Time for Some Fall-da-ra!

Pumpkin GardenI know the word is really folderol, or falderal, and means foolishness or nonsense. But when I used my version to describe a neighbor’s wonderful display of all things autumn at her house we both laughed—so I thought I’d spread the joy!

Actually fall decorations aren’t nonsense, they are delightful and meaningful. The most lavish displays of fall-da-ra I’ve seen in my lifetime are in East Tennessee. Visiting my home state in October, and driving through Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg and on to Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I saw more pumpkins, scarecrows, dried cornstalks, decorative corn and gourds, hay bales and mums than I knew existed. Every street corner, business or residence has a fall display each year, and many rival a Macy’s window at Christmas time in terms of creativity and abundance.Fall Display 2

So what motivates us to do this kind of fall decorating? Why do I have three tubs of fall decorations myself, and take great delight in setting out autumn leaves, pumpkins, and all things orange, red, and gold? The tradition actually has very deep roots. Anyone who has farmed or been around a farm knows the activity and celebration that accompanies the harvest season. Once all the hard work is done, the hay is baled and in the barn, the produce is picked and canned for winter, then it’s time to party!

Neighbors in farming communities still come together bringing fresh-baked apple pies and squash casseroles to share. Tables are decorated with mason-jar bouquets of the last blooms from the garden. There might even be a square dance to the tune of a fiddle or two—all under the glow of a big orange harvest moon. After all, in some areas of the country neighbors might not see one another again until the spring thaw. Time to celebrate!

PumpkinAs for the even more meaningful part, harvest is mentioned throughout the Bible. After the great flood detailed in Genesis, God promised Noah: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Gen. 8:22). In Exodus 23:16, God named one of the three feasts He expected the Jewish people to celebrate the Feast of Harvest. “Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field,” He said.

As with most Biblical themes, the harvest is carried through from the Old Testament to the New Testament. So we read in Galatians 6:9: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Why have some fall-da-ra? To celebrate hard work completed—that we truly do reap what we sow. To acknowledge God’s abundant blessing in our lives and prepare for the upcoming season of Thanksgiving. To remind ourselves that it’s never too late to live a productive life from which others can glean something useful.

So pile up the pumpkins, make a centerpiece of multi-colored mums, light the spice-scented candles, set the cobbler on the counter to cool. It’s fall. Time for some fall-da-ra!

Comments

  1. Thank you, Nancy! Here’s to many fall-da-ra da celebrations still to come. In my neighborhood, the squirrels are joining in the party by carving out their own designs on pumpkins displayed on doorsteps.

  2. Jim B (your loving huzzband) says:

    I do love and appreciate how you honor each season with decorations around our home and yard. Your touch transforms our house into a love-filled home.

  3. Susan Kimbley says:

    Thank you Nancy for your thoughtful perspective. Your timing was perfect as I just put the finishing touches on my pumpkin and leaf displays. We just returned from the Appalachian neck of the woods ourselves. We were further north in Kentucky where we checked out the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter near Lexington! God’s promises to Noah struck a particular chord with us this year. Thank you for your Blog! Love it.

  4. Eileen Somers says:

    Thanks, Nancy, for a colorful reminder of all things wonderfully Fall1

  5. alice ferguson says:

    Such a warm, welcoming and wonderful word picture. I too, love this time of year. How sweet are the changes that the seasons bring. How unfailingly faithful is the Lord of the harvest

  6. Elizabeth Van Liere says:

    Lovely pictures, lovely thoughts. Thanks, Nancy.

  7. Charlie Fusco says:

    I’m now inspired to dig out the outdoor Thanksgiving flag and ceramic gourds and pumpkins and get my fall-da-ra on. Thanks for the delightful post Nancy!

  8. Oh Nancy you capture the essence of the season! I have 4 buckets of fall decorations and just LOVE putting them out. And every day when I drive out of my neighborhood and see the beauty of fall I just find myself smiling!! Yes indeed to fall-da-ra!!!

  9. Thanks, Nancy. As someone who loves spring and summer, I need to see the gourd as half full. To every season, turn, turn, turn.

  10. Helen Bruner says:

    Now when I start pulling out the decorations, it all makes sense!!! Thanks Nancy!!

  11. Fall in East Tennessee is always splendid and you have painted a wonderful picture for others to share…and I love sharing the beauty of these hills. This is my favorite time of the year and we are abundantly blessed when fall-da-Randy rolls around. Thanks for your thoughts

  12. Peggy Lovelace Ellis says:

    Thanks, Nancy! I need all the encouragement possible to decorate for the season when the beauty of spring and summer are fading. Peggy

  13. STEWART MCWILLIAMS says:

    What a gift God has given you to integrate culture and the word.

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