I think it’s safe to say that “Halloween @ Aunt Katina’s House” is now a family tradition. It’s probably 50% location, and 50% my extreme enthusiasm for any holiday that involves shameless chocolate consumption and flamboyant costumes*.
My sisters both live in much more typically suburban or straight-up rural neighborhoods, with no sidewalks, long driveways and big distances between houses. My house is at the end of a dead end in a small town neighborhood with small lots, front porches, and sidewalks. A few of my neighbors go completely, marvelously overboard with decorations. It’s one of those “people truck their kids in from elsewhere” trick-or-treating locations.
This year, in addition to the always-exceptional trunk-or-treat at the Methodist church, the new Baptist church plant that meets in the Senior Center set up with bags of candy and invitations in front of the municipal basketball court. It encourages me to see other Jesus followers loving on the neighborhood and, like Jesus, meeting people where they are with kindness. Happy All Saints, y’all.
My neighborhood is also close to the kids’ elementary school, as well as the preschool most of them attended, so it’s not just about the candy and decorated houses, it’s like the pre-teen and preschool social networking event of the year.
There was a lot of waving and hugging and “Hey! There’s so-and-so!” as if they hadn’t seen these people three hours earlier. Of course, three hours earlier, they probably weren’t dressed up as a ladybug or a ninja.
As for the grown-ups, Chris & Josh handed out candy. Once again, I was impressed with how gracious my sometimes-sullen teenager can be. He found something to compliment about nearly every costume and kid who came up to the table while I was with him. While the small ones were playing and checking out their haul, the grown ups had soup and cornbread, hot cider and cold drinks, and a lot of conversation at our kitchen table. It was nice.
Do you have “new” family traditions that have started in your generation? How are they different from the traditions you grew up with? How are they the same?
I hope you had a warm and happy evening, no matter how you spent it.
*another reason I was always into drama and theatre. Aside from the obvious costumery, there’s always chocolate in whatever closet/green room you’ve configured.