Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Up until the last few years I've always hated this holiday. My dad was the neighborhood pain in the ass, calling parents and truancy officers on errant kids. So, getting our house egged or firecrackers thrown into our carport was my experience of the holiday.

Additionally as a strict Christian family we never were allowed to participate in trick or treating. Some years we did attend Fall Festivals or Hallelujah Parties at our churches. One uncharacteristicly fun memory is of riding to the church with our neighbors. That year I dressed up as Queen Esther in my Childhood BFF's mother's belly dancing skirt and it was the closest to "sexy" I'd ever gotten. Later that week though, I about sucked the skirt up into the vacuum cleaning before returning it to her. I couldn't have been 10. It's strange what your brain chooses to hold onto. Why can't it hold onto where I kicked off my shoes last night!

This memory was overshadowed though by the year my mom dressed me and my brother up as Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. If you don't know who that is, don't worry about it. But trust me; it was by far the scariest costume I've ever worn!

Anyway, I've never been one to enjoy being scared. I am an anxious person by nature. I don't need help! I love rollercoaster but never the first time. Marginally scary movies give me nightmares. And I anxiously await the passing of Halloween so that my decorating and party planning blogs will move onto something other than candles dripping blood and food that looks like body parts.

So, all around, Halloween is just not my thing. That is, until I started studying the ancient Celtic calendar. For the ancient Celts, Halloween (or Hallowmas) was the new year celebration. For this one night the veil between our world and the next was thin, allowing your loved ones who had passed on to return and commune with the living. That's why we carve pumpkins. It allows the familiar spirits to find their way home while scaring off any spirits that would do you harm.

This really spoke to my spirit and changed my entire outlook on Halloween. As Turtle grows up I think I will present Halloween as a day to talk about and remember those of our family who have gone before us. Maybe even a day to visit family graves and decorate them for the holidays. But for this year, I think I'll go through my pictures and take some time to "talk" to Turtle about my great-grandmother Bonnie (my name sake) and how she was always watching out her kitchen window when we would pull into the drive way. Then there's my mom's mom with whom Turtle shares a middle name. She would stand out on the front porch and watch us pack up our car. We would have to drive past her house to turn around and she would still be standing on the front porch waving at us as we went back past. Something about these two simple gestures always made me feel loved and wanted. I miss them both, and I'm sad that my Turtle never got to know them. But maybe through our Halloween celebrations she will come to feel like she did.

Before we go, here's a little traditional Halloween treat... my little geeklette in her Princess Leia costume. And yes, I'm taking full advantage of her being too little to voice her own opinion! This may be my only opportunity! I'm hoping to get some better pics tonight. If I do, I'll make sure and share them with you later in the week.

What special traditions make Halloween special for you?


Granggie said...

OMG! How precious! She should have been in the movies!
And I so forgot about you wearing my belly dance stuff!
That's too funny!
have fun!

TheMamaShannon said...

little princess leia is just so cute!