Now that the trials and tribulations of Yom Kippur are gone its time to jump straight into the fun and frivolity of Sukkot. The first harvest festival of the year, it's so much fun to build a sukkot and really enjoy the outdoors. Just as the weather starts to change, its an ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors.
It may seem difficult to make a sukkah according to the halacha, but take a look at all the amazing options and possibilities. Allow your creativity to really take control, see what's possible. Don't limit yourself to the traditional box. Maybe now is the time to build that outdoor fort your kid has been clamoring for.
Some ideas for making sukkot a family celebration:
1. Build. Most people build a sukkah outside. What if you don't have the space. How about a lego sukkah? An edible sukkah? I think you could use popsicle sticks, maybe tegus? Anything goes! Have fun building decorating your mini-sukkahs. See what type of architecture or engineering skills you may have.
2. Eat outside. Regardless of whether you have a sukkot or not, now is a great time to pick that picnic basket back up again and enjoy a meal somewhere new. Perhaps you didn't quite make it to the summer picnic you aspired to- now is the time.
3. Sleep outside. Obviously most people make a sukkah outside to sleep under. However, that may not be practical for you. How about an easier teepee? Just sleeping outside, on a patio or a deck can count too, can bring you closer to the feelings of the holidays. Take the opportunity to do that camping trial run in the backyard. Embrace nature, and think how nice it is to have the bathroom so close.
4. Eat lots of Fruits and Vegetables. This is the harvest holiday. Break out the recipes for pumpkin, squash and other fall vegetables. Really enjoy that in season pear. Let your kids try their hands at a pumpkin pie or apple tart. Maybe it's time to dig into that garden and get your own harvest going for the fall.
5. Shake. You are supposed to shake an etrog and a lulav. But what if you don't have one. I say have a dance party. Shake your butts, really get in the joy and the thanks of the moment. No, this one may not be traditional, but I say you take what you have (or what you don't have) and get into the moment.