This year we dressed up as an Astronaut (he had to have face paint too), Princess Fiona (I won't even go off about how old she looks with makeup on, but I was thankful that she didn't like it and said, "Mom, I'm sure glad I don't need that stuff every day"), Superman (he really really didn't want his picture taken), and a Fairy Princess (not just a fairy, that's insulting).This year as Halloween approached I began to question why we celebrate it? When I made a list of the things I like and the things I don't it went something like this:
I Like: costumes, food.
I don't like:
Scary, gothic, creepy and frightening things, haunted houses, ghosts, demons, goblins, grim reapers, witches, skeletons, bats, spiders, etc.
Candy from strangers
Giving candy to teenagers who didn't even dress up
So - here's how we celebrated Halloween this year and a tradition that I'd like to continue. We went and sang for the elderly in two care centers dressed in our costumes. This was an incredible experience for me as I remembered doing as a little girl and watched my beautiful children experience the joys that come from service and the relationships that form automatically between the very young and the very old. Then we had dinner with the missionaries - our first ever Great Pumpkin Feast (documented on my recipe blog in detail). The kids loved helping me prepare the foods, learning about pumpkins all week in school and getting dressed in their costumes for the "party". After dinner we watched a Halloween movie (Race to Witch Mountain) and I battled the trick-or-treaters at the door for about 30 minutes until I put out a sign that read, "Sorry, candy is gone, happy halloween". In all, I loved not having to brave the cold, not wandering the streets with multitudes of strangers watching carefully to make sure my kids were safe, playing candy police and making ourselves sick with the bounty. I much prefer fresh pumpkin pie and a quiet night at home. I must be getting old