There is a new file on my computer titled “Winter, 2017” and it in already 30 or so photos. This morning I booked tickets to our annual local winter festival and I am one cup of chicken soup away from cutting out paper snowflakes and hanging them from every ceiling in our home. But before I get carried away with our winter bucket list this year, I wanted to share a little autumn tradition of ours: Cinnamon donuts and leaf jumping under the only autumn trees I know about in Brisbane.
This was the first year Joel came along with us and as we pulled up, he looked at me like I might have lost my mind and said, “Are you kidding? IS THIS IT?” Before I could answer, Ella piped up from the backseat, “Mum, why is no one else ever here?”, while Joel looked on all wide-eyed and mouth-shut and saying nothing but what he was very clearly saying was: Um….because we’re on the side of a main road in front of someone’s property, that’s why.
But you guys, if you shut out the noise and the cars, it really is kind of special.
The thing I love most about these annual traditions is remembering where we were a year ago, noticing how things have changed, and having old memories triggered which I had all but forgotten about. It was only when I got there and saw the tiny seed pods scattered over the ground that I remembered how Billy last year used to call them ‘prickle cones’.
I don’t know, it matters to me to remember that.
We set out a cosy blanket and our cinnamon donuts while Ella was excitedly telling Joel about all the things we do on this tradition, and when we passed him a donut, he looked at me and said, “Sorry but I don’t really want one”.
It was autumn blasphemy and he was totally killing my traditions buzz.
“Oh my God, that’s enough out of you”, I said. “Eat it. Eat it right now. You come along with us? You do as we say.”
He reluctantly put a donut in his mouth and half-smiled to Ella who was confused but secretly wondering if she might be able to have her dad’s left-over donut if he didn’t eat it all.
The best bit, always, is jumping in the big pile of leaves we scoop up, and throwing them into the air like a proper autumn tradition would have us.
The kids love it.
And just for the record, we celebrated the first day of winter last Thursday with toasted marshmallows and matching Christmas jammies because that kind of thing is a prerequisite for living within this family and I will force my children to do it with me until they are 18 and begging me to stop.
But right now, they happily oblige, and when I put Christmas jammies on one of them, the other says, “Hey, do you want to be matching?” To which the other says, always, Yes!
Dear Lord, I know they have to grow up but gosh do I love this age. Make it go a tiny bit slower, please.
Which brings us to the most exciting news that school is out in less than three weeks and one whip of a season change and we’re already dreaming of all the wintery things we’re going to do these school holidays.
Behold, I give you our Winter School Holidays Bucket List, because dreaming of the fun is half the fun.
- Ice Skating at the Winter Festival
- Strawberry Picking
- Bake Strawberry Pie
- Christmas in July Party
- Stanthorpe Holiday
- Hot Chocolate Stand
- Bonfire at my brother’s property
- Make cinnamon scented playdough
- Start our Nature Journal
- Sunday Soup Night with friends
- Toasted marshmallow, movie + sleepover night for one each of the kids’ friends
- Build a new hen house for the chickens
- Bake sourdough bread with the kids
- Build veggie garden planter boxes ready for spring
What’s on your list?
Happy Winter. Or as Billy likes to say: Happy Birthday Winter!