We enjoy our Halloween celebrations, but I can understand why some people don’t. We spend 364 days a year telling our child not to accept candy from strangers or talk to people she doesn’t know, and then one night a year she is encouraged to approach strange houses and threaten people with “tricks” is they don’t help her get new cavities.
I can also understand the religious objections. All Hallow’s Eve, the first night of the three day Allhollowtide, originated as a feast in early May. It was meant to honor the Saints and be a time of prayer for newly departed souls. The spread of Christianity to the Celtic speaking countries eventually led to its merger with Sanhaim and Calan Gaef in late October, festivals marking the end of harvest and the beginning of the dark days of winter. Youths would impersonate the souls of the dead to protect themselves from evil spirits released by the thinning of the veil between our world and the underworld. Food was exchanged to placate these spirits and facilitate good fortune. By The Reformation most Christians had turned against the festival entirely.
We choose not to dress ourselves as escaped denizens of Purgatory, but rather as Mighty Avengers. Our neighborhood roaming was done in the pursuit of chocolate peanut butter cups.
The best part of the night, of course, is how excited Alaina gets. Not only does she really enjoy dressing up and receiving treats, she also is a big fan of large numbers of people telling her how cute she is. It’s possible she enjoys Halloween more than she does Christmas.
Unsurprisingly, Kayla choose to spend the night with her boyfriend and his family. It was a decision that saddened me, but one that I understood. I would have probably done the same thing at her age.
It was also another reminder of how fast time goes and how precious these moments are. It really doesn’t feel like any time at all since she was the one hopped up on Sweet Tarts and skipping from house to house.
Having children with such a gap in age allows us to re-experience these moments, sometimes with a greater appreciation of them. It’s a bittersweet appreciation however, with advanced knowledge of how fleeting they are.