a Gratitude Path
There are moments when you look back on a decision made, a path you took once upon a time, with awed gratitude. I suppose it may sound a little silly, but that is how I feel about our choice to remake Halloween. I’m so grateful that we took the parts that we wanted and built on them. We didn’t settle; we didn’t shun. And, lucky us, we created an annual event that’s become a marker for our family culture.
This week we are preparing for our tenth annual party. Wow! Ten years ago we decided to forgo traditional trick-or-treating in lieu of throwing a party. An outdoor party. A come-in-costume, play with your friends, make art, find prizes, play games like bobbing for apples or Capture the Flag and enjoy smore’s around the bonfire, kind of party.
It started with wanting to avoid Halloween candy-overload. We love the dressing up part, but the get-all-the-candy-I-can part doesn’t fit our family culture. Hiding it, parceling it out, throwing it away - all of those options don’t feel good either. We created a new tradition that includes more than enough sweets to satisfy everyone (with no take-home baggage). It’s been such a win-win.
Every year is different, as far as games and food. Sometimes there’s a theme like medieval times or Harry Potter. This year we’re having a homemade pie contest. Maybe my name will be drawn to be one of the lucky judges/tasters!
I can focus on throwing the party because Grandma Trudi makes the kids their costumes. She is willing to go all out for them every year, even when their character isn’t anywhere near popular culture, and she has to make it up out of thin air. My kids are so lucky to have her.
I was feeling such gratitude while sewing up this little gift project for the pie contest winner. I came to realize that it’s not just that we’ve remade a holiday and created a rich tradition; it’s that our friends have come around us and made it so special. People are busy, especially as our kids become teens, but they still make time for this. They still come to laugh and eat and be a good sport about whatever craziness I’ve got planned.
So, yes, I’m grateful that we kicked off this shindig ten years ago, but I’m really brimming over with love for the friends that make up our community.
The least I can do is make them some potholders. Hehe. But I have to say, these did come out pretty great! Here’s to traditions old, traditions new and the people that make them worthwhile.
P.S. If you don’t like your holiday season, I dare you - make it over! You might be so glad you did.