Nine Months More

Lessons from my two Zombies

Traditions run strong in my family. I embrace the old traditions of my culture and am working hard to make those traditions something my boys love and treasure. I believe that tradition can help shape who we are and how we all fit together.

Yet, at the same time I treat tradition like a pizza menu. I pick and choose what I like. What I don’t like, I pretend isn’t even there. We do Christmas, we do Easter, we don’t do Valentine’s Day and we don’t do Halloween. Maybe it is because I never celebrated Halloween when I was young. Truth be told, I don’t even know what Halloween is all about. I don’t like horror movies and in my mind Halloween and horror movies go hand in hand. So Halloween has never been celebrated in my house.

halloween bat, lessons from my two zombies

Over the past two weeks, catalogues of Halloween costumes, decorations and candy have flooded our letterbox. My boys have been in retail heaven.

“Mum, I want to be a vampire.”
“Mum, I want to be a zombie.”
“Mum, I want a pumpkin.”

Every time they have asked for a costume, or a Halloween gimmick, I have said “No.” I have not given it a second thought. I have not been deterred by the disappointment on their face. Nor the way they drag their feet and sulk as they walk away. We just don’t do Halloween.

Enter the shopping trip with Nanna and Nannu. The shopping trip that was to undo all the hard work of my Halloween embargo. The boys came home with a bag full of Halloween treasures. Glow in the dark skeletons, mini pumpkins, bigger pumpkins, bobble headbands, streamers – all their Halloween dreams had come true! There was no point fighting. The boys loved their new treasures. I was outnumbered; two boys and a skeleton against me.

halloween, pumpkin, lessons from my two zombies

I faced two choices. I could ignore their excitement, the glow on their faces, knowing October 31 would pass. Or I could let go a little, and just maybe try and have a little fun.

So Halloween has seeped through the walls, through the cracks and under the door. I have no idea how to celebrate or what to do. I’m taking my cue from two little boys. Two little boys who are thrilled to pieces that it is Halloween. Two little boys who believe that zombies, witches and vampires are real. Two little boys who can’t wait to play trick or treat.

What does this all mean? Is Halloween now here to stay and part of our list of traditions? Will I be re-evaluating my Valentine’s Day embargo come February?

The one thing I do know is that the conversations in my house have long only been between two voices. Two adult voices. From now on, the conversations in this house need to be between four. My boys have a voice. A voice with dreams, expectations and a true excitement for life. If I can’t support that, who will?

  • Lee

    Have a read through the above site, Josefa…and other sites about Halloween, and you will glean some information on the origins of Halloween. It started off with the Celts a long, long time ago. It’s all a bit of good fun…and who doesn’t like getting dressed up in crazy costumes? When I was a kid we had Guy Fawkes’ Night which was also so much fun; and we were always going to fancy dress parties. We’ve put on and attended many great Halloweeen parties over the years…any old excuse to party! 😉

  • Maria

    Oh Josefa I feel guilty. My children dutifully took the lollies to the door and offered them to all and sundry that came a knockin’. They wanted to go trick or treating too….I feel like my response of, “you’re too young, it’s too late and you’re in your pj’s now” was so lame. I think next year they will join the fun with me in tow of course!

  • Lee

    How strange. I posted a comment, but it’s disappeared. I wonder why and how!

    • yes, it is weird – I noticed this very late last night – I’ll try and see what happened today – thank you for always stopping by my little blog xxx

      • Lee

        Hmmmmm….my post…the one we’re referring to…is back again!!! Blame it on the spooks of Halloween!!! 😉

  • workingwomenaustralia

    I was a mean mum and although Miss8 dressed up for school (under the guise of it being a cultural exercise according to her teacher O_O) I didn’t take them trick or treating. I was black listed by my own daughter.

  • We didn’t do Halloween this year (much to the kids disappointment) just too much going on and being a weeknight and all. We do enjoy it for the fun. Who doesn’t love a dress up!

  • Mumabulous

    Halloween is too much sugar and plastic but my girls absolutely adore it. It would be
    very mean and hard hearted of me to deny them this fun so I embrace it.

    BTW – I love the way your blog is looking. Your photography is fantastic. I am seriously envious.

    • thank you so much xxx
      i agree, too much sugar, way too much plastic
      maybe we can find ways to not have so much sugar and plastic next year and still have lots of fun?

