The scent of dirt, bales of hay, and crisp fall air mingle together into something I wish could be bottled up and saved for later. It’s that distinct fall odor that candles can never seem to capture and somehow always evokes childhood memories. Mud squishes beneath our boots and we occasionally kick up globs of it as we frolic through rows and rows of endless orange pumpkins. Sometimes traditions carried from childhood to adulthood are worth keeping. Sometimes they’re what keep you sane and happy.
This past weekend, my sister, Calvin, Mark, and I needed a quick getaway from the house. With my grandfather’s health continuing to decline, our home can feel quite depressing at times. In order to lift our spirits, we decided to visit the Uesugi Pumpkin Patch in Morgan Hill. My sister and I frequented that particular pumpkin patch when we were younger. Now that we’re older, we drag our significant others there to just continue old traditions and begin new ones.
In my opinion, being festive, anticipating upcoming holidays, and sharing these silly traditions with loved ones are one of the best things about life. I’ve discovered that being festive gives me a reason to always be excited about something. Since Halloween is in fact one of my favorite holidays, I will share some of the benefits of celebrating Halloween and how doing some of these fall/Halloween like activities can increase the joy in your life.
Why does being festive improve your levels of happiness?
1. Positive Attitude
Being festive and embracing holidays require you to have a positive attitude. You have to be excited in order to decorate for Halloween, find costumes, visit pumpkin patches, and cook all holiday related foods. I’ve personally found that it lifts my overall mood and keeps me feeling joyful. Whenever I feel a little down, I can just glance over at my plethora of pumpkins or the glimmering lights hanging outside my door and feel better. I’d suggest that if you want to feel happier, try being more festive!
2. Good Company
When you’re festive, you spend time with people who are nearly as enthusiastic as you are about the encroaching holiday. And even if those people aren’t as ‘into it’ as you are, I’m sure your infectious excitement will rub off on them. Also, when you visit pumpkin patches, you’re out in nature and you’re surrounded by people who are generally happy as well. No one and nothing can bring you down! (My sister was quite thrilled to pose for this photo.)
3. Great Food
One of the best things about being festive and embracing these seasonal holidays is that you get to try all sorts of different foods that are associated with a specific time of year. For instance, Halloween and fall go hand in hand with anything cinnamon-y, apple flavored, or PUMPKIN. It’s always so much fun trying to develop and adapt new recipes to fit the season. It’s also fantastic getting to occasionally indulge in these delicious treats.
4. Memorable Traditions
Having traditions allow you to feel more connected to the important people in your lives. My mom shared so many of these fall and Halloween traditions with me and my sister when we were younger. We’d visit pumpkin patches, drink hot chocolate, and decorate our house. They are some of the most positive aspects of our childhood. Now that we have more important people in our lives, sharing these traditions with them make us feel all the more connected to them.
5. Opportunity to Give Back
As with most holidays, you can participate in a fundraiser that is directly correlated to that holiday. Since I’m a teacher and Halloween is nearing, I have organized Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF for my kids and other classes. This gives me and all of the other people in my life an opportunity to do something selfless for those in need. And did you know that being generous and giving also boosts happiness? It increases the levels of joy for the person giving and for the person receiving. It’s a win-win!
Now whenever I set foot outside, I see a variety of pumpkins that my sister and I picked out. You can bet that I have a smile on my face each time that I see them.
Does being festive actually boost your mood? Well, while there aren’t any formal studies that prove that it does, I certain believe it does. So go visit your local pumpkin patch, whip up a batch of something cinnamon-y, decorate your home, and get those coins ready for those UNICEF trick-or-treaters!