Skip to main content

Quarantine Halloween

Halloween is Maya's favorite holiday, which is ironic because we don't even celebrate Halloween. My Guatemalan family, husband included, believe Halloween is a debaucherous holiday for worshipping the devil. After many attempts to explain to my husband that Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic new year festival of Samhain, and in the United States it is all harmless fun, my husband remains unconvinced, so since having children my husband has be adamant that we not take part in it. In building a marriage that intertwines two different languages, cultural backgrounds, and traditions, one learns there are battles to be fought and battles to let go, and so I decided Halloween was one American tradition that wasn't worth fighting for. Ultimately, families argue with their children over their costume choices, spend money on cheap garments that are only worn once before being discarded, and kids bring home bags of candy that only wires them up and is bad for their teeth. In my mind, we haven't lost much by not celebrating this holiday.

But Maya is absolutely obsessed with Halloween. Since she has never been trick-or-treating, she has no idea that the biggest allure for most kids is the mountain of candy that comes with October 31st. Instead, she adores the decorations. It began last fall, pre-COVID19, when between the three kids, we used to have appointments almost every day after school. In the beautiful fall afternoons, I'd load up the car with Maya, Mateo, and Sofia and we'd drive around the surrounding area admiring the foliage and the houses decked for Halloween. At two, Maya was big enough to look out the window and see the ornately decorated houses, and that became her favorite part of our afternoon adventures. "Ha-wa-ween!" she would yell every time she saw a pumpkin on a porch, inflated monster on a front lawn, or a ghost hanging from a tree. And as soon as October 31st came and went, she began asking when Ha-wa-ween would happen again.

This fall looks quite different than last year and we barely go out in the afternoons anymore. But that didn't stop Maya's enthusiasm. So whenever we did get out, we marveled at the impressive display our neighbors put up for everyone's enjoyment this year. And they definitely didn't disappoint!

With Halloween Eve looking like Christmas Eve with five inches of snow, we wouldn't have gone out trick-or-treating, anyhow. Instead, we stayed home, read some Halloween books my dear friend gave us, and did some holiday crafts that our neighbor gave us. So even without explicitly celebrating Halloween, Maya, Mateo, and Sofia couldn't help but have some fun. 


I wouldn't be an American if I didn't at least dress my kiddos in character pajamas for bedtime. 
So here's Mateo as Woody from Toy Story and Maya as a kitty cat.

And here's our bilingual story time Halloween edition!


Popular posts from this blog

Why my Children Won't Believe in Santa Claus

Tonight all across the world, children are waiting for Santa with bated breath. They've made lists of wants and perhaps written letters addressed to the North Pole, baked cookies, set out milk, and dream of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But not my children. Well, maybe the dreaming of sugar plums part, but definitely not the white beard, chubby and plump right jolly old elf part. Even before my two biological children were born, my husband and I made the decision to not deceive them with the narrative of Santa, and in fact, not give them any gifts at all on Christmas. Intrigued? Infuriated? Here's why... My husband is from Guatemala and was raised Jehovah Witness , and one of the tenants of that faith is a strict adherence to not celebrating anything here on earth. This includes not celebrating Christmas or birthdays , and not giving gifts to commemorate these days. While he isn't a practicing Witness right now (instead we attend Celebration International Church

Why We Don't Celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, either

El Dia de los Muertos, (The Day of the Dead) is often considered the Latin-American equivalent to Halloween, as it is a celebration that takes place every year on November 1st and 2nd throughout Latin America. But it actually has nothing to do with Halloween, and even pre-dates the Celtic Samhain, which is where our modern-day Halloween traditions come from.  The ancient indigenous Aztec people of Mexico celebrated the lives of past ancestors 3,000 years ago, and that month-long ritual was condensed into just a few days around the 20th century and is now known as the Day of the Dead. Today,  El Dia doe los Muertos is a time for Latinos to remember their dead loved ones and celebrate them, for it is believed that the souls of all people that have passed away return to Earth to check up on their families during this day.  But up until last night, I didn't believe El Dia de los Muertos was celebrated in Guatemala. Growing up in California with many Mexican-American friends, I was fami

Why My Daughter Won't Be Attending Preschool

There's no doubt that the first five years of a child's life are formative and indicative of later success throughout their lives. As an educator, I know preschool can play an important part in the cognitive and social development of toddlers. However, in this unprecedented time of pandemic life, social distancing and remote learning, sending your child to preschool is a personal decision that varies by family. And our family has decided not to send our daughter to preschool.  The research on the benefits of preschool is irrefutable, and there have been incentives for families to enroll their children in preschool since the 1960's and 1970's. Many BIPOC families have actually been targeted and encouraged to send their children to preschool, with HeadStart and other free programs available. According to a DOE report , access to high-quality preprimary education can be the key that unlocks education equality across races, geography and income.  With all of my experience a