Well hello Autumn! The best season of the year (in my opinion) is almost upon us, and things are a little different this year!!
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With September 22nd, the official start of autumn, fast approaching we’re all getting ready for the change that this season inevitably brings. Autumn is the season that gives us blankets, snuggly knitwear and a chill in the air. As well as darker evenings, and misty mornings, which I absolutely love!
Crunchy leaves and muddy puddles are everywhere, and the smell of a casserole cooking in the oven gives the house a comforting feel.
Autumn, without a doubt, is the season that I look forward to the most
This year however, things are a little bit different, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed. We’re now living in the new normal (which is a phrase I hate by the way), and we’re all doing our best to adapt to the sudden changes in our lives.
With masks, social distancing and pre-booked days out, I can’t help thinking that we may have a bit of a strange few months ahead of us. Especially the months that give us Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Years.
I have to admit, I’m a little bit worried.
But, before we talk about socially distanced celebrations, let’s first talk about autumn and how awesome it is!
Obviously, summer is an amazing season, but I do always find that come September I’m just ready for a change. I’m ready to sleep at night without being covered in sweat, or getting woken up by the sun at 4 am. I’m ready to start eating calorie laden comfort food again, and I’m more than ready to dig out my sweaters and cardigans and give my skin a bit of a break from the sun.
Also, September always brings with it that ‘back to school feeling’ that we all know and love.
Summer is the lazy time of the year, and Autumn is the ‘let’s get stuff done’ time of the year – at least for me it is anyway.
Autumn is also the start of the celebrating and partying time of year, which leads me on to the next part of the post – The New Normal.
Has social distancing cancelled the best part of the year?
You can read the latest UK guidance on social distancing by going to www.gov.uk
The first big event that we have coming up is Halloween, and the thing that is really playing on my mind is trick or treating. As Cupar is now 2, I was planning on taking him out trick or treating for the first time this year. But with the way things are, I just can’t see it happening now.
We could all dress as doctors and don masks and gloves if we really wanted to, but I don’t think it would be much fun, and it would freak me out a little bit!
A lot of people, especially those that are vulnerable, just aren’t going to want random strangers turning up at their door at the moment. And that’s something that we all have to respect however much we want to carry on with our lives.
It’s hard to change the way we live, and to change our routines and habits that we’ve always had. And it’s especially hard for our children to get used, because they may not understand why we can’t do certain things the way that we did before.
But, fear not, because there are a few alternatives to trick or treating that will be sure to keep the kids entertained:
- Organise a Halloween hunt in your house or garden. Like an Easter Egg hunt, but with sweets and spooky treats
- Get dressed up and visit the grandparents for a mini trick or treat
- Make some spooky cupcakes and enjoy them together while watching a Halloween film
Another event that we have on the horizon is Bonfire Night.
I love a good fireworks display. Standing in a crowd of people, looking up at the sky and hearing the ooohs and aaaahs. You can’t really beat that feeling can you?
But are we going to be able to enjoy them this year? Again, I don’t think so, and it does kind of suck.
Some things are just better when you’re with other people, and firework displays are one of them. I guess there may be an option for a socially distanced, or limited numbers display which could work, but I’m not sure if people would even want to go. For me, wearing masks and standing a certain distance from other people just seems to take the fun out of it, and I’d rather stay at home.
The good thing about fireworks though is that you can see them from pretty far away, so you don’t actually have to be standing close by to enjoy them. I always get treated to at least a few home firework displays that I can see from my garden. It’s not the same, but it’s definitely better than nothing!
Of course, there are work arounds with this one too, with the main one being having a mini display in your garden. We used to do this every year when I was growing up, and it’s always fun. If you’re close to your neighbours you could even all chip in and do a few in each garden so that the whole street can benefit.
During lockdown, community spirit was quite high, so it would be nice to carry that on.
And then we have Christmas
Let’s not beat around the bush here, Christmas is going to be WEIRD this year. With masked shopping and 10 mile long queues of people out of the door, no Santa’s Grotto and the possibility of choosing your Christmas lunch bubble, it’s all going to feel very unfestive.
Christmas is a time for getting together, celebrating, and spending time with people that we don’t usually see. It’s a time for going out, sharing and making people smile. It’s a happy time, and we shouldn’t forget that.
Although things may not be the same this year, there are still a lot of things we can do to make it fun, festive, and special.
You may not be able to see everybody you want to see, or host your annual Christmas Eve party, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good time and catch up with family and friends.
There are lots of chat and video apps out there, so why not make the most of them? Get some drinks in and arrange a virtual meet up. Quizzes are always a good idea, and games like Pictionary and Charades can be played over video chat. Get creative and see what you can come up with.
It’s not all fun and games though, because we still have to work our way through that Christmas shopping list and make sure that we’ve left enough time to get everything we need, especially with shops not back to normal just yet.
If you don’t like the thought of Christmas shopping this year, there are plenty of online recources that you can try. Etsy is always a good place to start if you want to find a unique gift and support a small business at the same time. Also, most high street stores have online shops, so you can still find the brand names that you love.
If you children are missing Santa’s Grotto this year, why not make your own? You could decorate a tent or a cupboard with fairy lights and tinsel and dress up as Santa to surprise the kids.
Trying to make everyone happy on Christmas Day is always a bit of a tough one even without social distancing, but there are ways that we can make it work.
One of the things to think about is the family, and making sure that no one is left on their own (unless they want to be of course, and then you can leave them to enjoy their day!!)
If you have an elderly or vulnerable relative that lives on their own, you’ll want to avoid turning their house into Grand Central Station throughout the day. Instead, have a chat with the rest of the family, and come up with a ‘visiting plan’.
If you all know who you’re seeing and where you’re going to be, nobody should feel left out, or overwhelmed by visitors.
Another nice idea if you can’t visit everybody you want to, is to have a video chat while you open your presents in the morning. This can be great for Grandparents who may not be able to see the grandchildren on Christmas Day.
Don’t forget that we have technology at our fingertips. Obviously, it’s no match for seeing someone in person, but it’s a pretty good second!!
Don’t let it get you down
I think the most important thing of all is to enjoy the festivities in the way that works for you, and try not to let it get you down too much. We’re all in this together, we’re all finding it weird and hard to adjust to, and we’re all a bit unsure of how to handle it. You’re not alone, and don’t forget that.
If you’re struggling for celebration ideas, then keep an eye out here on the blog. I’ll be posting alternative Halloween and Christmas celebrations that you can enjoy with the family.
What are your plans for the new normal? Are you going to say ‘hello autumn’ and embrace it, or are you just a bit fed up of it all?
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