Some see Halloween as dangerous, others see it as sacrilegious, but as a 20 year old in college I see it as a time that can bind families together if one stops and sees it through their kids eyes. For kids imagination is everything and only one holiday allows kids to be anything they want, Halloween!
As a 20 year old who remembers Halloween with her family what made it special for me was the time we spent together in creative ways around “Halloween”. So how can we make Halloween a special time for everyone in our families? Here are our four things my parents did that brought the family together and made it special.
1) Making special meals
2) Decorating the house and carving pumpkins as a family
3) Homemade costumes
4) My dad dressing up
Every Halloween my three siblings and I would look forward to Halloween because it lead to fun times that we spent together as a family.
Decorations and Meals
Every year like clockwork the fall decorations would come out. Pumpkins, squashes, fall colors and leaves would be all over the living and dining rooms. We never decorated with a scary theme. My sister and I looked forward to fall as this was when my mom pulled out the fall decorations and we helped mom decorate and make the house feel like autumn. We were able to put things where we wanted and made it feel special to us, giving us a sense of pride and accomplishment.
As Halloween approached we would pick out and carve pumpkins as a family. My Dad would allow us to draw the faces we wanted on the pumpkin and he would help us carve our design and my mom made special meals for us! Meals played a big role in making it feel like fall in Phoenix, AZ as well. My mother would make soup, chili and casseroles as if we were in a colder climate and on the night of Halloween she would make one of my favorites, autumn soup. Decorations and meals may not seem important for kids, but they ended up being a huge part of how we celebrated every holiday in my family. Weather you do normal fall décor or go for a scary theme when you decorate, make special meals and do the pumpkins together it shows kids how much you care.
Costumes are the center of Halloween celebrations, and has become the most commercialized part of this holiday. With every parent going out to buy a costume from the store it makes those DIY costumes so much more fabulous. I was lucky enough to have a mom and grandma that could sow, making me some wonderful creations to wear, but you don’t have to sow a homemade costume. Piecing things together from your closet can make some of the best and cost effective DIY costumes. As I got older I found myself doing this to save time and money. Creating our own costumes gave us creative rein and pride in what we were wearing.
Now you may not think that it matters for a parent dresses up, but it is more important you may think. My dad would dress up every year with us! He would get in his old firefighter gear or match one of our costumes. One year he went as a cacoon because my sister was a butterfly and I was a lady bug. Another he went as Bob the builder with my little brother. Although he may have looked more like a mummy than a cocoon that year, my dad always made it clear that he cared, and would even embarrass himself to keep our imaginations alive as we became who ever we wanted well into my high school years given that I have two younger others as much as 8 years behind me.
We went out one night of the year together as a family all dressed up, laughing and playing. One magical evening where we could live out our dreams that helped us learn to dream about our future.
So as you consider Halloween this year look at it through your kids eyes and make it about family, creativity, doing things together and building a family the lives, loves and laughs together. These are the days your kids will remember throughout their live and that draw kids closer to their parents.
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