It's nearly Halloween, also known as Samhain, and today we've been finishing up some of our preparations. We're a Pagan family, and we've always celebrated the secular Halloween as well as our spiritual observance of Samhain. Both of these have been shifting and changing a bit over the past couple of years, although with some of our old traditions still intact.
For Halloween, since the kids were small we've taken them trick-or-treating, usually with friends. Now they're getting older, and are on the border of perhaps growing out of it. Last year we drove them to a nearby town with a suburban area where they and their friends could all walk around together, without parents. Four of us Moms hung out together in a local restaurant and chatted about how strange it was not to be walking around with them anymore. This coming Monday's plans are still ambiguous, and I'm just waiting to see what, if anything, they'll want to do.
The focus now is the annual Halloween party that our homeschool group puts on. There are costumes, yes, and prizes, and lots of yummy food, and sometimes even a dance party. Our friends who host it are great about decorating their house elaborately. Kids and adults both dress up and enjoy hanging out together. Today we went out to get a few last-minute items we needed for our costumes. ElvenTiger is going as Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family, from the movies (she loves the original show, but Wednesday is closer to ElvenTiger's own age in the second movie). Dryst is going to be Charlie Sheen. Yup, really. Teenagers...
For Samhain, we either host or attend a ritual, often focused on honoring our ancestors. This year BlackLion and I are helping co-lead a ritual at the home of some dear friends. Quester, Ocean Mouse, and ElvenTiger will all be attending, as will some other friends who we've done magickal work with in the past. Dryst isn't sure if he wants to go. There won't be many (or perhaps any) people his own age there, and recently that's who he wants to hang out with. I don't think he's focused on his spirituality right now, and that's fine. He's going through a lot hormonal changes, and figuring out who he is, especially with his peers.
It's interesting and fun to see the evolution of the holidays in our family as the kids grow up. I was just saying to my Mom last night how fun it was to buy toys for the kids for Yule and Christmas when they were younger, and that we don't really get to do that anymore. But there are new traditions to explore, and some old ones that we all still enjoy. Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain to you!