Okay, I admit it. Fall is not my favorite season. I feel a touch of sadness when the leaves begin to cover the lawn, and I don’t enjoy the cloudy days or the dropping temperatures. I’m sorry to see the summer flowers fade, and when that cold wind starts to blow, I kind of want to pull the covers over my head for the whole season!
However, I have to concede that there are so many things to love about fall! As a child, I loved the excitement of getting back to school, seeing my friends, and having new shoes! As a teacher, well, I still loved the excitement of getting back to school, seeing my friends, (both new, young friends, and older, adult friends,) and, yes, having new shoes! Now that I’ve retired, I miss those exciting annual firsts of every fall.
Still, there are lots of other things to love about fall. It’s a great time of year to get outdoors. Apples, especially the most delicious Honey Crisp, are in season in Michigan. It’s so much fun to go apple picking with family, and we try to make an outing of picking apples at least once during the fall. I love seeing the delight on the little ones’ faces as they search for the perfect red apple. And who doesn’t love fresh cider and warm donuts to end a brisk autumn day?
Fall is a great time to take a drive on country roads. The colors of the trees in a Michigan autumn are unmatched in any painting! The leaves seem to be touched by magic as they gradually change from the lush green of summer to the brilliant autumn reds and golds. And the entrancing aroma of burning leaves fills the air. The fragrance takes me back to the days of walking home from school and delighting in the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath my (new) shoes!
As September moves into October, I have a lot of fun decorating my house for autumn. I’m captivated by the excitement of the grandchildren as Halloween approaches, and I love setting up the Halloween decorations. One of the great things about autumn decorating is that you can add just a few simple Halloween decorations to your fall foliage and colors. Put the Halloween decor away on November 1st and you’re ready for Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving. A purely American holiday. Even after years of teaching, I was surprised to learn that our traditional Thanksgiving turkey was not one of the foods enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving! Here is a fascinating video about our Thanksgiving Traditions presented by the History Channel.
Some of our uniquely American traditions include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Football, and more recently, the National Dog Show. Even our cat is fascinated by this tradition!
Though I’m sure American Football was not enjoyed by the Pilgrims, football is now inextricably mixed with Thanksgiving. All across America, family and friends gather round the TV to root for their favorite teams. Whether football fans or not, most of us still regard Thanksgiving as a time to feast, gather together, count our blessings, and feast some more!
One of the ways I like to show my family how much I appreciate them is by setting the table with vintage dinnerware and table decorations. For me, using vintage pieces reminds me of our past family traditions like going to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner. The torch has been passed from my grandmother to my mother and down to me, now a grandma myself.
I start with a festive Thanksgiving tablecloth and am grateful to add a beautiful autumn bouquet centerpiece, a gift from my mother. After her many years of hosting Thanksgiving, she says the flowers are her “passing dish,” and I love it! Fresh flowers are so refreshing on the table, especially when the weather outside may be rather gloomy. I especially like the stained glass leaves in this arrangement!
One of my estate sale finds was a complete set of this vintage 1940s Homer Laughlin Ferndale China. With its distinctive vintage style and soft colors, it is perfect for the Thanksgiving table!
These cute vintage glass salt and pepper shakers on a tray were made to resemble turkeys. You can find these easily at flea markets and antique shops, and they are adorable on the holiday table.
To add a little pizzazz to this tablescape, I added vintage 1960s Culver Glass tumblers in the Valencia pattern. These are made with 22 Karat gold and a hint of green inside each “window,” and they set off the autumn colors perfectly.
You can add candles if you like, vintage mirrored place cards, and cloth napkins with vintage napkin rings like the ones in the photo below that were made by Fostoria Glass. Or, choose one of the many Thanksgiving designs in paper napkins available at this time of year.
So, fall is not my favorite season, but I do look forward to Thanksgiving. I am so very blessed with a loving family and friends. And I am thankful for the chance to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table to show my gratitude and count my blessings.
You can find vintage dinnerware, glassware, and table accessories priced very low at flea markets and garage sales, just be sure to examine pieces carefully to avoid getting chipped and damaged dishes. These items will cost more at antique stores and online shops, but you can save time and energy by connecting with a dealer you trust to provide quality items.