Just a few days ago, Statesboro caught a glimpse of fall as the temperatures dropped and the breezes caused the trees to wave their limbs and leaves heavenward. A welcomed change from the scorching heat before, the pleasant days were just a tease of autumn as the summer sun and temperatures crept back onto the calendar. But it’s coming — it really is.
Until autumn matches the calendar, though, enjoy the lush green foliage before it turns loose and says goodbye for the season. Squeeze in some of the seasonal holidays below or create unique ones of your own and enjoy every minute of September with those you love.
Labor Day — Celebrate the wonders of the working world with a rousing game of charades. You’ll need the playing pieces of a Scrabble game for letter choices (or, cut the headlines of an old newspaper into individual letters). Put the letters in a basket. Have one family member pick a letter from the basket and reveal the letter to the other players. The family member choosing a letter decides on a job or profession that begins with that selected letter and then acts out that occupation. No talking allowed by the actor, and the fellow family members try to guess the occupation.
The person who guesses the laborer’s title first gets to keep the Scrabble tile, and the person with the most letters at the end of the game is the winner.
Ancestor Appreciation Day — Create a fun visual to recognize and honor family members with this craft. Draw and color a large tree trunk near the bottom third of a sheet of poster board. Use a permanent marker to write one set of grandparents’ names on the trunk. Draw enough branches to represent the children that resulted from that union, and write the name of each child, one per branch, in birth order from left to right.
Point out to family members where you as the mom or dad fit into the birth order in relation to his or her aunts and uncles. If the aunts and uncles are married, add the spouse’s name with a differently-colored permanent marker. Then, use fall colored leaves purchased from a craft store for the youngest members of the family.
With a marker, write the names of the children of each union, and talk about your child’s cousins. Do you know where all the cousins are? Can you name the professions of each aunt and uncle? Do the same with another set of grandparents to recognize that side of the family, too. Make it a goal to communicate with everyone on both family trees before the month is over.
Make Your Bed Day — Pick a day for linen laundry, but before you throw the sheets in the washing machine, create a fort in the bedroom. Place some chairs near the bed and drape one side of the sheet over the chairs and then stabilize the other side with pillows along the edge of the bed. Throw a blanket on the floor, and then climb into the fort for some fun family reading time.
Rabbit Day — Take a collection of rabbit book classics into the fort and have a hopping good literary time together. Read from such choices as, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," "The Velveteen Rabbit," "Guess How Much I Love You," "Runaway Bunny," "Home for a Bunny" and "Goodnight Moon." Snack on raw carrots and wear fuzzy socks while snuggling with a good rabbit book to celebrate the holiday.
National Pancake Day — Whip up a batch of pancakes for dinner one evening. Before cooking, add a couple of tablespoons of fall-colored sprinkles to the batter. Also before cooking the pancakes, add a small amount of food coloring to vanilla frosting to create a fall shade of yellow or orange. After cooking the pancakes, give them a couple of minutes to cool. Then use a decorator spatula to spread a thin layer of frosting on each pancake. Dribble a few sprinkles on top of the frosting for another splash of fall. Enjoy!
“Fall” in love with the new season on the horizon and reignite your passion for family members with fun holiday celebrations. Take in a local football game, watch a few on television, be on the lookout for leaves changing colors and watch for pumpkins and gourds to grace the shelves in the produce aisles. Treasure the green that remains for a few more weeks and be the first to spot the wink of fall in the tops of the hardwoods as we head into an awesome autumn.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.