Halloween is a time for costumes, scary decorations, and sugar overload. Some love Halloween and celebrate it to the hilt. Those people do not need any suggestions for books, costumes, or decorating ideas. However, those of us who aren’t sold on Halloween could use a few more ideas about how to acknowledge the holiday without embracing some of the negative aspects.
This year, my family ended up in a “family-friendly” haunted house tour that exposed my kids to some rather disturbing images. As I do every year, I have sworn that next year will be different! We won’t follow the crowd and wear costumes and eat candy and look at a bunch of blood and gore! Please, remind me of this about October 1 of next year!
Here are some of the ideas I am tossing around for an educational and interesting celebration:
- Halloween heavily features cemeteries and the dead. Why not use this as an opportunity to celebrate our ancestors and do a little family history research? I think we might make a family tree, try to come up with stories about some of our relatives, and cook a feast they might enjoy. Perhaps I’ll tell my kids that on this night parents go out and buy some sweet treats for their kids as a special present from deceased ancestors.
- We might just study the history of Halloween and similar celebrations in different cultures. We can make a big chart on chart paper that compares and contrasts the different holidays. Then, we can pick one (family friendly) tradition from each culture and try it out. Then, we can plan our own way of celebrating the holiday.
- I do like the creativity of Halloween. Perhaps we will choose a theme for decorating but choose one that is educational instead of scary. We can decorate, write a play, create relevant costumes, perform the play, and then serve treats to our audience.
- What about the Fall theme? We can decorate our house and then I can buy each child a brand-new fall outfit instead of a costume that will only be worn once. Then, we can make fall treats like apple cider and candy apples and invite friends over for a “Fall” party.
- The Harvest is another great theme. We might pick pumpkins, roast pumpkin seeds, and make pumpkin pies. We can be creative with apples, squash, or root vegetables. We could create our own Fall Feast that isn’t too similar to Thanksgiving but that allows us to celebrate the season in a productive way. I’d love to start this project in the spring and have my kids plant things that would be ready to decorate, cook, and eat at the end of October.
Do you have any ideas for an alternative celebration for Halloween?