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18 Ways to Celebrate Fall + Seasonal Holidays with Family and Friends

Enjoy the changing seasons with fun activities

Are you looking for some new ideas to celebrate the holiday season?  You are in luck! Below are 18 ways to make your celebrations meaningful and memorable. Whether it's with family or friends, these activities offer an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime. Dive deep into the history of Grandparents Day and other upcoming, family-oriented holidays. The hustle and bustle of modern society often makes finding and spending quality time with those we love a challenge. The Holiday Blog is here to help remind everyone what the holiday season is all about!  

Why Family Matters

For many, the circle of friends they keep is their family, but the genetic bond that exists between blood relatives is something remarkable. Friends can come and go but, for better or for worse, family is forever. Even though they can drive us nuts sometimes, our family relationships shape who we are and provide the impetus for who we will grow to be. The paternal and maternal affection children receive during their formative years is crucial to their development. A series of studies conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse showed that kids who frequently eat dinner with their family are more likely to do better in school and less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol. Our families teach us lessons, values, how to manage our emotions and they provide financial and emotional support during tough times. Strong families mean strong communities, which is what an incredibly famous person meant when he said, “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.”  

Celebrate Grandparents Day on September 12

The societal need to invest in the strength of families would explain why Grandparents Day was established in 1978. Nine years earlier in 1969, the nine-year-old Russell Capper received a letter of reply from the White House. The letter explained that while his suggestion of a Grandparents Day to President Nixon was appreciated, the president “ordinarily issues proclamations designating periods for special observance only when a Congressional resolution authorizes him to do so.” It would not be until 1978 that such a congressional resolution was passed and signed by President Jimmy Carter. The Grandparents Day proclamation was the result of National Grandparents Day founder, Marian Mcquade’s tireless campaigning for such a day. As the grandmother of 43 children, she deserves the title! Instead of just calling grandpa and grandma this Grandparents Day, why not surprise them with a heartfelt written letter that they can keep and read whenever!?

Remaining 2021 Family Holidays 

Sept 19th is Wife Appreciation Day

Though this holiday is not a national holiday like Military Spouse Appreciation Day (the Friday before Mother’s Day), it is still a wonderful opportunity to show the missus how much she means to you! 

Sept. 26th is Family Health and Fitness Day USA and National Family Day

Since 1996, families have celebrated this holiday by making better lifestyle choices. Signing up for a 5k walk or run is a wonderful way to get the family moving!

Oct. 6th - National Transfer Money to your Daughter Day

Apparently, National Transfer Money to your Daughter Day (Oct. 6th) is a real thing. There is also National Transfer Money to your Son Day on Oct. 13th. Parents can relax since National Pay Back Your Parents Day is Nov. 20th

18 Ways to Celebrate the Upcoming Holidays 

1. Carving Pumpkins!

Ever wonder why they are called Jack-O'-Lanterns? The legend goes that the Irishman known as “Stingy Jack” was cursed to haunt the Earth forever as a ghost. You see, he used to capture the devil himself and would only release him on the condition that Jack never be sent to Hell. Well, it turns out that Heaven was not keen on having him either. The devil gave Jack a lump of burning coal in a turnip to light the way where he wandered.  

2. Wear Scary Costumes!

 The Celtic festival, Samhain, marked the transition from the harvest season to the winter season. It was believed that during this time spirits walked among the living. Wearing a frightful disguise was the only way to avoid being terrorized by these phantoms!  

3. Bat baiting bonfires!

Lighting a bonfire helped souls find their way to the afterlife. The insects that the fire attracted in turn attracted bats, so keep a look out for furry flying friends! 

4. Make Candy Apples!

We wish these were the kinds of apples that the daily eating of would keep the doctor away! 

5. Cook a Virtual Meal!

Now that we have Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and other apps, not even a pandemic can keep us from our loved ones during the holidays. Just place your video capable device where your family can catch your culinary creations!

6. Try a Turkey Trot!

The Thanksgiving Turkey Trot tradition is 125 years old! With event locations all over the country, you can run with family and friends even if you are apart. The Strava app lets you record and share your exercise data so you can prove to your sibling rivals how much of a beast you are!

7. Community Service!

Sharing is caring! If you are blessed enough to be able to give back to the community, visit volunteermatch.org, feedingamerica.org, or unitedway.org.   

8. Break a wishbone!

Getting a bigger piece of the furcula bone, or wishbone, means a year of good luck. This tradition is rooted in the ancient Etruscan culture who held birds to have future predicting powers. They would rub and wish on the bone for luck.

9. Take a nap!

The reason we get so sleepy after the thanksgiving meal is because many thanksgiving foods are high in Tryptophan. Contrary to the widely held belief that turkey is high in Tryptophan, the amount of Tryptophan in turkey is typical of poultry.  

10. Watch football games!

Last year, over 30 million people (about the population of Texas) tuned in to Fox to watch the Washington/Cowboys game. 

11. Host an outdoor Holiday Movie Night!

Popcorn, smores, and hot chocolate are tasty treats as you gather around a fire pit and fire up the projector! Here is a list of the 63 best Christmas movies. 

12. Go Caroling!

Do you know all the words to the greatest Christmas carols? 

13. Check out all the lights!

Your neighbors work hard to put on a show to get you in the spirit, so cruise the block and appreciate the fantastic decorations!

14. Set up the Kwanzaa display!

The mat, candleholder, crops, corn, and gifts are all a part of this time-honored tradition. 

15. Recount the 7 principles of Kwanzaa!

Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith! Here is a link to the principles as well as corresponding songs and meditations to get into the holiday spirit! 

16. Eat latkes and jelly doughnuts!

These and other fried foods represent the “miracle of the oil” that Hannukah is based on. 

17. Give Gelt!

Jewish children look forward to receiving Gelt, chocolate discs usually wrapped in gold foil.

18. Play Spin the Dreidel!

Being apart does not mean you cannot play this ancient gambling game virtually! Dreidels are easy to come by but, if necessary, you can make one!

Hope you find some new ideas for celebrating the holiday season and get excited about how much fun there is to be had. With a little creativity, these 18 activities can provide your family with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the changing leaves, warm sweater weather, and more! If you have any other great ideas on how to celebrate Fall or seasonal holidays that we missed here please share them in the comments below or on Facebook, or Instagram. Joy to you and season's greetings! 

Find more fun and creative activities to do with the whole family on the Family Holiday Activities Pinterest board. 

Subscribe to The Holiday Blog today for free so you never miss another post. Happy holidays from The Holiday Blog – make this time of year as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for everyone! Hope you have a safe and magic holiday season full of memorable moments.  

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