Like so many holidays, traditions built around Halloween have become pretty important to families and their kids. I am noticing Teal pumpkins being decorated, and allergen friendly treats being used. Even non-food treats and “candy trade-ins” are being adopted!
I figure most parents are thinking “What happened to Halloween? How different it has become!” And there might be an underlying fear that things aren’t “the same” anymore. (read: fun).
All Hallows Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Samhain or Summer’s End… Brought to North America by Irish and Scottish immigrants during the late 18th century, Halloween is associated with the Celtic festival of Samhain- the end of harvest season and the start of the “dark season.”
It was believed that during Samhain, a door was opened from the underworld, which let spirits into our world. People would dress up in costumes to disguise themselves from the dead. Putting out food and drink at the front of their homes, communities would spend the night wandering from house to house enjoying each other’s hospitality.
So yes, Halloween has evolved. First, we shared fruit & nuts; then chocolate & cheezies; and now Allergen Friendly candy & tattoos! But has Halloween actually changed? It seems to me that a happy and very traditional Halloween relies on 3 simple ingredients – and all of them are Allergen Friendly!
Dress up! – Get kids involved in planning and making their costumes. The older they get the more fun the preparation becomes! And parents should always enjoy some silliness too. When else do we get to throw off our stiff, parental demeanor? YeeHaaaah!!!
Engage with your community! – When my family first moved west, I was delighted to find that everyone on our street setup a little refreshment stand on their lawn for the adults. While kids were safely trick or treating, adults were saying hi to neighbours and enjoying some lighthearted visiting… dressed up of course!
Share some hospitality! – I’ve seen everything from Hollywood calibre haunted houses to Fireworks good enough for the 4th of July. But your hospitality doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be thoughtful, warm hearted and inclusive. Most common of course are the carved pumpkins and decorations that everyone enjoys so much! But never forget what you are handing out to the kids. The more mindful we are of our choices; the more kids get to share in the fun!
In the end, as long as we keep in mind our love of community and our desire to share some fun with our kids, Halloween will never change!