate one without going mad, I mostly can’t), a dowel and some ribbon for hanging. And also, embroidery thread!!! Because if you’re gonna get crafty, you might as well do it right and stitching is so right, all the time, on everything.
Some years I am more creative with my fillings than others, but even simple activities scribbled on a piece of paper stuffed in this thing are magic to my kids, and that’s the point. I am careful not to overdo it, or I get burned out. I definitely have lots of filler days with little trinkets instead of activities to do. With the exception of spider rings (YES!), I stick to consumable stuff that doesn’t accumulate in our home: stickers, tattoos, this time I had some straws left over from something else, love notes.
This is about what my calendar looks like this year, don’t tell my kids…
- visit the pumpkin patch
- fall hike
- family bike ride
- go for a nature walk and collect some cool stuff
- movie night (It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, obviously)
- family game night
- carve pumpkins
- visit Avila Barn
- check out the Cambria scarecrows
- downtown SLO trick or treating
- make costumes
- beach day
- make apple cider
- roast pumpkin seeds
- make homemade apple sauce
- make pumpkin (or apple) pie
- make caramel apples
- bake cookies
- and a few simple art projects
Some additional ideas…
- go apple picking
- visit the fire station (lots have open houses this time of year)
- go for a wagon ride
- bake pumpkin bread
- community activities/fairs/carnivals
- there are so many art projects out there…get messy with your kids!
- weekend camping trip…we used to do this every year (or a longer road trip) and it was the best, I wish it fit with our schedule now
Full disclosure: I debated even posting this because I would definitely call this going overboard in celebrating, something I don’t promote. I love simplicity and calm and unscheduled time and don’t believe kids need insanity or broke parents to have memorable holidays. Holidays lose their meaning when there is so much doing and not enough being. And I HATE the hype and consumerism of this time of year. It’s really easy to start comparing and feel like a crappy mom. So know that this (and a December calendar…I know…) are MY only overboards. No Elf on a Shelf. No 1 million gifts. No pinterest inspired parties. And I personally love fall so if this isn’t your thing, good for you. Know you and do you. I’m doing crazy me over here right now. I’ll be back to house stuff next time! Thanks for reading!!!