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Sharing community and traditions at Halloween

October 29, 2007

by Jenni Sebora

Halloween is really a time of community and tradition. The editor of “Country Living” wrote in the October 2007 issue, that Halloween is about coming together as a community and sharing traditions year after year.

I believe this is true and I, too, believe that is why Halloween is such a popular holiday for both children and adults alike.

Halloween is more than just about scary things and jack-o’lanterns.

Halloween is a time when children and adults venture out in the name of fun and tradition to share a community spirit with others, and we need this for our families and communities.

Families share many traditions at this special time. Venturing out to a pumpkin patch (or to a store) to choose just the right pumpkin to transform into a jack-o’lantern is just one of those rituals that families share together.

Parents and children plan on what they, too, will transform into for the special night of trick-or-treating.

Families choose just the right treats to pass out to the other costumed capers running about.

My childhood Halloween memories are so vivid in my mind because the activities shared together with my family were so important.

My older sister (by almost 20 years) would diligently sew our costumes almost every Halloween. Most trick-or-treating endeavors for me were shared with my twin brother and my large, extended family. Times I will never forget and forever cherish.

Although we have taken extra measures to try increase Halloween safety for our children, Halloween is really about families sharing time together and communities sharing just that, a sense of community.

Whether you participate in the Halloween rituals or not, may you share a sense of community with others this Halloween. That is really what it is about.

Here are some more Halloween and autumn fun activity ideas to share with children to add to your traditions that you may already have:

Mummy wrap

I enjoy the mummy wrap game as much as my children do. Although it requires using toilet paper (clean, of course), it is a fun festive game to play. Go one step farther, and make it into a relay.

Line up kids in pairs at a designated starting point. Give each pair a roll of toilet paper. One child (or adult) wraps the other with the paper (legs together and around each arm) using half the roll.

Both participants hop to a designated finish line where the mummy bursts out of his wrap and uses the other half of the roll to wrap her partner. They both hop back to the starting line where the second partner bursts out of his mummy wrap too.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Remember to save those pumpkin seeds after you have carved the pumpkins and make some roasted pumpkin seeds with your children.

Place the clean and dry seeds in a zipper bag with oil in the bag and coat the seeds with oil. Spread the seeds onto a cookie sheet and salt lightly.

Bake at about 250 degrees F for about 45 minutes. Top seeds with your favorite popcorn seasonings if you desire, the website kaboose.com suggested.

This is a good healthy snack to go along with all the sugar treats your children may get.

Brew up a magic potion

Using a cauldron (or large pot), water, baking soda, vinegar, tablespoon, cup and pan/tray, create some magic potion this Halloween.

Place the cauldron on the pan, and fill the cauldron with two tablespoons of water and stir in a tablespoon of baking soda until it is dissolved.

Pour two tablespoons of vinegar into the baking soda mixture and watch the potion bubble. Kids love this activity. This is the same recipe if you are simulating a volcano eruption.

Crafts.kaboose.com says that the bubbles created are filled with carbon dioxide, which is a gas formed when the vinegar (acid) reacts with baking soda (base).

Halloween joke

What kind of mistakes do ghosts make? Boo boos.

Have a safe and happy Halloween.