Navigating Halloween

Fall is a great time to honour our ancestors. It makes perfect sense to me. Halloween & the Day of
the Dead provide opportunities to do so, however, some of us don’t
celebrate these. What are your family’s plans this season? Here are a
few suggestions:
– Stand firm and just say “no” to traditions like Halloween & Day of
the Dead. If so please ensure that your children understand why you
take the position that you do. Inform your children’s schools in
advance and ensure that your children are exempt from related
activities. Liaise with other families who don’t celebrate
Halloween/Day of the Dead. On Oct.31 turn your lights off early and go
to bed. Even if we’re not Muslim some of these suggestions can help.   Dr. Barashango speaks on “The Truth about European Holidays”

– Declare it Ancestors’ Day and have a dress-up party/sleepover for
your fam. Have some treats on hand, homemade and/or bought.
Encourage everyone to dress up as ancestors, spiritual figures,
plants, animals. Make this a choice not an obligation mind you.  Book or dvd characters like Anansi, Doc McStuffin,
Afro-Man or Kirikou work too. Nothing scary. The party/sleepover may fall on/around
Oct.31. That’s a personal choice. Play some games and go to sleep a little later than usual.

– Support local candy makers or make your own candy. Think: coconut
drops/cakes, fudge, glass & rock candy, chocolate or carob clusters,
ginger drops, peanut brittle, sesame bars etc.

– Put flowers on your family graves.

– Host a fall harvest party.

– If you allow trick-or-treating consider donating the collected candy
to a shelter, community centre etc. Encourage your child to hand out
healthy treats from home and as they make their rounds. Non-traditional goodies are
motivational stickers/pencils, granola bars, pretzels, nuts (be mindful of allergies), raisins,
activity sheets, seeds, balloons, popcorn, sesame bars, tamarind balls, juice boxes etc.

– In making your rounds come up with an alternative to the words
“trick or treat.” As long as it works for your family it’s all good.
For young children you may want to pre-arrange the spots on your
round. They’ll never know that you’ve actually done this.  Drive them
around to the homes of friends & relatives that you know. As long as
you’ve planned it in advance they’ll be sure to have some treats
waiting for your little ones.

– Lay low on sweets. Ensure that your children eat their candy over an extended period of
time in order to avoid sickness.

– Get costumes from thrift stores or Freecycle. What about going
through your own closet or borrowing from friends or family? Here are some more options:    How to celebrate Halloween the green way    Info. on costume swaps

– Head to a local fall festival and/or Day of the Dead event.

– Check out 1-2 short books/films about the history of Halloween. Try
to stay clear of those that demonize others’ traditions. Instead focus
on the facts. Find ones that are appropriate for children. Discuss
them as a family.

Have FUN!!!

P.S.- For more info. check out Luisah Teish’s “Jump Up.” It’s a phenomenal book!


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