Halloween for our family is months of work. The whole year is spent talking about what we want to dress up for the next year. It’s casual conversation over dinner, it’s the last thing said as we fall asleep at night, it’s inspired by books we read, but most of all it’s about creativity. We spend hours crafting items or searching through free piles for the necessary articles of clothing and reaching out to friends and family to add their own little area of expertise.
We plant the pumpkins at the beginning of the season we tend to them with love and care, we harvest them and carve out whatever our desired designs are for that year. This year we had a kitty, a pirate ship, and fawn. We decorate the house with seasonal attire and sing songs through the whole process. It leads to a sense of awe and reverence as we lead up to the actual day of Halloween.
We live in a small town where a section of houses is shut down by the police for the safety of trick-or-treaters so that they can meander in the streets from house to house laughing, sharing tips about what houses have the best candy, and comparing who has the best costume. It’s very very similar to most American movies that are centered around Halloween and what one might expect coming from another country to see for the actual act of trick-or-treating. We however start on the other side of town where my mother-in-law lives. it’s the houses were you get handfuls of candy because it’s unlikely that they will see any other children that night it’s a high rewards game.
Laden down with bags of sweets we return home and start to search through the things that we’ve collected. Everyone eats one or two to start and then select a small coveted handful hat will be theirs to keep. Everything else we put into a large bowl and put on the porch for the “sugar fairies.” We light a candle so that they know where they can find the sweets and we head in for the night. The sugar fairies come throughout the night and collect their candy from each house and it is with the sweets that they are tasked to sweeten all the fruit of the world. Giving us the gift of sweet treats the whole year round. I find it a beautiful way for children to collect with the intention of giving but also to learn about delayed gratification in knowing that they will get a sweet piece of fruit every day throughout the next year.
Of course after the kids go to bed we the adults gather the candy and hide it inside and leave a thank you note in what is a now empty bowl for the children to find in the morning.
Now four days after Halloween I have sufficiently made myself sick eating all that candy, and have subjected my family to my full on sugar crashes paired with my brief but constant absences as I hide in a closet to shove fist fills of candy in my mouth undetected. We are all winners in this scenario and while I would like to think that next year I will wield the self control that I am so carefully trying to craft for my children, instead I will just blame my mother for having not taught me better.