It’s a pristine October day that feels more like early September than mid-autumn with all its color and brilliance and the scent of freshly fallen leaves blanketing the earth. We go to the woods in search of fall decorations for the house and come home with plastic bagfuls of sticky pinecones, acorns, leaves, ferns, and rocks. The pinecones find new homes in baskets throughout the house, the leaves are scattered across the dining room table while crayons make leaf imprints on construction paper, and the acorns and stones find their way to vases.
Fall is the season of harvest in these parts, and the farmers are ceaseless in their combining, raking, and gathering. There’s something about the season of harvest that seems to warrant celebration, and the kids are eager to embrace this short season of pumpkins and scarecrows before the snow flies.
There’s an important standard in our home that faces cultural opposition this time of year. The standard is this: “Only dwell on what is pure, lovely, and good.” This standard keeps eerie programming off of our TV screen, leaves goblins at the doorstep, warrants the disposal of other types of media, and guards our hearts in the season known for making light of ghosts and vampires. It keeps the spookiness from overtaking our home with the onslaught of autumn, and it keeps our eyes on what is pure, lovely, and good.
This week’s post is for anyone who is looking to celebrate this abundant season of harvest without embracing the spookiness encouraged by modern culture. Here are five family-friendly ideas:
Focus on Autumn Décor Instead of Spooky Décor
With aisles upon aisles of witches, ghosts, and creepy decorations filling most stores, it can be difficult to navigate this season. The kids beg for Halloween decorations, and the options entice them around every corner. One simple way to overcome the pull toward the spooky is to focus on decorating with an autumn theme instead of a creepy theme. Pumpkins, wreathes, and even inspirational wall hangings are easy to find. Aim for autumn instead of Halloween.
Share the Harvest with Friends
Our fridge is full of red raspberries, cabbage, fresh green beans, squash, and foods straight from the earth. One way to embrace this season is to bless friends with the gatherings of the harvest. Take a loaf of pumpkin bread to a neighbor’s house. Invite a few families over for a bonfire. Plan a meal entirely based around freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, and practice giving thanks.
It’s easy to slip into self-centered thinking when the focus of the season is on costumes and candy collection. Instead of making these things the focus of the season, encourage your family to name the blessings of the season. Encourage them to give thanks for the abundance of goodness around them. Gear up for the upcoming Thanksgiving season with reminders to give thanks in all things. Count blessings and write them on leaf-shaped papers to create a gratitude tree.
Bring on the Pumpkin and Leaf Activities
In lieu of parties and activities that focus on fear-based entertainment, keep the harvest theme going as you plan activities for your children and their friends. There are countless ideas for pumpkin and fall crafts and games. Keep your focus on God’s creation, and you’re sure to avoid ghosts and monsters.
Embrace the Last Warm Days with Outdoor Activities
Finally, celebrate fall by embracing the last warm days before winter. Visit a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or hay maze. Many communities offer these attractions for free. Explore a local park and collect leaves. Enjoy a campfire in the backyard. Pick a bouquet of fall wildflowers for the table. Just as the daylight is fading quickly, so are the sunny T-shirt days. Enjoy them while they last.
For a list of 17 fall-themed Bible-based craft ideas, click here.
This post was shared as a part of the Fresh Market Friday Link-up.