I love the fall. Even though in my neck of the woods there are no visible signs of the seasons changing, I like to pretend I can see leaves falling, and snow blowing. It breaks up the monotony of days and months, and marks the special times we can celebrate special moments and milestones.
Truly, the holidays bring me so much joy. As soon as September hits, I wanted to throw up some decorations. But now that October is here, I’m trying to think of fun ways to decorate without perpetuating the frightful themes of the upcoming secular holiday: Halloween.
Every major store we walk into now is dripping with the faux blood of zombies and ax murderers, skulls, witches, goblins… and there’s always that creepy skeleton man thing that’s holding a jack-o-lantern. (What is he about?) I don’t even want to know. I take the long way around to the registers so we don’t get another evil eyeful.
I’ll save the talk about the Celtic origins of Halloween for another post, but for now, I just want my kids to know that good and evil exists, light and dark with always be, and there is nothing in this world that can overtake them when they rest in Jesus and his love for them. He conquered death on the cross, and while they live in our house, we will celebrate Him, and all the goodness and life there is in knowing Him.
See our post: Authentic Faith: Helping Kids Connect to God
So how do we decorate in a not-so-scary way? Here are a few of my favorite ideas from Pinterest, and some I use in my own home:
The Harvest Theme
The color pallet of a traditional agrarian harvest theme is my favorite. What’s even more awesome is that you can carry this all the way through Thanksgiving without changing decorations another time before Christmas.
Here is a cute rustic twig pumpkin I found at our local discount store. It works as a table centerpiece, or on a corner table. Could even dress it up with small twinkle lights for an evening look inside or outside. There was also this cute leaf table runner – simple and resembles a die cut craft instead of just a long rectangle. It’s fun to find different takes on traditional shapes.
Dressing up the entrance to a home is one thing you can do to create a festive and inviting atmosphere. Stacking any kind of square pallet boxes or baskets with pumpkins on top is easy, just offset a couple levels starting with the short displays in front (like they’re taking a family picture).
I found this site on Pinterest and absolutely love everything on this particular page. These rustic elements are not only my style, but super simple to put together. The picture on the right is an idea for a DIY project to get the kids involved. This family uses a die cut machine, but if you don’t have access to one, any kind of simply traced leaf shape will do, especially for young kids.
A nicely placed door wreath has got to be my pride and joy of the whole fall décor theme. I’ve seen some great ones at Target and TJ Max, and I generally like to stay under $25 for a good one. Check out these ideas for making one of your own!
The Only Exception
The kids and I go through a homeschool curriculum called Classical Conversations, a learning model based in classical education. There are three cycles and each school year, the curriculum covers a different Cycle of information. This year is Cycle 3, and the science section is all about human anatomy!
So naturally, skeletons and guts and brains are on the table! (But I do I draw the line at zombies… walking dead stuff is just yucky) If I can find a non-creepy skeleton, I’ll use it to teach the names of bones. One of the weeks covered the parts of the axial skeleton (cranium, sternum, vertebrae, & ribs).
We picked up these guys at Safeway this week!
So I’m a fan of making the holidays fun, but especially if you’re a parent of young and impressionable kids, it doesn’t have to be modeled after the ugly scary traditions of the world around you. Make it fun, make it educational, and invite friends over for laughter, food and connection. The holidays can be special if you make them special, even Halloween.