A Box of Autumn

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So since I live near Chicago, we always get riotous autumnal colors around this time of year. I can see the gorgeous shades of crimson, saffron, orange, and amber any time I walk down the street, but my family, who lives in Texas, can’t. Last year I came up with the idea of sending them a box filled with leaves and berries, and it was a massive success. So I am repeating that again this year, and now my box is ready to go.

I had to wait a little longer for the leaves to start changing this year. Or maybe not. Everyone insists that fall starts in September and Pinterest would have you believe that all of the trees have gone aflame by the first week in October. It’s not really until November (at least around here) that the most beautiful colors really start to show up.

I can sympathize with people living in warmer areas (having lived there for many years myself) where the leaves don’t change and the weather doesn’t get cold and you really, really want to wear scarves and feel “seasonal” but the geography in which you live doesn’t accommodate those desires. We have these ideals of what summer, fall, winter, and spring should be, but the truth is that many parts of the world don’t experience the seasons we call “traditional.”

A few tips for putting together your leaf box:

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1). Use a range of colors. I am always tempted to only include bright red and coral leaves, since I find them the most beautiful, but a good box with have a wide variety of shades, sizes, and textures.  Arrange the leaves in your box a few at a time by color, so that you end up with a stunningly layered box.

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2). Don’t be afraid to include berries or other natural pieces that you come across, such as interesting twigs or even autumnal flowers. I use the USPS flat rate boxes, which arrive within 2 days, so I don’t have to worry about the berries going bad while in transit.  My special find this time was bright white snowberries.

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3). Line the box with tissue paper and place bubble wrap or extra newspaper above the leaves if there is extra room in the box. Leaves aren’t particularly fragile, but you don’t want them to get jostled around. too much (Postal workers often throw the boxes. I know. I worked in a mail room).

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P.S. Thank you to all the lovely people who unwittingly donated leaves to make this box possible 😉

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