Guest Author - Kristi A Larson
The air is beginning to chill and that can only mean that Fall is here! For some the season is their favorite - gorgeous colors, warm days and cool nights, football, and a sense of tranquility as things slow down from Summer's hectic pace. For others this season marks the end of warm weather and the onset of cold, endless raking of leaves, and football...Well, whatever your point of view, Fall is a great time to get together with friends since few people are off on vacation at this time of year. And an Autumn Harvest Party is perfect!
The decor highlights all of the beautiful colors this season has to offer, and best of all, you can leave the decorations up and enjoy them until it's time for the Christmas and Chanukah decor to be brought out. Most discount retailers have numerous silk leaf options available, and most are quite inexpensive. Tuck small leaf bushes everywhere and wrap leaf garland around railings, grapevine wreaths, or mantels. For an adult party consider tucking some leaves into wine glasses, both upright ones and those tipped over. Puddle some Fall-hued fabric underneath. For a children's party, let them gather some brightly colored leaves and acorns from outside. Acorns can be used to fill a clear glass vase or bowl. Drape fabric on tables and add some branches, wrap them with white or orange lights for added flair. Haybales and scarecrows also add an Autumn touch!
Be sure to include traditional apple bobbing, or for younger children, tie apples from overhead and let them try and grab a bite! Other games may include a Leaf Hunt, with a prize for the most different colors or types, a Fall Scavenger Hunt, Building Scarecrows, Pumpkin or Gourd Painting, and a Pumpkin Rolling Relay. You could contact a local farmer and set up a hayride, this would be especially fuun if you could do it in the evening and ride to a bonfire where you could toast marshmallows and drink cocoa or cider.
And speaking of roasted marshmallows and cider, there are many delicious food you can serve as well! Fill hollowed out apples with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. Put in a shallow pan with about an inch of water in the bottom, cover and bake. Serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. Other apple treats include: apple pie or tartlets, muffins, applesauce, and sliced apples with a caramel dipping sauce. Toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bars, candy corn, and leaf shaped cookies will also be a hit.
For centuries people have been gathering in the Fall to celebrate the Harvest, for there is much to celebrate! This is a time to pay homage for the wonderful bounty of crops, to delight in Nature's wonder, and to enjoy the company of great friends. What more could one ask for!