Thursday, November 01, 2007

Deconstructing Halloween!

Just like so many others I've struggled with Halloween as a celebration. The two elements that have made me uncomfortable are the excessive amounts of candy (consumerism, creating glutonny) and the commercialism (the hallmark holiday phenomenon) stores build it up to it for at least a month trying to create a need to everything from Haloween undies to halloween pens! Before deciding to "not celebrate" I wanted to explore and see if to see if there were elements of the celebration that I could support and work with.

-it's pagan roots
-encouraging creativity (dress up, roll playing, costume making, face painting etc)
-comminity building
-an opportunity for a family tradition

WOW! these reasons seemed worthwhile so this got me thinking......(thinking cap on)

Zoe decided she wanted to be a witch. She wanted a green face and purple hair! These accesories we bought. Together we made her a skirt and a flying cape. She helped chose fabric, ribbon and helped with the design. As we live in a small town our "trick or treating" centered around main street about 10 houses, 3 businesses, the town hall (a haunted house) and donuts and cide at the firestation. Our local coffee shop plus advertised an early dinner of pumpkin soup and bread. A group of families decided to meet there. The night before I introduced "Trick or Treating" and the "Halloween Fairy" (she is 4 and although we have celebrate before this was her first real year of participation also her first year of knowing about "candy") We decided that when we got home that night she would chose 3 single pieces of candy (one per day) and the rest she would bury outside for the Halloween Fairy who would leave her a small gift. This lead to a great conversation on fairies. She loved the idea.

And the night was a hit! Yummy dinner with friends, an opportunity to chat, play and check out eachothers costumes. Followed by trick or treating and the parade. I am happy to see that the kids received gifts other than candy too (glow sticks, bracelets, games and a coupon for 1/2 off horse back riding classes!)

At some point Zoe raised her hands in AMAZEMENT and said "mama that scarry person gave me TONS of candy, TONS, the Halloween Fairy will be soooo Happy" It was at that point that I knew we had created a lasting family tradition.

Maybe next year I'll dress up too!!

And what did the Halloween Fairy leave her.....This book Good Night, Fairies and a pair of vintage smurf roller scates I found in her size!! A picture to follow. She'll be so excited. We will leave the candy out tonight so don't go telling her get!!

Here she is reaching into her fairy house to get her present left by the halloween fairies.....

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