October 25, 2010

No More Candy Please!

This Halloween I’m going to try something different.

In the past, we have given into the commercialism of Halloween and given out candy or traversed several blocks collecting goodies.

But, it just never felt right.

As a child, it never felt right to be outdoors ringing a doorbell of a person whom I don’t know and asking them for candy. To me, it had no meaning, no point. If I want candy, I can go to the store and buy it. Maybe I’m missing something.

But, alas, we live in a society that celebrates in this way. So, my children will dress up as little princess fairies and parade through their school. We will stop at a handful of houses so that they can enjoy this tradition. However, we will also take this opportunity to celebrate will great awareness, love, and honor.

Several years ago in a college level Spanish class, I was introduced to Dia de los Muertos, a traditional Mexican holiday. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated over three days beginning October 31 and culminating on November 2. In this celebration, families gather together to honor those ancestors who have passed on. This is a wonderful opportunity to pray, give thanks, and share memories and stories with each other.

This year, I would like to begin a new family tradition and celebrate Dia de los Muertos. I hope to create an alter with photos of deceased family members. I will share stories with my children of my loved ones who have passed. In memory of my Italian grandmother, perhaps I will make her delicious lasagna and send her love as I do.

Let’s ask ourselves why.

Why do we go door to door?

What is our purpose?

Does this activity nourish our bodies and our souls?

How can we create nourishment for our children this season?

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