As a child Hallowe’en was my favourite holiday. I would spend time with my mother conceptualizing and sewing my costume. An A-Type, my trick-or-treating route would be marked out weeks in advance. I would take care in decorating the house and my bedroom for the holiday as soon as October first came around. There is something magical about Hallowe’en. The history of Paganism and witches is fascinating. Last year over Thanksgiving I convinced my family to go to Salem, Massachusetts with me to learn all about the witch trials of 1692. In the future I plan to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Mexico.
My extended family has always been invited to my parents house for Thanksgiving. So in a way, I feel as though the holiday belongs a little to my family and hold it a little more dear to my heart. My parents live in Muskoka, a beautiful cottage country in Northern Ontario. It is always cold enough to turn the leaves, but still warm enough to enjoy most of the day and sometimes even dinner outside with the beautiful foliage and crisp air in your lungs. Thanksgiving never carries with it the heightened stress which Christmas does, no driving in the snow, no worrying over gifts. Friends and family gather and simply enjoying each other’s company, my father’s fantastic cooking and my mother’s fantastic baking!
Ontario runs the full gamut when it comes to weather. Our summers are incredibly humid, making outdoor activities ofttimes uncomfortable. At the other end of the spectrum our winters are wickedly cold and we find ourselves surrounded by walls of snow and sheets of ice. Ontario Autumn though, complies with the Goldilocks principle for outdoor activities, including: Autumn walks, pumpkin patches & carving, raking leaves, playing in the leaves. Despite having grown up in Muskoka I remain enchanted by the beauty of autumn each year.
I have three movies I watch each year in October: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus and Rosemary’s Baby. Rosemary’s Baby was originally a book, which I also recommend. Poe’s poetry, dark and morbid always reminds me of autumn as well.
The Autumn harvest is the epitome of comfort food. Warm beverages: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latté, hot apple cider, mulled wine. Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables topped with gravy, followed by Thanksgiving sandwiches comprised of leftover turkey and gravy. Confectioneries: candy corn, candy apples, pumpkin and apple pies with whipped cream.
Bundling up in scarves and wool sweaters. The colours imitate those of the trees, in burgundy and mustard and black lace.