Many people CLAIM they love the fall.

Sure, we all love the bonfires and cooler weather and college football but are you truly a fan of fall? There are so many things that make this, in my opinion, the greatest season. But there are some who are true fall fanatics.

I came up with a little guide to tell whether you just like fall or if you are indeed crazy about this season. Do you know anyone who fits these descriptions?

1. Mums: For many people in the south, mums are a staple outdoor décor of the season. It’s like ferns in the summer. We run out and buy them as soon as they’re available. And they come in all different colors — from yellow to white to red to purple. But do you really love mum? Do you race over to SEVERAL stores to stock up on as many as you can get and cover your front porch and steps with them? Bonus points if you set up a hay bale in your front yard, prop up a scarecrow next to it and put out five or six mums to decorate it.

2. Signs: As I’ve said in previous columns, I’m not a fan of word signs in the house. You know, those signs that say “kitchen” and “laundry” and “gather” and “Blessed Nest.” They’re a little too farmhouse-y for me. However I know that many people around here absolutely love those types of signs and when fall comes around it seems like those folks really step up their sign game. You’re a fall fanatic if when the first cool day of the year gets here, you run to Hobby Lobby and throw every single seasonal sign into that buggy. You’re goin home with “Harvest,” “Pumpkin Patch,” “Happy Fall Y’all,” “Pumpkin Spice,” and “Hello Autumn” and they’re ALL going up somewhere in your kitchen and living room.

3. Halloween: There are those folks who live for Halloween. It’s a fun little holiday and some people can’t wait for fall to get here just because of Halloween. The real fanatics will have skeletons and cobwebs hanging up mid September and only keep adding to their ghoulish decor as the days go by. They’re the ones with entire graveyards set up in their front yards. On social media, they don’t shut up about “Hocus Pocus.” They share every single Halloween-inspired recipe out there and throw out about 50 costumes ideas they’re thinking about wearing this year.

4. Football: There’s nothing like college football to get almost everyone around here excited about the fall. Most of us have our team that we cheer for and we make sure we’re in front of the tv when that game comes on. Many of us also will plan our entire Saturdays around college football, making sure not to make any big plans that will take us away from the couch for too long. But fanatics are a different breed. Many of them have season tickets and will travel to every game to cheer on their team. Some folks watching at home can’t be bothered to click over between games. They’ll have several television sets on at the same time to make sure they can watch multiple games simultaneously. But since most everyone around here loves college football, being a fall fanatic because of it is encouraged and never ridiculed.

5. LSU: I’m not talking about the school I’m talking about the autumn “uniform” of leggings, sweaters and Ugg boots. Every season carries its staple dress. There are just some articles of clothing that almost everyone wears in the summer and in the winter. Fall is no different. We see more hoodies, some flannel, some vests. But there seems to be a trend the last few years that many women (not just here but all over) have grown very attached to. They wear leggings EVERYWHERE, throw a sweater on top of it and pair it with some comfy Ugg boots. I get it. This ensemble is easy and it’s warm and comfortable. However, there are fanatics that take this look too far. Every single occasion doesn’t call for leggings and Uggs. There are some women who will wear the LSU everywhere. They wear it to church, to dinner, to the fall festival, to the hay ride, to the wine tasting, to little Braxtynn’s soccer practice, to PaysLeigh’s dance recital and to Jaxxyn’s orthodontist appointment. Break the cycle.

6. Pumpkin spice: This is a fall trend that should never, ever have taken off. I don’t know who invented it but it needs to go away. Pumpkin spice exists nowhere in nature. God did not create this. It is an abomination. And yet as soon as fall rolls around, it creeps back into our everyday culture. Fall fanatics LOVE pumpkin spice ANYTHING. They want pumpkin spice candles, cookies, coffee, hand soap, muffins, Jello, air freshener. There’s even pumpkin spice Pop Tarts. How have we strayed so far from God’s light? I’m proposing a new fall flavor/scent.... Buffalo Chili. It combines the rich, tangy aroma of buffalo wings with the robust flavor of piping hot chili. Now that’s something we can look forward to.

7. Candles: Listen, candles are great. They make your house smell good. I like candles. But something happens in the fall that triggers a mechanism in fall fanatics’ brains and makes them think they need to buy dozens and dozens of fall candles or the apocalypse will be upon us. How many candles do you need? I’ve seen people line up during the Bath and Body Works 3-Wick Candle Sale to take entire boxes of candles home. I think a big part of it is the names they give these candles. You can’t NOT buy “salted butterscotch,” “pumpkin pecan waffles,” or “harvest pomegranate.” And who could possibly say no to “mahogany apple,” “sweater weather” and “campfire caramel.”

If you know someone’s who’s also a fall fanatic, tag them in the comments.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

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