Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Is Halloween

I can't tell you how irritated I get around Halloween time (if I offend anyone during this post, I apologize in advance, just sayin). I can't tell you how many parents I hear say "It's the devil's holiday, my kid won't be trick or treating". Really? So your kids dressing up like Spiderman and Barbie then going from door to door begging for teeth rotting candy is all just a front for devil worship?

Halloween originated as a Druid/Celtic/Irish practice called Samhain. The beginning of their year was the 1 of November, so they celebrated Samhain on the night of October 31. That was the night that they believed spirits came back to mingle with their people. The Celtic people would wear masks (which is why we have present day costumes) to either mingle with the good spirits or scare the bad ones away (they were also trying to disguise themselves so as not to be mistaken for human). The fact that those spirits "came around" helped the Priests of that day to make predictions for the coming year. Masks and costumes were also used to tell stories around the giant bonfires that were lit, bonfires that they believed would help them during the winter, so they took bits of the bonfire home and lit them in their own fireplaces.

Samhain was then meshed with a Roman holiday that was put in place to commemorate the passing of their dead. And also a holiday that celebrated the goddess Pomona who's symbol was the apple (bobbing for apples, candy apples). The Pope came around years later to make November 1 All Hallows Day (or All Saints Day). The night before became All Hallows Eve (Halloween). There were bonfires and costumes (just like with the Celtic celebration of Samhain) and parades. In the 1800s it was turned in to something more for communities and families. Parties and get togethers.

Trick or treating started out as a way to keep the spirits happy. For lack of a better way to put it. People would put food out on their porches as treats in order to avoid tricks. In medieval England it was called "souling". Starving people would go door to door on All Hallows Eve and say prayers for those that had died in exchange for food. There's an old Scottish/Irish tradition called "guising". Sending their disguised children door to door for money and food. They would only receive their "treats" in exchange for doing "tricks".

Halloween is what you make it. If you think it to be a miserable holiday full of devil worship and cult activity, then that's what it's going to be. If you think Halloween is just an overly commercialized holiday that's a ruse to make dentists money, fine, don't let your kids go trick or treating. Spare them from the cavities and possible sickness from eating too much candy.

But remember, what YOU believe is not always what everyone else believes. For me, Halloween was, is, and always will be about the fun decorations, interesting costumes, and candy for kids. It's fun. I mean heck, people go all out on their Halloween decor the same way they do for Christmas. And to be honest... I always liked going to haunted houses and being just a tad bit scared, wondering what was going to pop out of the dark behind me. But come on, the kids (unless they're raised differently ... but I won't get in to that in this blog) are in it for the candy. They're in it for the costumes. They want to have the coolest (or scariest/prettiest/most sparkly etc.) costumes and get the MOST candy out of all of their friends. Regardless of whether or not they're going to be able to eat it all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Everywhere You Go a Smiling Face

I have a confession to make...
My children are victims of my nostalgia.

Some of their favorite cartoons to watch.... were my favorite cartoons to watch. Lydia loves Scooby Doo and Care Bears. Alanna had Rainbow Brite drawn on her wall (courtesy of ME, uh-thank you). They both are (or at least were, Alanna's a tad too old now) head over heels for My Little Pony.
Heck, Lydia and I spent hours once online trying to find names for the ponies she has (many of which were passed down from her sister) that we either couldn't remember, or never knew the names to. And I really wish I had written some of them down, because I don't remember where I found them or what they were... so if she asks me I'm gonna have to look again.

Granted the cartoons aren't the same as they were back in the 80s/90s... but that's ok. As long as they like everything that I like (totally kidding). It makes it fun to watch together. Because they can't figure out how Mommy knows the songs from beginning to end in the brand new movies that they've just gotten and haven't ever seen before.

Maybe it's because I know these cartoons are safe. Because I've seen them. Maybe it's just because I miss being a kid, and watching them with my parents. Maybe it's because I want to watch them with my kids the way my parents watched them with me. I don't know. Maybe it's a mix of all 3 of those things together. I'm trying to live the best parts of my childhood vicariously through Alanna and Lydia. Guilty as charged.

I miss the times when things were simple. When watching cartoons was the hardest part of my day. Haha. So maybe it's me trying to bring some of that simplicity back into my life. Honestly, I don't know. But my children reap the benefits of DVD buying binges with cutesy 80s cartoons so there's not really a whole lot to complain about there.

What was your favorite thing to watch as a child? What do your kids watch now that you loved when you were little?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

Oh wait. I didn't really mean to start singing it.

Fall is by far my favorite season of the 4. Oh. My. Gosh. I love it. It's one of those things there it's hard to explain why I love it... I just do. And just because you guys are special, I'm going to show you why.


Watching my kids play in leaves

Carving pumpkins


Halloween costumes/makeup

Candles that smell like spices and food

I love fall. I love love love it.

There's only ONE thing that would make this season better for me...