I have a confession to make.
I don’t love Halloween. When I say that I don’t love it, I really mean that I tolerate it. I hate to sound so Grinch-y about it since I love every other holiday (sometimes it is torture not to start listening to Christmas music until the respectable date of Black Friday).
I’m not sure what it is about Halloween, but whatever the reason (maybe it’s the burden of figuring out what to be for Halloween), I keep my grouchy feelings a tightly guarded secret from my kids. I would hate to rob them of the joy that Halloween brings so many just because it is my least favorite holiday. Since I am starting to hate my less-than-tepid feelings about Halloween more than the dreaded holiday itself, I have decided to actively change my outlook by exercising my duty as an adult to not be a victim of my past (the pressure to make trick-or-treating plans) and find my Halloween groove.
I have tried to create a pumpkin picking and carving tradition. I start out strong with going to the cider mill for donuts and cider and have a blast picking out pumpkins at our favorite farm stand, but I start to lose steam somewhere between drawing the faces on the pumpkin and carving them. Once I harvest enough seeds to roast, I sort of lose interest. My husband does a great job following through the very end, but in my defense, I do a great job setting the scene with music and taking lots of pictures. I’m trying, people — really trying!
Although I was going through the motions pretty successfully on our pumpkin picking and carving tradition, I still wasn’t feeling the magic of Halloween. So this year, we took the kids to Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village. We all had an incredible time — even me! It was dark and spooky with jack-o-lanterns to light the path, but it wasn’t too spooky. The historical theme only added to the spookiness, especially the walk in the haunted forest and the headless horseman.
Something happened that night. It ignited the spirit of Halloween, and for the first time in a long, long time, I was able to see why people enjoy this holiday. Maybe it was because I was experiencing the fun instead of orchestrating an event or making sure the kids are prepared for their class celebrations. I just showed up and had fun with my family.
This is huge progress for me, and I want to keep the momentum going forward.
What fun traditions do you do with your family that helps you get ready for Halloween?