I’ve always been such an advocate of family traditions and one of the major downsides to living across the country from friends/family is missing out on Holiday rituals. Even though I’m so thankful for everything I have in my life, I get nostalgic thinking about past times and things that I’m missing out on because we are so far away.
The other day, my mom and I were reminiscing about all of our super fun Halloween memories. My mom and grandma have always made fall, specifically Halloween and Thanksgiving, such a memorable time of year and I look forward to continuing all of our family traditions each year.
In addition to the typical Halloween activities such as shopping for a costume, going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating, we had a slew of additional Halloween traditions.
As kids, during the weeks leading up to Halloween, we were kept busy with a variety of festive arts & crafts and baking. At Grandparent’s house, my grandma would help my brother, cousins and I create pumpkin men out of our own clothes, newspaper and pumpkin heads. We made them resemble ourselves, using our own clothes and accessories such as a doll, toy, hat and/or shirt that was unique to us. I have vivid memories of creating these life-size figures and being so excited to set them up on her front porch for all the neighbors to see. We were thrilled when people would stop by the house, because it meant we could show off our pumpkin people.
And the excitement didn’t stop there; at my parent’s house we would decorate Halloween sugar cookies and make Mr. Potato Head pumpkins. We also helped my mom decorate the house and prepare for the most fabulous Halloween party, where all my friends would be in attendance. My mom loved to make the house festive, warm and welcoming.
When Halloween day finally arrived, like most kids, we dressed up and trick-or-treated around the neighborhood. Our costumes were so amazing and always a little over the top. Our entire family (meaning cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents), would gather at one of our houses and trick-or-treat together. When we were done, all the candy would get dumped on the floor for our parents to “inspect”, which normally meant them picking out their favorites.
As all the kids got older and stopped trick-or-treating, the festivities and fun didn’t dwindle. Our family has always been extremely close, so we still get together, (some of us) dress up and we all enjoy Halloween together. My mom cooks a huge pot of her famous chicken tortilla soup, I make crazy Halloween inspired desserts and we haul it all over to my aunt/uncle’s house. We have drinks, walk around the neighborhood, visit some haunted houses and pass out candy.
Our traditions, although they may seem simple, are a part of many vivid and fond memories of my childhood. I am sad to be missing out on the festivities this year, but feel so blessed that I’ll be able to share them with Aiden and continue to uphold these family traditions in the future. I look forward to watching Aiden enjoy these same crafts/activities, and it’s my mission to make sure her childhood is as special as mine was.