When I was a teenager I would hand out candy at my Dad’s house on Halloween, while he and my step-mother went to dinner. That small act turned into a family tradition. Every Halloween from there until three years ago, my immediate family and I would meet at my Dad’s house with my siblings, cousins, and their children to all spend some quality time together and take our children trick-or-treating through his neighborhood. We would eat sandwiches and swap stories. It was an opportunity to get to know my nieces and nephews a little better and an excuse to spend some time with family who you tend to skip over throughout the course of the week. They are the people who you know will always be there for you, but until you really need something you might not make a lot of time for them. My family makes time for just this reason at each self-proclaimed “holiday”.
For us the holiday season begins with Halloween and moves quickly through Thanksgiving and Christmas before crawling past most of our birthdays toward Easter, and finishing with Independence Day and our August celebration of birthday’s remembering my grandmother and honoring my Dad. Family traditions are important to me. So, I have started or adapted a few of my own since marrying my amazing husband and combing my family with his just over three years ago. Halloween is one of the traditions I have adapted to my new family. Some of the family still meets at my Dad’s but my more immediate family meets now at my house. (I think my brother is very relieved to be the only one still at my Dad’s and not having the share the space and attention.)
We invite friends and family to our house for food, fun, and fellowship. Traditionally, we have a crock pot full of apple cider (boiling apple juice and red-hot candy), and one full of nacho cheese (the kind from a can) for what my husband and his son call “real” nachos. My daughters and I call it “hard to clean off the dishes”. We also have caramel apples, and two-ingredient pumpkin muffins which consist of a can of pumpkin and a box of spice cake mix stirred together and baked on 350 for 20 minutes in a muffin tin. The house smells like fall, and everyone is filled with the tastes of the season.
Last night we welcomed fall with all the above as well as in-laws, probably a few outlaws, and special friends who joined us to catch up on what’s been happening while life keeps moving forward with or without us. It was a wonderful evening full of memories we plan to keep for the rest of our lives and hope the children keep as well. Traditions are about making memories and keeping them alive for years to come. What traditions does your family have or do you want to start in the future?
- Thankful Heart Day 15: Christmas Time (ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com)