Celebrating The Seasons

I love fall! After a summer of keeping kids entertained and feeling hot and sticky in my own house, I look forward to the promise of cooler days and getting back into my routines. I begin to crave some personal time and a more scheduled life. Soon it will be time once again for fun holiday parties and cozy nights by the fire.

September really is a good transitional month between seasons. It is still before the holidays but after the summer of vacations and laziness. It is the perfect month to re-establish household routines and make some creative plans for the holidays.

Creatively celebrating each season can be a great exercise in gratitude for God’s continual provision and blessing throughout the year. Being creative doesn’t have to be complicated or require special talent, but it does involve a little forethought and planning. Now is a great time to gear up for the months ahead.

Here are a few suggestions for making the most of September:

ESTABLISH ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEMS & ROUTINES
Establishing routines and organization systems can keep priorities in order and help the entire family from becoming overwhelmed once school and fall schedules are in full swing. Setting up basic morning and nighttime routines for each member of the family really helps me to feel a sense of peace and calm even during the busiest weeks. If the basics of life are in order, I find I am much more likely to find time to enjoy celebrating the seasons.

Seasonal tip: In order to be organized for each season, I like to set up a four-tiered shelving unit in a garage or attic for holiday and seasonal decorations. One shelf for fall decorations, one for winter, one for spring and one for summer. I keep a separate space for Christmas boxes. As I find seasonal decorations on sale, I have a place to put them and can easily retrieve them when I am ready. This makes decorating for each season much easier!

START A SEASONAL ORGANIZATION NOTEBOOK
I have great aspirations when it comes to celebrating the seasons. But, once the season actually arrives, I sometimes have a hard time following through with my expectations. Sound familiar? In order to keep the true meaning of the holiday season in focus, I need to get organized in advance for the ideas that are most important to me. Planning ahead is not one of my natural virtues, but it is really worth the effort.

Starting a seasonal/holiday notebook in September can be a great way to jump start organization and zero in on what our priorities will be. Being organized in a notebook can inspire us to try new things and keep on task while helping us weed out unnecessary effort. The key to a successful notebook is to keep it VERY simple – anything complicated or too detailed and we can feel overwhelmed.

As you look through magazines or websites for inspiration, save only the most do-able and realistic ideas in your notebook. Divide the notebook by season or holiday. Clip and save ideas such as: easy table arrangements, menu ideas, family activities and traditions, gifts and simple decorating tips that you might want to use. An organized notebook provides easy access to a few ideas that can make the season memorable.

DEDICATE FOCUSED TIME FOR SEASONAL PREPARATIONS
It is often hard to find time to celebrate the change in seasons. Life can easily get in the way of our best intentions. One way to keep time from getting away from us is to aside the first day of each month as a “seasonal transition day.”

For instance, October 1st is a good day to declare the first day of the cozy season. Bring out blankets, candles, and warm autumn colors. To get your family really in the mood and indulge your senses, bake some pumpkin bread. Get out your calendar and select a day to visit the pumpkin patch, plan a costume if your kids dress up for harvest events, and plan a chili and corn bread night. Do similar routines on the first of each subsequent month. With holidays like Christmas, of course, you need to plan some of the preparations more than a month in advance. But the idea is to set aside a specific time each month to go through your notebook, look at your calendar realistically, and plan days to complete the ideas you are most looking forward to.

Getting back into the routine of life is a great fall ritual. By being organized and planning ahead, we can enjoy celebrating each and every season to the fullest!

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

For more ideas on seasonal and everyday decorating, I invite you to visit my blog. The Inspired Room.

©2008, Melissa Michaels

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