  • It’s funny when you realise your kids are people and have voices. Rachel xx

  • That’s really wonderful of you as a mum that you gave it a go. Neither my husband nor I ever got into Halloween as a child, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens as our boys at older….
    Ronnie xo

    • absolutely, i find that the older my boys get, the more diverse the interests of this family become xx

  • LydiaCLee

    I adore Halloween more than birthdays (including my own) or Christmas. I love that it’s just fun, that people don’t make demands on how you choose to celebrate and none of the ‘family’ issues (read keeping the peace) spoil it. It is, as another blogger said (and I apologise for forgetting who) pure ‘fun-ness’ Glad you’ve come over to the dark side….;)

  • I’m not sure how I will deal with this when the time comes. I am not a fan of the commercial Halloween money-grab-fest that has been building the last few years. Most people don’t actually know anything about Halloween or how it came to be which i’ll admit kinda annoys me a little bit so I think if Mia were to develop an interest in it I’d be explaining that it’s not actually about getting lollies from strangers but has a very long history (Old Samhain, Old Hallow’s Eve, harvest festivals, etc). And then I will dress her in the cutest costume I can find because who doesn’t love a kid in a costume!

  • My nephews dressed up and came to our house, my parents house and my sisters house for halloween… so they ‘trick or treated’ us without having to go into the neighbourhood! They are 5 and 7. They thought it was hilarious!

    • in the end, we only went to the houses of friends and family too – worked perfectly xx

  • Catherine RodieBlagg

    We had a little party at home, the girls dressed up and I made Halloween cup cakes!

  • Kevin

    Ahh grandparents, always ready to break the rules. Good on you for going with it. Sometimes the principle isn’t worth it.

  • We had fun on the day as so many kids came to our door; we were very prepared, plus the kids dressed up. They were so excited when there was a knock at the door. I hope it is here to stay, next year hubby and I want to get out and about in our dress up gear! 🙂

  • I’m not huge on Halloween, & I never participated until last year. Anything we can do to nurture our children’s imagination is going to be extremely beneficial for them in years to come. So why not? Your a great mum Josefa.
    Prue x

  • I’m not a fan of Halloween but I can see that we are indeed going to have to go there. It really is getting some momentum these days!

  • Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo

    I adore that last paragraph.

    You are an awesome mum. xx

    • my eldest didn’t speak for a long time, his silence drove me crazy, i should remember that now when he speaks up and voices his opinion

  • Grace

    I’m not a big Halloween person either. But I have a feeling that my boys will start to take an interest of some sort and I think it’ll be a case of give and take. I know there will be some Indonesian customs and traditions that I want them to respect and follow and the trade off will be that we need to do some of the things they request. We’ll see how it goes…
    So great to see you as a regular FYBF linker! Please don’t forget to include the FYBF button either on your sidebar or at the end of the post!
    Thanksies! 🙂 x

  • belinda

    Love it! Sound like the exact same thing that happened at our house. I found myself celebrating halloween and cooking mummies ( sausages wrapped in pastry) and spiders for dinner that night and dancing around in zombie masks. It just crept into the house….. very true about the other voices in the house to be heard

  • We have embraced Halloween in this house, more so since I had children. They get so excited about it every year and love to go trick or treating. Sadly, where we live now trick or treating isn’t popular, so my poor munchkins miss out on all the fun.

  • I am still not sure – the dress up and walk up the street is not here for us, but then again…

  • AllisonTaitWriter

    oh, I face this conundrum every year – and I hate it! So far I’ve held firm, but Mr6 may not be so easy to convince this year! Thanks for Rewinding.

  • Lynda @HomeleaLass

    It’s exciting that you can support the voices of your boys, even though they don’t align completely with your voice. I’m with you on halloween and horror movies, but the joy of your boys sounds lovely too.

    Ly da

  • Yes, I think that the boys have found their voice, and for them Halloween probably is an important thing in their school culture, good you can embrace it too. But I think you’ll be safe for a while with the Valentine’s Day embargo!

  • Kate

    Halloween is becoming hard to ignore! I really don’t like the pressure to join in, especially when kids ‘trick or treating’ at my house scoff at my offer of sultanas or dried apricots (all I had!) I like the Valentine’s Day embargo. Any other day, I say too, not just because that is ‘the’ day.

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