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Monday, November 4, 2013

Fun times around Halloween

Trick-or-treating, decorating the house and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, just some of the fun things my kids enjoy during Halloween. Ever since my daughter Randi was just a few months old we took her to a pumpkin patch. I have a picture of my husband, me and her sitting on a hay stack surrounded by pumpkins.
It has been a tradition since than to take our girls now 9 and 7 to the pumpkin patch each year to pick out their favorite pumpkin. We usually dedicate one night a few weeks before Halloween to go and search for that perfect pumpkin at the local church pumpkin patch. The girls take their time walking up and down the rows of pumpkins trying to find the best pumpkin that they think would be good for carving.
When my girls were younger, my husband would carve the pumpkins for them. Now that they are older, they can do it.
We have a tradition for carving the pumpkins that our friends the Iovinos started a few years ago at their house. It’s called a carving party. Everyone brings their pumpkins, we dress up in costumes, we sit outside and carve the pumpkins. Last year they got high tech and let us use power tools to help carve out parts of the pumpkins. It is always a lot of fun!

One other tradition started a few years ago was a Halloween party on Halloween night that my parents throw. They started it to celebrate my nephew’s birthday which is very close to Halloween. Because we have a pretty big family with lots of little ones, it is a way to get everyone together. We have dinner and the kids get to trick-or treat around my parent’s neighborhood. It seems to get bigger and bigger each year. Last year my nephew decided to make a haunted house in my parent’s garage. It was a big hit with the trick-or-treaters and the neighborhood kids.
Halloween is a great time for block parties and a great time to get to know your neighbors by taking your kids around in their costumes and meeting those you live next door to. 
What is interesting to me is the origin of Halloween. I recently looked up Halloween to find out how it originated and found out that it has been around since 1745 and is of Christian origin. Since then, Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve has been observed on October 31st  the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day or all Saints’ Day which is on November 1st and All Souls’ Day which is on November 2nd. The three days are collectively known as Hallowmas and is a time for honoring the saints. I bet most people would have never guessed the origin with the way Halloween is portrayed in today’s society.
It is funny how things change over time. I am noticing though more churches having Harvest Festivals for kids and their families. A lot of churches incorporate trunk-or-treat into their festival. Trunk-or-treat is when people decorate their vehicles and line them up in a parking lot and kids go around from trunk to trunk and get candy.  Halloween can be a fun holiday for kids between all the pumpkins, festivals, candy and costumes.

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