Autumn may be my 3rd favorite season of the year, but October is one of my favorite months. I love October for a lot of reasons. We usually have a lot of nice weather days in October. The leaves are starting to turn colors so mixed in with greens you find yellows and oranges and reds and browns.
Even though our kids are either all grown or off to college, I think of October as the time things had settled in for the school year. We had gotten through the start of the school year, the open houses, the first rounds of conferences. The kids were settled into routines and homework and activities.
We weren’t yet getting geared up for the holiday season and all of the craziness that comes with Thanksgiving and Christmas.
When the kids were younger, we took them apple picking and went to the pumpkin patch. We made apple crisps and apple pies and pumpkin bread and roasted pumpkin seeds.
I have always enjoyed Halloween. I love to pass out candy – the good stuff like chocolate – and see the kids smile with delight at the door.
I am the oldest of 8 kids, and all of us were born in November, December, and January. My mother never had birthday parties for us. It was just too much along with the holidays. So, what she did was to have a Halloween party for us and all of the neighborhood kids every year. She would set up the garage with games like pin the tail on the donkey and bobbing for apples. It was great fun.
Our next door neighbor objected to the fact that my mother did not have birthday parties for us. She felt that it was unfair that we attended parties for other children and bought them gifts, but didn’t get the same opportunity to receive them.
And, on top of that, my mother had a party for all of the neighborhood kids, and there were a lot of them, where she provided the fun and food and didn’t ask for anything in return.
It wasn’t entirely true that my mother didn’t have parties for us because we always had a family celebration where we got to choose our favorite meal and birthday cake.
We continued this tradition with our children. We never had the big blowout parties at the skating rinks or party places. We just never bought into the whole spend a ton of money on your kid philosophy. Personally, I think holidays and birthday parties and other celebrations have gone viral. We’ve moved away from simple traditions and celebrations and made them into crazy events of one-up-man-ship.
We followed the same tradition as my mother and had family celebrations, and I don’t think our kids ever felt deprived.
We reserved the get togethers with friends, like slumber parties, for dates other than birthdays. It should be about real friends and friendship after all. Not gifts and goodie bags and entertaining kids that your kids never really play with anyway.
So, even though the kids are gone and we no longer go apple picking or to the pumpkin patch, I still love the sights and smells of October.
I’ll be pulling out the recipes that I like to make this time of year.
I’ll buy big bags of candy for the kids in our neighborhood who will come knocking on our door at Halloween.
And I’ll enjoy it while I can because I know that Winter is just around the corner.