Traditions: Halloween

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This is the first in a small series on Traditions. Since we live far away from all our family we are free to reinvent any and all of our family and holiday traditions.

I loved Halloween as a kid. Favourite holiday hands down. New Zealand does not love Halloween.

I’ve seen people talk about how they leave their sprinklers on all night, leave their dog tied to the gate and so on. To me it’s similar to people blithely talking about kicking puppies. I’m horrified that people hate it so much.

Arguments I have heard against it:

Why are we teaching our kids it’s ok to beg for candy from strangers when we teach them the rest of the time that candy and talking to strangers is not ok? First of all, just what?The idea that it’s begging baffles me honestly.  But Christmas and presents are ok, and celebrating Guy Fawkes is A-OK? Nah, that argument is feeble.

It’s American commercialism being forced on us. It’s about  the least commercial holiday I can think of and the DIY option has always been popular for costumes and yard decorations. Candy not so much, but it’s nothing compared to Christmas, Easter (present baskets are a common thing now, it’s not just eggs and candy), or Valentines Day.

It’s not seasonal. Valid, but yeah, neither is Easter and that’s a 4 day weekend here where things are significantly less religious than the US.

People aren’t used to it so it can be alarming, especially for older people. This is one I can respect. I’m not about to go foisting my preference for Halloween on unsuspecting people. If/when we do get to a point or neighborhood where trick or treating seems ok I will be doing the send a letter around with balloons people can put on their mailboxes if they want to participate thing. I like the idea of letting people opt in.

So suffice to say it’s not really a thing here and while it’s trying to catch on (driven by a retailer or two)  it seems a lot of people are strongly opposed to it. So that sucks. For the first few years of Thing 1’s life we could get by with not really doing anything because there was (and is) nothing much to do and she was little and didn’t know about it. So mostly I was just sad that it’s not acceptable to dress up, and that trick or treating is frowned upon.

Anyhow, this year is different. I’m cautiously excited that we can do something and I won’t have to be sad that I’m ignoring my favourite holiday because it’s not done here. In her three year old wisdom, Thing 1 has cottoned on that Halloween is a thing. And she is excited (because it’s awesome!). So if we lived somewhere trick or treating friendly we would do that. But we do not. I’m not even sure if there are any trunk or treat or other activities on. I’ve seen some non scary costume school fairs and an Indian light show thing (Diwali) that people around here think is somehow equivalent or related (I don’t get it), but nothing free or casual like trick or treating. So she will dress up for daycare.

But what about the candy? Thing 1 came up a few weeks ago with the gem that the monster under her bed would leave her candy. At first I was all D’aww, how cute and misunderstood. Then I thought about it and decided it was a cute idea I could implement. So I have some little pumpkin buckets with a small amount of candy and some glow sticks in them. I will leave them under her bed and she can find them in the morning of Halloween. I think it’s a neat new tradition.

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Have to have two for jealousy control.

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