In some places the calendar tells us what season it is and in others the weather keeps us informed of the change. No matter where you live there is something that happens as summer fades into fall. The days get shorter and the weather turns cold. Children filter back into school and in a moment of clarity you feel the seasons change. Soon the holiday will be upon you. Taking stock of what you have ahead of you, this list of important autumn and winter holidays is designed to spark your imagination.

Recognizing which days are holidays is the first thing you should discover if you plan on staying ahead of the holiday crush this year. The following autumn and winter holidays come from a nationally recognized list of federal holidays which mark our celebrations on the calendar each year.

Labor Day is held on the first Monday of September in the United States. We honor the hardworking American man and woman with civic celebrations and parades. Vacationing during the Labor Day weekend is also one way to take advantage of this long weekend holiday. Labor Day is recognized as the last weekend of summer and many of us make sure to celebrate this day with some fun. Being at the edge of summer vacation for most students, Labor Day weekend can be the last party weekend before school starts or the first day off for public and private school students because of a holiday. Labor Day kicks of the holiday season each year and as the holidays roll by they come faster with fewer days in between.

Columbus Day falls on the second Monday of October and for school aged kids this is another free day from school. It is important to recognize the adventurous figure who is Christopher Columbus. He discovered America on October 12th, 1492. This holiday is marked federally with public schools and state offices closed. Civic events held in honor of Columbus Day traditionally center around parades and church services.

Halloween is on October 31st. This holiday is one is for the kids even if the adults want to play too. Halloween costume parties are held the weekend before and the weekend of Halloween. Trick or treating occurs on the Halloween night and neighborhoods can become filled with young goblins once the sun goes down. Halloween is the first major holiday of the autumn and winter season. Traditional parties include Halloween Costumes, candy, gags, gifts, ornaments, masks, candles, flame, smoke, witches, goblins, ghouls, outfits, apples, candy corn, lighting, theatre and audio tracks.

Election Day is held on November 2nd. While not a holiday we celebrate, this important date can be marked as an important date for change in America. This day is not considered a holiday but it is a day of movement for most Americans. Going to work and voting has become one of the most shared national events across America. While not a holiday, November 2nd has been one of two days where people will do the same thing at the same time. Only Christmas morning will see more people participating in the same activity as Election Day.

Veteran's Day falls on November 11th and represents the signing of the armistice treaty ending World War I and recognizes the large number of veterans that survived the war and deserving of a national honor for all those who sacrificed their lives to improve the American dream. Veteran's Day will be celebrated with wreaths of flowers on the tombs of unknown soldiers all across America. Church services and family dinners are all representative of this holiday observance.

November 25th is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is to Christmas what Deviled Eggs is to turkey; it the appetizer to the entrée. You really can't have one without the other. Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of all the blessings received throughout the year. Described as a harvest feast, this meal is more about the seasons changing than it 9is about harvest. Thanksgiving Day is a day to take stock and have gratitude for everything you have. Families should recognize where things could be better to promote a healthy growth for the upcoming year. Thanksgiving represents big football games, meals, shopping, and family.

Christmas Eve is the night of December 24th. While not Christmas, many families will travel to see their friends who will not be able to be visited the next day. So many families open presents on Christmas Eve that it could be said that Christmas Eve and Christmas morning split the present opening duties. Christmas Eve ends with church services for the Roman Catholics who attend Midnight Mass. Christmas Eve also include preparing goodies for Santa.

Christmas Day is December 25th. Opening presents in the morning turns into lunch with extended family and then dinner with the immediate family members who share so much of themselves with you. Christmas is the celebration of Christ's arrival and tribulations and eventual resurrection to atone for man's sins. Christmas will fill the whole day from morning until night. Presents, food, family and fun can be expected. Children wait all year for Christmas and families should always emphasize the importance of interacting through this major holiday with the children you love.

New Year's Eve falls on December 31st. This is an evening of celebration for the retreating old year and the ringing in of a new year. New Year's Eve partiers always plan on attending corporate and community gatherings that features the finest foods, beverages and entertainment. When it's twelve o'clock you can watch the ball drop in Times Square, kiss your lady, toast and enjoy the turning of another year to look forward to.

Autumn and winter holidays are special because they represent change and thanksgiving. These cold-weather holidays were created by our ancestors as a way to honor, celebrate, and participate in traditional ceremonies. Native people made it trough the longest nights of winter by celebrating symbolic dates. The holidays we cherish most have histories that go back to when the communities that shared these special events were the communities that made it through winter with few hardships. As the weather changed from summer fun to winter, these holidays inject a special reason to celebrate.