Being a Brit, I am not a massive fan of the fall/winter seasons—if you are, well then good for you! But I am more of a summer person, and for me, the wintery months in England are just too wet and dark and cold…
Still, it’s not great to spend half of every year feeling miserable or quietly dreading of the months that lie ahead. So this year I have decided to embrace the changing of the season and to focus on all that’s good in the passing of summer to winter. Because isn’t this the best way to get through any season in life that we don’t like?
And for me, that looks like really focusing in on all the things that I do like about the fall this year, rather than resisting, resenting and complaining about it, or dwelling on what feels ‘over’ or ‘left behind’ with the ending of summer.
It means searching out every drop of goodness and proactively seeking out the joy.
So here’s my list of 21 things I love about autumn/fall…
- Autumn walks in local parks – I love watching my little boy Ben playing amongst the falling leaves, picking up conkers or ferns or acorns. And I am lucky enough to live in Liverpool which is home to some of the most beautiful public parks in the north of England.
- Winter grub – As it gets colder, I need no encouragement at all to get the slow cooker out and to start making some good, old-fashioned comfort meals like slow-cooked stews and winter soups. So let’s get those recipes out, and bring it on!
- Bonfire night and fireworks parties – Each year friend get together to hold a firework display in someone’s back garden, everyone makes a donation or contributes some food, and the kids go wild. It’s community spirit at its best!
- Guilt-free cosy nights in – You no longer need to feel bad about wanting to stay in with a roaring fire, a hot mug of chocolate and your favourite book and comfy blanket! Sometimes the best thing about winter is just shutting the door on the horrible weather, snuggling up on the sofa watching old movies.
- TV we all love to hate – Also whilst we’re on this subject, the Great British Bake Off, The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and many other great British TV institutions (that we all love to hate?) are back for the annual countdown to Christmas…
- Going for a Sunday roast – There’s literally nothing better on a miserable wintery afternoon than to go for a good roast dinner in front of a roaring fire at a nice English pub.
- Halloween – What is there really to say? Who doesn’t love dressing up their little ones in cute fancy dress, taking trips to visit a local pumpkin patch, carving jack o’ lanterns, and making pumpkin soup?
- Seasonal coffees – As you may know, I’m a keen coffee drinker, so I just love it when all the novelty winter specials come out, like pumpkin latte, spiced nutmeg, orange chocolate, eggnog or gingerbread. Give me Christmas in a cup!
- Winter wardrobes – When the temperature drops, it’s kind of exciting to get that winter wardrobe back out; big coats, thick boots, woolly jumpers, and cute woolly hats, socks and gloves galore!
- Conker picking – Who doesn’t fondly remember hours of fun spent hunting for conkers on Autumn evenings after schools? This year, my little boy has already begun sizing up local chestnut trees!
- Hot tub fun – Have you ever sat in a steaming hot tub under the starry skies on a clear winter’s night? If not, can I recommend that you make this the first year that you do!
- Thanksgiving – Okay, so I’m not actually an American, but I do have some American family, which I think means that I can at least steal a few of their thanksgiving traditions… like turkey, cornbread, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and sweet potato… yum! In fact, Thanksgiving is the thing I most envy of all American traditions!
- Winter markets – There’s just an abundance of these winter markets popping up around towns and cities at this time of year, with chocolate crepes, warm waffles, sausages, roasted chestnuts, hot cider, mulled wine, and tons of other yummy treats on offer…
- Sledging fun – One of the things that I have always loved about winter is snow sports. Although snowboarding has become a rarer event since having a child, there are still lots of good hills that we use for sledging in the snow or nearby indoor slopes which offer all kinds of family fun like tubing and tobogganing too.
- Pop-up ice skating rinks and ice bars – Another thing that my city is great at doing is hosting pop-up ice bars and ice rinks for wintertime, which are just perfect for a rare, romantic date night over the wintertime.
- Frost & snow – Also, let’s not forget those beautiful frosty mornings where there is beauty wherever you look. And who knows, maybe we’ll get some decent snow this year! If we do, I can’t wait to do some sledging with my son!
- Sparkly lights – Some people might feel they are tacky and cheap, but I love all the pretty, sparkly, glowing Christmas lights and window displays. They brighten up our cities and neighbourhoods no end during the most gloomy time of year! Too soon to mention the ‘C’ word? Never!
- Christmas shopping – Christmas is the season of giving, and although lots of people hate the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, I still enjoy the tradition of gift shopping – browsing displays and seeking out gifts to bless others with, picking out things I know they’ll love but would never buy for themselves is so fun!
- Hosting seasonal parties – I also love to host a good pre-Christmas gathering, so each year we try to arrange a mulled wine and cheese party for a few of our closest friends.
- Carols by candlelight – I’m not a massive fan of old carols themselves, but l do love to embrace a bit of festive tradition like carols by candle night. Our local church also has a Christmas parade which features small kids dressed up in nativity related outfits such as reindeer, shepherds, angels… or Spiderman (usually my son!). The cute factor is off the scale!
- The holidays! … My husband and I are lucky enough to be in jobs where we tend to get most of the Christmas period off work, which means time to relax, enjoy Christmas and visit family and friends. I love this about Christmas – it’s the one time of the year that we stop completely!
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on annakettle.com.