I’m Taller in the Fall, and Other Confessions for the Season

It’s so exciting to feel the beginnings of fall weather. Just when I’m about to convince myself to go against my better judgement and buy new clothes because I’m so completely OVER these four shirts, two shorts, and two pairs of flops, we start getting highs in the 80s. This isn’t quite cool enough to pull out the jeans just yet, but it’s a promise of cooler tomorrows. Soon it will be highs in the 60s and 70s, and boy is that jeans and boots weather! No need to go shopping. I forgot how much I grew to hate these four sweaters last February, so they’re all new to me now! And besides, I’m noticeably taller in boots (probably only to myself), and therefore I feel prettier. You have to be tall to be a model, and now by being a couple of inches closer to “tall,” I am noticeably prettier (probably only to myself).

As much as I love this change of seasons — which is only 16% less than I love the transition from winter to spring — fall always brings with it some anxiety about the days to come. So, confession time. I’m going to start slow.

I love pumpkins. However, I stopped buying them because I’m the only one who enjoys carving them, and carving while others watch TV is lame. I also stopped buying them because it seems to be a little bit of a waste… “Hey, let’s buy a few large vegetables and put them on our porch until they rot. Yeah!!!” Doesn’t make sense, even though they’re adorable and I love them. Strangely enough, I did end up buying one just today simply because it’s in my homeschool curriculum to carve a pumpkin next week. Did someone say gross motor skills? Oh yeah, let’s carve that pumpkin and make a big mess! (And don’t forget about counting seeds and working on fine motor skills as we pick them up.)

I hate decorating. I suck at it. While I truly have appreciations when others do it well — it’s truly a reflection of God’s creativity at work in people who do — I don’t really value it enough to stress myself out over it in my own home. And so the holidays, with all their extensive decorating expectations, make me feel incredibly awkward, inadequate, and dull. If I try, it looks like a toddler did it. If I don’t, I’m a Scrooge. So last year, I just did the tree and the nativity. I LOVED that. Just enough festivity to make me smile, and completely within my abilities. (Oh yeah, the tree was definitely pre-lit!)

I don’t really know what to do about Halloween. It’s on the edges of my conscience that maybe I shouldn’t participate because it’s evil, but then it’s also on the edges that there’s nothing wrong with dressing your kid like a dragon (A DRAGON! HE’S A DRAGON THIS YEAR!) and actually interacting with neighbors who are not usually willing to talk to you. But, I’m just not into it. I read about some families just doing a movie night and having junk food and lots of fun together with their kids, and I LOVE that idea, but tragically, my husband is not as lame as I am and would never go for this.

I’m not into Santa. Speaking of ruining my kid’s childhood — because I’m obviously dancing on that line due to my reservations about Halloween — let’s just move right on into the biggest holiday of the season. I have a major problem with lying to my kid, so I have thus far not done the Santa thing. (Before you get defensive about the “lying” part — it IS lying. It is. Even if it’s “just for fun.”) Anyway, so I obviously take a lot of flack for this. Every year. I’m the bad mom for not lying. I’m stealing the magic from Christmas because I focus on the God who grew in a human woman’s womb and entered our world to rescue us from eternity apart from Him, even when that’s all in the world any of us deserved. Right, that’s less amazing than the myth of Santa.

Shopping for Christmas presents makes me cry every year. Every year at some point in December in some store, I just stop and let the tears fall because I am at a total loss. By Christmas, I’ve made it through 14 family birthdays in the fall alone, and now it’s time to get another something for all of these people again, and then some. I don’t dislike giving gifts; in fact, I love it. It’s so exciting to see someone open something you just know they’ll love! The problem is that I rarely experience this elation, despite the myriad of opportunities I have this time of year. I just don’t have very good gift-buying skills or intuition, and I desperately don’t want to give people crap wrapped in paper just so they have something to open. I experience such anxiety over this every year that I always reach the end of my rope and confess to my husband that I wish I could withdraw from all gift giving and receiving for the rest of my life! It’s so sad, and I feel like the worst person in the world for saying this, but it’s true. I want to be good at this. I want to enjoy it. I decide every year that this year will be better, that I will shop early, that I will do great research on family members about what they want, and that I, too, will experience Christmas cheer as I shop for the perfect gift. But try as I might, I still end up I tears every year because I have no idea what anybody wants, or, if I do, I can’t find it or can’t afford it. This is my saddest and most embarrassing confession, so let’s end with something happier!

Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. No, it isn’t as important as Christmas or Easter, obviously, but as far as enjoyment level, it’s tops! No presents! No lies! It’s not usually too cold! DELICIOUS food! Oooh and pumpkin cheesecake pie, amen. Love.

To sum up, aside from pumpkin carving and pumpkin cheesecake pie, I just kinda have my sights on January. Cold, quiet January. Silence retreat, anyone? Oh yeah.

What about you? Any confessions? This is a safe space. 🙂

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