As the year whittles by, I can see myself staring down the metaphorical tunnel at that bright white light we call 'Christmas'! Yet, without getting too carried away with myself, I am consciously aware of the beauty surrounding me as the trees turn to yellow and red, as the nights begin to close in, and the crisp morning air fills the lungs and warms the heart. We are now with no doubt whatsoever, in the Autumn/Fall season. I, for one, am excited! I can truly appreciate each of the four seasons for what they are. However, as we leave the summer season of sunshine, holidays, and fun behind, I've eagerly anticipated the coziness of autumn. The thought of fireplaces, cozy blankets and sweaters, spiced apple ciders, and cinnamon + pumpkin chai tea latte’s just warm my heart.
Now, with what's become somewhat of a seasonal staple, my family and I begin by writing out our to-do family bucket list. This may include local events, walks, arts and crafts, specialty cooking or baking, travel, shows, movie nights, picnics and days out. Sometimes even, it's just the little things like jumping in puddles, building a fort, kicking piles of leaves, having a snowball fight, or spending the day in pyjamas. In order to find a connection between balance and inspiration, we ask ourselves; how can we create memories, unity, and ‘moments’ that capture the essence of family we are striving for this season?
The Fall (Autumn) season in North America is a commercialized dream. Farms convert into pumpkin patches, and corn mazes. Ghosts, ghouls, and vampires don shopfront windows as halloween creeps closer. Coffee and tea shops have their signature baked goods and pies, along with mouthwatering drinks containing cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin spice. Here in Scotland, there may not be so much fanfare, but Halloween is still observed, and you'll find kids dressed up for their Halloween parties and Trick or Treating. Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple picking are hard to come by, but bonfires and firework displays occur on or around November 5th commemorating Guy Fawkes failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament using barrels of gunpowder in 1605. During this autumn season is also what is known here as the 'Tattie Holidays', where the kids get 2 weeks of school holidays. Typically this is an opportunity for families to vacation abroad or get away for a long weekend. At the very least, it is an opportunity to spend quality time as a family.
How To Create Your Seasonal Bucket List:
The process for us is not overly complicated. There are a few steps that we typically do in order to create, refine, and finalize our List.
BRAINSTORM: Set aside time as a couple or family to discuss the season, some highlights, and generate ideas.
RESEARCH: Taking your ideas, do a little research as to what is available where. If stuck for ideas, search the 'What's On' Facebook groups or websites in your area. Check out your local community boards. You can also find many different examples on Pinterest that can spark the imagination.
SCHEDULE: Look at the family calendars for dates available. You’d be surprised how much weekends and days can get booked up with extracurricular activities. So much so, the season could pass before you know it. Decide on how many days work, where you can free up time together, and plan accordingly.
WRITE THE LIST: Put pen to paper and begin listing in order of preference.
SCHEDULE: Yes you read it right!!! Using the list, schedule your Bucket List onto your calendar or agenda. The things you write down are the things you are more likely to do.
JAZZ IT UP: Now that it’s complete, make the list look all fancy. Get creative in Microsoft Word, or hop onto Canva.com and make your own graphical masterpiece. Print yourself a hard copy and set it in a picture frame for all to see. For each completed activity, use a dry-erase marker to check the box. It will come right of the glass when done!
BE SNAP HAPPY: Take lots of pictures and videos. Savour the moments you have created as a family and capture them forever!
I hope that this can be a season of intention. There is nothing more valuable to me than spending quality time with my family! What if you don't have family? Then make it about you. Spoil yourself, and do the things that light you up! In a busy world, such times can be few and far between, making them that much more precious. However, in making a list, we are committing ourselves to each other. We are giving each other the gift of time, in creating lasting memories that may pass swiftly, but be forever ingrained in our hearts and minds. What is life, if not but a series of memorable moments! Don't just let them happen....make them happen.