Top 10 Falliday Traditions


I love this time of year, especially in Phoenix, it’s the time when most people actually want to be outside.  It’s cool enough to touch the playground equipment, yet warm enough for jeans and a tee shirt.  It’s sunny and breezy and its the beginning of the holidays.  I find myself most productive this time of year and often have lots of activities and projects planned with my kids.  So, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my favorite Falliday traditions.

1. Hiking.  Once the weather here cools off enough, our first adventure is always to go hiking.  We love to get the kids outside and explore.  I used to be very uncomfortable outside, I didn’t really enjoy camping, and I’d rather be inside doing something clean, bug and dirt free, something less dirty.  But then I realized that if I didn’t get my kids outside, they would grow up feeling that way too. So now we go on hikes and camping trips so they’re comfortable with nature.  And now that we’ve been doing it for so long, I’m more comfortable outside too! While I’ve always thought nature was beautiful, now I really appreciate it and find peace in the wild.  I’m always excited when we find a wild animal {I might even get more excited than my kids}, and there’s just something special about reconnecting with nature, and the Fall weather always reminds me to go outside!

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2. Campfires.  Hand in hand with camping, especially in cooler weather, are campfires! The kids, of course, enjoy it because I always pack s’mores ingredients.  But I love the community that is created around a fire.  Like, this is how people lived, huddled around warmth, and stories were told and songs were sung.  I love bringing back a little of that community to our family whenever we travel with family and friends.  I hope my kids take away those memories and continue that tradition with their kids and their community.

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3. Finding colorful leaves and collecting them to craft with.  You might think you’ve missed this because the colors have changed in Flagstaff, and Northern Arizona, but if you drive down Central from Northern to Camelback you might notice the leaves here are just starting to change.  A perfect excuse to walk down the Central Corridor and find your favorite leaves.

4. Finding leaves leads me to my next favorite tradition, a Thanksgiving Day Scavenger Hunt!  You can find my current list here. I’m still working on adding to it, but feel free to print it out and add to it with your kids.

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5. Cooking with my kids on Thanksgiving day. We love to make this Sweet Potato Recipe together. My daughter loves to crush all the toppings and then helps me perfectly arrange the marshmallows into little lines before baking it in the oven. I love this recipe because I prefer some variety in texture on my sweet potatoes. This recipe is also easily modified for Vegans and Vegetarians, just swap out the traditional marshmallows for vegan ones {like these}, and use an egg substitute for the sweet potato mash.

Falliday Traditions - North Phoenis Moms BlogIMG_09406. Sharing what we’re thankful for, in a new fun way.  I always try to get the family involved in sharing what we’re thankful or grateful for, one of my favorite ways to do this, is to write on our pumpkins on our dinning room table.  This year, I think I’ll make the table cloth something everyone can draw on too.

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7.  Thanksgiving day games.  This year I’m going to add in butternut squash bowling! Have you seen or heard of it?  You use the butternut squash like pins and knock them over with a pumpkin bowling ball!  I just know my kids are going to love it and I’m excited to craft with them using the print outs from this blog.

8. Homemade Hot Apple Cider. I always make sure to have extra cinnamon sticks this time of year, cloves, and oranges fresh from our tree.  My recipe is pretty simple.  I just mix a gallon of apple juice with 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 cardamom pods, 1 orange cut in half including the peels, and a dozen cloves spiked into the peel of the oranges.  You could even add some ginger for and extra bold flavor.

9. Gluhwein.  I really fell in love with gluhwein on our last adventure in Germany, and now I want it for all my Fall and Winter holidays.  It’s a mulled wine, spiced with all the traditional Fall spices.  You can find a common recipe here.

10. Hanging up Holiday lights {we celebrate aspects of Chanukah, Winter Solstice and Christmas}! I always make my family wait until after thanksgiving to set up our lights, I love being in the moment with each holiday, so I really like to wait until one holiday is complete before anticipating another.  I always remember helping my dad hang our lights and it’s something I’ve always held special for me and my daughters.  Our girls love helping decide where we should put our lights and handing them to me as I hang them, it’s just great to be outside with them and decorating. Decorating our home might be my favorite part of all when it comes to the holidays! Just kidding.  Food.  Food is my favorite part of the holidays, but decorating comes close.

What are your favorite traditions?  How do you include your kids in the Fallidays?


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