Starting with Halloween, I become so excited. I do not have grandchildren and in my present residence, we do not have "trick or treaters," but I love it. I used to have a Halloween party to kick off the upcoming season of festivities and parties. I LOVE planning and making all of the food, and it was fun to see who would "dress up" for Halloween. I have some great pics of years past and I look at them now, since I do not have those parties any more.
And after Halloween, there is the preparation for Thanksgiving. Since I am on a fixed income, I have to start buying for Thanksgiving early. Yes, the answer to your question is I do still prepare a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, even though I rarely have guests. I found out years ago, that it fills up that week to prepare for the dinner - this week of family togetherness. I have no real family close so I do it for myself. Sometimes, if there are neighbors with nowhere to go, I invite them over. I turn on the football games for "background music" and cook, I usually start my cooking on Monday of Thanksgiving week.
Now, December is a special month since my birthday is that month, as well as Christmas and New Year's Eve. I treat myself on my birthday with breakfast, lunch, and dinner out (usually with coupons sent me by restaurants) and now, with a trip to the beach, too. I celebrate my "birth." For Christmas, I prepare a dinner, quasi-traditional foods but not as involved as Thanksgiving. I get some champagne and snacks for New Year's Eve (but rarely stay up to watch the ball drop).
New Year's Day I prepare all the traditional southern foods, invite people over to watch games, or just go it alone. I enjoy the cooking and the fun, even if it is sometimes just me.
So you see, I love this time of year. I put aside the fact that I am alone and go ahead and try to remember how fortunate I really am. And as a result, I have created new traditions for myself and I look forward to them. Happy Fall to all of you.