Fall is in the air. Fall is for friendship.
Enjoy fall with your friends and family?
I embrace a life full of intention. What could be more fun than intentionally planning time with family and friends. I love the picture with this blog that say, “Come In and Cozy Up.” With the weather is turning cool and the need for some of your cozy clothes, use this inspiration to create space for more time for friendship. We all need friends. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” Few moments are more enjoyable than those spent in the company of a comfortable friend.
Although this blog’s title directs you to think about friendships, don’t forget the friendship that you have with many of your immediate and extended family. In a deliberate effort to embrace your everyday, here are a few ideas to lean into time with your friends this fall:
1. Invite a friend for a long walk in the breathtaking outdoors. With the beauty of color in the changing leaves and the stunning blue color in the sky, walking outside is just full of happy endorphins. Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk for a long time. Think of a beautiful place to take in all the beauty of the season. Use this time to offer life giving words and thoughtful conversation. Some of the people you love the most may be struggling with loneliness. Think of someone who has experienced a loss or is caregiving or experiencing a change in their life. Offer the gift of your friendship.
2. Stock up on cozy drinks to share with a friend. Being prepared to be hospitable is one of the best ways to live a purposeful life! How easy is it to buy hot chocolate, apple cider, tea, coffee or chai? Stash it away and then look for an opportunity to invite a friend or family member over for a warm drink and long conversation.
3. Build a bonfire with friends. With all of the yard debris needing to be cleared, it is easy to stack it in a pile and start a fire. Again, this is conducive for conversation. Add in some hot dogs with s’mores and you have a party.
4. Give a friend a new blanket or cozy socks. What better way to add kindness to someone’s life than by giving them something incredibly soft and comfy! One of my go-to gifts is a seriously soft blanket. It never fails to bring an enthusiastic thank you from the recipient.
5. Prioritize long conversations with a friend. While this seems simple, it is not common. The most valuable gift you can give is your time and a listening ear. Think of someone who you have not talked with in a while or select one of your favorite family members. Plan a time and place. Then spend time in a long conversation. This is one of my favorite things to do in any season. The fall reminds me that change happens quickly. Living intentionally means that I don’t waste the today that I am living in right now.
6. Plan a Friendsgiving. Seriously, this is a super fun idea. Maybe you have a large family gathering planned for Thanksgiving. Or maybe you don’t. Either way, find a day to organize your friends to gather around the table. Read this blog for specific ideas.
7. Try a new fall recipe like gingerbread and share a few friends. Gingerbread is really easy. You can even buy a box mix if making one from scratch is not your thing. It pairs well with pumpkin mouse or just butter. It always tastes best eaten with a friend!
8. Organize a chili party with a few friends. This is not as complicated as it sounds. Since participation builds ownership and community, I love to invite people to bring food to share. Many of my hospitality ideas invite participation. A chili cook off is as easy as a Hawaiian Haystack or a Taco Bar. Simply invite your friends to bring one thing from this list: a pot of their favorite chili, bread, a salad or desert. Limit each category based on the number you anticipate. For example if expect 10 people, have a sign up for two chili options, one basket of bread, two salads, one grated cheese, two deserts, one drinks and one wild card item of your choice. As the host or hostess, be ready with bowls, plates, silverware, napkins and serving dishes. Prepare set up and clean up. Anticipate that you might need to jump in where there are gaps or last minute cancelations.
9. Call an old friend. Tell someone from your past how much they have meant in your life. Write a note or make a call. Since fall is a great time for friendship, think of a friend who you have not communicated with in a while. Pick up the phone and tell them how much you have missed them. Tell them how your heart is full of fond memories of the times you have spent together. Genuinely ask them how they are doing. Enjoy this gift of friendship once again. The blessing is sweet in both directions. If you hurry and start on this right away, you might find yourself calling more than just one long lost friend.
10. Find ways to help your friends to be successful. This is an important feature of a healthy friendship. A quality friend will not be jealous or competitive with his or her friends, but he or she will celebrate the achievements of a friend. Maybe you need to do something, but more likely, you need to say something. Sometimes we can push a friend forward by speaking well of them in front of others. Recalling a virtue or admirable characteristic of your friend builds them up in the minds of your audience. Be purposeful with this idea. The next time you are in conversation with someone or with a group, find a way to speak well of a friend. Develop this habit. Protect your friends. Develop strong loyalty.
Use the excitement of the change of season to do some or all of the above mentioned ideas. Remember that a friend could be a family member too. You remember the proverb, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly,…” (Proverbs 18: 24KJV)
While there are so many fabulous quotes about friendship, one of the best is “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
― Jane Austen
Lean into the gift of friendship this fall!!