September has arrived, and while the temperatures here are still in the nineties mid-day, school is officially back in session and everywhere I turn, I’m beginning to see signs of the impending autumn season.
I don’t just mean the planter full of mums I just put out front, either. A visit to nearby Target or Meijer will showcase a clearance rack of back-to-school needs, alongside half-stocked display shelves full of costumes, decorations, and knickknacks styled for the upcoming fall, and sometimes winter seasons. The local gardening stores have begun to carry planters filled with seasonal foliage, and grocery stores are already stocking decorative pumpkins in the produce aisle.
I ask you, is it too early to decorate for fall? Is it too soon to pull out the orange candles, the colorful silk leaves and plastic spiders? Is it time yet to think about Halloween costumes, and where to hide the candy so it actually survives long enough to be handed out to trick-or-treaters?
I tend to go a little overboard when it comes to fall. The drop in temperatures invigorates me, and I absolutely love the colors, the smells, and the foods of the season. As my family can attest, this is hardly a new phenomenon for me. I’ve had the habit since I was a child, and I shared the love with my own kids, to the point we have nearly as many boxes of decorations and paraphernalia for fall and Halloween as we do for Christmas.
To me Halloween has always symbolized a freedom of expression- the one time of year (other than Comic-con or Renaissance Fairs) when it’s socially acceptable to become someone else, for just a little while. It’s okay to live a fantasy, to act out a favorite character, to revisit the childhood joy of make-believe and imaginative play. That’s why I tend to dress up, even if I’m just handing out candy, because why should the kids have all the fun?
So while I’m going about my daily tasks, I’m also planning the display we’ll set up this year, the costumes I need to get or make, and estimating how much candy to buy. I’ll be digging through my recipes to make my special pumpkin coffee cake, and choosing between recipes for pecan pie. Of course, once fall officially arrives later this month, I’ll have planning for Thanksgiving to do, too, and then the winter holidays. The next few months are going to be busy!