Tick or treat. It’s the Friday before Halloween! In this house anyway, Halloween is such a fun holiday that fills Alex and I up with all the feels and we really do start to get super excited the day before Halloween just like we do on Christmas Eve. Over the years we have started to collect boxes full of Halloween / Fall decorations. Alex is using getting out all of those fall trinkets the first day of August and I start to think about pumpkins, endless spider webs, and headless horsemen the first week into October. Dressing up is a given and this year will be our first year doing a family costume! I won’t spoil the costume for everyone so you all will have to wait and see!
I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to focus on for this blog post. Since it’s coming out before Halloween and we won’t have any family costume pictures and we aren’t doing a Halloween party at our house this year due to COVID, the ideas that were coming to mind seemed flat. I decided I will put together a hodge-podge of things. I want to look at some of our traditions, some things we want to do in the future, and even some of the origins of this totally rad holiday.
I can’t speak for Alex, but I think the reason I love it so much is because it almost feels as monumental as Christmas. Christmas is another animal for sure and nothing truly compares, but I believe Halloween really comes in second. Alex and I watch scary movies all month long, we buy new costumes every year, we typically get new decorations every year, paint or carve pumpkins, go trick or treating, host a party, and eat a bunch of chocolate. I love getting into the holiday spirit and really celebrating. Before I break it all down, here are the blogs I have coming up!
- Wednesday November 4th – DIY Project – Savannah’s Playhouse Update
- Wednesday November 11th – Visiting Family During the Holidays During Quarantine
- Wednesday November 18th – What Life is Like When Your Daughter Begins to Crawl
- Wednesday November 25th – The Benefits of Reading to Your Children
History of Halloween
Halloween reminds me of trick or treating as a kid, of candy, of waiting in line for haunted houses with my friends, and just being ornery and getting into mischief. But where does it come from? How did one little Celt holiday from Europe come to takeover the United States and completely dominate an entire months retail stores, pop culture, chocolate businesses, and basically alter the entire world. I normally would provide a bunch of references and links, but this post is meant to be laid back so this is going to be less formal and more just for fun. You’ll have to take my word for it or check it out yourselves to fact check me.
Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts had the most rad outdoor festivities. They would have massive bonfires and wear scary costumes to ward off all sorts of spirts and monsters. Their new year began November 1st. It was really based around the changing of their seasons as it related to harvest. November 1st was referred to as All Saints Day and the day before was All Hallows Eve. Over time the name became Halloween.
Now, The Celts really believed some scary stuff. They believed All Saints Day marked the end of summer and the beginning of the cold and dark winter. They believed winter was associated with human death and this isn’t necessarily as scary and bad as we might picture it today. It’s really just about celebrating your ancestors. However, they believed that on All Hallows Eve, the boundary between the living and dead was sort of lifted or fuzzy and there could be some spirit cross over. Which is why they had their festival to ward off the spirits. The Celts would make prophecies and predictions about the upcoming winter. Again, this sounds scary and exaggerated, but I would say it’s similar to what we do on Ground Hogs Day.
I don’t want to get too deep into the history of how the holiday transformed with the different controlling groups of Europe, but just a light background. Again, this originated from the Celtics. The Celts are mostly associated with the Irish, but they were also found in France and the United Kingdom. Around 43 A.D., Rome conquered most of the Celts but it gets complicated because they didn’t conquer them all. Anyway, the Roman Catholic empire did take on some of the Celts traditions. They mixed All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day with All Souls Day which was celebrated on November 2nd. All Souls Days main symbol was an apple and that could be why some people “Bob for Apples.” So the point here is in some parts of Europe the “Halloween” traditions stayed the same and in other parts they morphed a little bit.
Well, then America happens and originally most of our Halloween influence comes from the Roman ancestors. Later, there was a massive immigration movement from the Irish which really jolted the Halloween spirt back into the colonials. Oh, and then there is this thing called Day of the Dead…
Haunted House Decorations
I so badly want to host the BEST Halloween parties and over the years I have been collecting little trinkets, nick-nacks, and your typical Halloween decorations. I really want to take it to the next level and start to get obsessed with ridiculous outdoor and indoor house decorations. I have been doing some fun “research” on the interwebs and finding some of the scariest stuff.
These pictures are epic! I am honest to god terrified of spiders and the crow house picture is a more realistic combination of what I believe Alex would agree to. With Alex, it’s all about compromises! The crow picture is creepy and scary, but also very fall and neat and organized so the house still looks presentable.
I also really like it when people set up ghosts or skeletons doing something normal like sitting on an outdoor patio table sipping coffee and people watching.
And of course, I really want to get a fog machine. There are a couple staples that need to get in order to really feel established. Bobbing for tiny heads, fog machine, and endless spider webs!
This year we took Savannah to Roca Berry Farms for her first time. It was a beautiful day and we all got bundled up with sweaters and beanie hats. We hopped on a hayrack ride and went down the pick out a couple Savy Bee sized pumpkins. There were so many! We stopped and had some nachos. There aren’t as many things to do with a nine-month-old as you might think. We will keep taking her and I know it will become one of her favorite traditions.
Alex and I have been going to the pumpkin patch since we were kids. I love going with the extended family. Once I hit a certain age, I also liked going to haunted houses. My siblings and I used to go to Scary Acres. I love it when they have people running around all over the park in scazy costumes trying to get you while you’re waiting in line!
Although I would be fine putting out all of the decorations on October 1st, we usually get out our decorations in phases. Phase one is a combination of fall decorations and you’re not so creepy / fun Halloween ones. We put them all over the house. Then I can usually convince Alex to let me put out the creepy ones about a week before our party. I especially love all of the spider webs! It’s amazing how much you can get out of just a little patch. Alex hates them! This year my grandma Roberts gave me some of the decorations we actually made when I was kid. Here is a picture of a wreath we made together!
I don’t think I have ever missed carving a pumpkin. I can remember getting out the newspaper and sticking my hand into the slimy muck when I was just a little tiny guy. I was so terrified. I’ve always hated slimy things like that yet somehow, I LOVED it when I was kid. I’m not skilled enough to carve anything fancy, I always just try to do a scary face with triangle eyes! It’s basically the same thing ever year. I love looking at what everyone else comes up with. Alex always makes a fun pumpkin. This year we are going to get our some paint and let Savy Bee make one!
I was probably in high school when most of my friends stopped dressing up for Halloween. They were too old and too cool. I know quite a few parents who probably agreed. You know those parents, the ones from the movies that are portrayed as the proud negative Nancy’s… I didn’t care what they thought and always dressed up. When I got to college, it was cool to get dressed up again. Weird. Then college ended and… I still got dressed up. 😉
I love looking on Facebook and seeing all the couple’s costumes and family costumes every year. There is one family in particular that always brings it, but I don’t want to use their name on here since I haven’t checked with them first! They have the most adorable family though and always get dressed up!
Alex and I love Halloween so much we did a joint Bachelor / Bachelorette costume party two days before our wedding! I was Jack and she was Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. We are so excited this year to do a family costume with Savy Bee.
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Tell me in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this brief history lesson and a little look into our favorite Halloween traditions! I know today’s post was just a random mixture of stuff and honestly it wasn’t the best “blog” post as far as growing our brand, but sometimes it’s nice to just take a break and share something fun with the world. We love getting into the Halloween spirt and would love to hear how your families celebrate too! Please let us know on Instagram and Facebook and share your costume pictures! Happy Parenting!