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Fall Leaves Fall is the perfect time to share my thoughts on the importance of traditions and creating an environment for your family that is joyful, happy, and full of love. The beauty of traditions is that they provide memories that capture wonderful moments over and over again. Your kids look forward to them and eagerly await the promise of another year of festive celebrations. Whether it’s your annual decorating of the front door with the pumpkins they’ve made over the years, or the hanging of the bats and black spiders on the dinner table light fixture; traditions create suspense and anticipation of fun to come.

I‘d love to share some of my traditions to inspire you to join in, as well as encourage you to keep up the traditions you’ve started. Some years, I’ve been so beat, I couldn’t imagine pulling my decorations out from the basement, yet after I did, the expressions on the kids’ faces are payment enough for digging deep and following through. You can do it!

I’ve already shared my pumpkin, bat, and spider traditions earlier, so here are a few more. Most years, I decorate the house to be Halloween ready for the kids when they wake up on October 1st. I love the excitement on their faces as they discover it all decked out for the season. This year however, it happened in stages. The point is that it happened. However you do it–just make it happen! Imagine how fun it is for your kids to wake to a house all festive and fun!

I love to bring out all of my Halloween bowls, platters and dish towels to make the month of October one huge celebration. I’ve picked many of them up over the years after the Holiday and on sale–Target is great for that! As the kids bring home their crafts and art projects, I hang them everywhere. The best way to hang them is to laminate them first. I go to a local home school store which laminates for 25 cents a foot; it’s such a steal! I then cut out the creations and put yellow sticky tack on the back and hang them everywhere: on windows, doors, cabinet—honestly wherever the stuff will stick. After the season, I pull them down and save the yellow tack and use it for the next season of creations.

To store the laminated works of art, I staple two poster boards together on three sides and leave the fourth open. I write the name of the season or holiday on both sides and store everything inside. I keep all of the poster board holiday files close at hand in a closet so it doesn’t feel like I’m moving heaven and earth to decorate throughout the year. Sometimes going into the basement to get decorations feels like one step too many. And there you have it, a festive house decorated with your children’s works of art and laminated to be keepsakes forever!

One last tradition I will share with you is to create a holiday book collection. As many of you know, or will learn, I love books. My kids have grown up surrounded by them. My earliest and fondest memories with my kids come from the warmth and comfort of the kids on my lap or snuggled up close to me enjoying a book.  Reading creates that “cozy” that has always been so important for me to nurture as a Mom.

To inspire you to begin your collection or to keep adding to it, here are a few strategies to making it meaningful and memorable for years to come. First, I buy one book (not one for each child—in case you were wondering). I date it, write the town where we live, and then write a note sharing a snapshot of our family’s blessings and current successes and challenges. I always end with a line of gratitude for each other, our faith and our health. I then set it out on the counter after the kids go to bed so it is the first thing that they see when they enter the kitchen in the morning. That book is then passed around all morning long, and then it is added to the coffee table of Halloween books from past years. You can see my top five Halloween books by clicking HERE.

The Halloween books stay out all October long until we usher in November and the Thanksgiving books. After Halloween, I store the books out of sight in the basement until the next year. I love this tradition as much as the kids. And no matter the age, they all reread those books every year. I watched my senior in high school reading one yesterday while having a snack. Reading the books from when they were younger brings back those memories, good, sad, scary and wacky that we can relive each and every year. And that’s the beauty of creating a tradition.