Do you have the courage to create new traditions for your family? Have you ever gone trick or treating INDOORS? As a mom I never expected Halloween to be a holiday I would have to RE-CREATE. Let me explain, below is part of a blog I wrote in 2008 that first describes how we celebrated a holiday we all enjoy, in a way that felt safe to our family and honored both of our daughters’ needs and feelings:
Halloween & Trick or Treating Indoors!
“This Halloween, our girls are almost, 4 1/2 (Isabella aka Barbie The Island Princess) and 2 1/2 (Gabrielle aka Tinkerbell), and had no desire to “celebrate” Halloween with the traditional trick or treating. We work very hard to actually listen to our girls, instead of following a protocol for what Halloween traditions should be. Isabella was too scared of Halloween to see any costumes, so we stayed inside this year and celebrated at home and in their gymnastics class. We decorated with pumpkins and nothing scary at home, we went to the pumpkin patch and jumped around, we baked Ghost sugar cookies with Bubbie and Grammy, and then decided not to hand out candy or open the door to other trick or treaters who we wouldn’t know what to expect for their costumes. Instead, we let the girls dress up and trick or treat from room to room inside our home. We hid the candy like a treasure hunt and they had so much fun trying to find the hidden candy. The most important thing for us was that they were happy, healthy, and had fun with no anxiety or discomfort!
It was a blast…we had so much fun and it was just another wonderful experience we could all have together. I am a huge fan of getting our girls to communicate…Isabella is amazing at telling us what she is comfortable with or not because she trusts we will listen to her…Gabi will soon learn too once she is fully talking! I am grateful that we can share traditions new and old, while in a way that feels good for everyone! While we may not always understand why a 4 year old is scared, it’s just important that we respect her feelings and listen to her words.”
I had never really realized that I am truly an inventor. I have had to literally INVENT the way our family lives based on everyone’s needs at that current time. I honor all of us by checking in with them to see how we all feel. Initially, I had an expectation of Halloween: get a cute costume for my kids and do what I see everyone else doing, take them trick or treating and/or hand out candy when they ring the bell of our homes. Halloween for us became much deeper. It was an opportunity to connect with our children and experience this day based on feeling our way through it. As you can see from my early story, our girls were “scared” of costumes. So we had to adjust our plans and invent another way to have fun. We also did not eat the typical candy that was served or sold for this occasion.
Fast forward to 6 years later, our daughters are now 8 and 10 and we now understand that they have always been super sensitive and can read energy and Halloween costumes are fun for them if we still celebrate in our own way. Their emotions and feelings helped us to reframe this typical celebration so we could enjoy this holiday.
Today, another change for us is we are also now all vegan, whereas when I previously wrote the above Halloween story we were vegetarian. So our options for candy have changed as well. We have always been mindful of eating organic, non-gmo, no hormones & artificial coloring. I had no idea that an organic candy with no artificial coloring could still have animal products in it when I saw gummy bears made with gelatin. Gelatin rhymes with skeleton a tiny bit LOL and it should since gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs. OMG! So this lovely little candy from Whole Foods is not just sugar! OY!
Everyone has a choice, we just choose to know what we eat and read ingredients and decide what feels best to us. You know what feels best to us? Being healthy and feeling good. People ask, but it’s Halloween? It’s just one day let them splurge! Well, we do not offer them a cigarette once a year in March…what’s the difference? We do not feel like we are missing out. They have plenty of amazing candy & treat options we just consciously choose which ones we love and eat.
Of course as they grow, checking in with them is a way of life for us, and each year things change. They have less fear and really focus on their desires & preferences. They are so experienced at “following their hearts” and listening to their intuition that they know exactly how they want to celebrate. This allows us to create new traditions all the time based on our current needs. We do not hold ourselves to doing the same things every year as we are not the same beings as we were last year.
So, here are 3 Tips for A Conscious Family Halloween:
1. Talk with your kids about what type of experience they would like to have rather than assuming they will just “do what everyone else does” that day.
2. Stay true to yourselves and seek out sweet treats that honor your family’s decisions & commitment to well-being & health whatever they may be.
3. Have the courage to invent your own ideas of celebrating & remember it is about the EXPERIENCE and the FUN of it.