Fall Traditions…

When I first saw day 3's topic I started to wonder if my family had any particular "fall traditions". I decided to jump into this blog post though after viewing Germany vs USA: The Mall. The US has some very different traditions and holidays from other countries, and the fall season is replete with holidays and traditions even if I couldn't think of any upon first consideration of the topic.


image from Denis Collette

• Halloween – I don't participate as readily in the American traditions of pumpking carving, costumes and candy as much any more, but it was definitely a large part of childhood. In fact, for some children, Halloween is becoming an even bigger celebration now than it was when I was a child. Parents are decorating their homes with purple and orange stringed lights, hanging motion-sensing spiders and ghosts from ceilings and trees, and participating in contests for having the best Halloween-themed decorations on their homes.

Of course, in the southern US (is it also part of the north?), many children will not be participating in the satanic rituals of normal trick or treating, but instead will participate in holiday themed events at the local church. Sometimes this involves a haunted house teaching you that you must be saved in order to go to Heaven, and sometimes it is merely a mini carnival type thing with games and candy for the taking/playing.

• The Fair & Six Flags Fright Fest – I've only been to the fair once in my entire life, but it was truly an experience to remember. The rides were pretty silly and they cost quite a bit, but it was exciting being able to partake in the fair foods and (for once) the carnival rides. I would definitely return if only for the purposes of photography; you can't get those kinds of pictures anywhere else. :)

Similar to the fair, I've also only been to Six Flags Fright Fest once in my entire life. My husband received free tickets through his college. As with the fair, it was an experience where I truly wanted to bring my camera. Six Flags is pretty great on it's own (minus the high prices), but it was even more awesome to go with the park decorated and without the high temperatures of the summer.


image from: tuchodi

• Election Day – It just passed; did you vote?

• Thanksgiving – My holiday has always been a little bit crazy. As a child, my parents would cook a turkey overnight and we would wake up to the smell in the morning. We would watch the Macy's Day Parade on tv snacking on fresh from the oven turkey for breakfast before leaving to go have lunch with my mom's mother's family. We'd stay a few hours having a huge lunch, talking and (in my case) playing, then we'd go visit my mom's dad who spent most of his holidays alone, at the time. (Don't worry. He remarried and no longer has that problem.) As if all of that wasn't enough, we'd then leave to visit my dad's family for a large dinner. (Did you count? That's 2 big meals + some snacking and lots of drive time.) Finally, we'd end the day looking for Christmas lights on the way home. It was a packed day to say the least.

When I first met Justin, my Thanksgiving days had been minimized to seeing just one section of the family instead of 3. It was a big change for me, and I was constantly wondering what to do with all of my spare time. It's one thing to see and speak to all of your family members in a rush before leaving to go do the next thing, but it's an entirely different experience to have a relaxed, casual holiday. Unfortunately, for me, a relaxed holiday isn't really my style.

Justin had an entirely different experience as a child for Thanksgiving seeing only one family during the holiday. He was used to and comfortable with the relaxed style. Enter me.

Now the holiday is filled with crazy rushing between both of our families, like I like it, and (because Justin is a fantastic cook) awesome food. I've been pushing him toward making holiday themed dishes that include apples, pecans, and butternut squash that all differ from both of our family's traditional dishes served. It's fun experimenting and the families are always in awe at how much better Justin's dishes are than … well … theirs.

image from: Rami

• Football – I know that many spend the holiday watching football, but I am quite thankful that this is not the case for my family. (Give the kids a break! Let them have a holiday too!) The only football game that ever really interests me is UGA vs GT. I want UGA to win while Justin wants GT to win; it's only friendly competition and we don't give one another too hard of a time when the other's team loses. ;)

• Black Friday & Cyber Monday – I've blogged about it before, and I will probably blog about it again, but … I LOVE Black Friday! I don't actually do too much shopping, but I love getting out in the crowds. When I was very young, this was when you would first begin seeing all of the Christmas decorations in the stores. That is not the case any more, but the memories linger on… :)

I don't much participate in Cyber Monday. Usually I look for deals all year long. If a deal happens to fall on CM, I'll buy it, but otherwise, it is just like any other Monday of the year.


image from: Stuck in Customs

• Christmas and all that comes with it – Music, movies, decorations, trees, and the long lines at USPS… What would Christmas be without those things?

Remember my story from Thanksgiving where I said I visited ALL of the family … then LESS of the family? Same here. Only now we seem to have a big breakfast with both immediate families, lunch with my mom's father's family, dinner with Justin's, and either a Saturday-after dinner with my dad's family or with friend's. We stay super busy, but I'm so grateful to have so many people to visit!

• Baking – This is technically part of Christmas, but it has radically changed for me as I've gotten older. When I was young my mom would make sugar cookies with bright colored icing in Christmasy shapes. Now, we skip the cookies and Justin makes a gigantic 12 pound coconut cake that our families go crazy over. :)

And then winter comes…

What are your favorite fall traditions? Are there any that especially stick out to you?

** Day 3 of November Blogathon.

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