“You’ve never celebrated Halloween?!”


photo via Children Diabetes Foundation

I’m pretty sure the title gives it away. No, I have never celebrated Halloween.

I suppose I’ve dressed up and been given candy in elementary school, but I’ve never gone trick-or-treating, carved pumpkins into jack o’lanterns, decorated the house for Halloween or watched a horror movie to commemorate the holiday. 

Yet even still, I wouldn’t like to change how my family spends our day in order to fit the standard Halloween tradition. Seems crazy, right? The traditions can be much more meaningful than any age old practice.

This tradition starts about 2-3 days earlier, because in my city, trick-or-treating is on the Thursday right before Halloween. Every Thursday, my family and I come home after piano lessons and grocery shopping around 7 p.m. By then, the sky is substantially darkened and the kids in our neighborhood have come out to fill their bags with sugary delights. 

Once we pull into the driveway, my three younger brothers race inside and I slowly follow (they move at the speed of light compared to me). Ha.

We ourselves neither give out candy, nor trick-or-treat, and so when we come back into the house, it is completely dark in the rooms in the front of our house. This, of course, is so that no trick-or-treaters assume we are giving out candy, but I like to think of it as embracing the mysterious and mystical spirit of Halloween…or something like that.

Either way, other than the living room which is dimly lit by the tv, my brothers and I avoid the front rooms and take refuge in the best room in the house: mine. I may be slightly biased, though.

What really makes me happy is spending time with my brothers, so I let them pick the movie or tv show.

Now, usually on a Friday, my brothers’ school provides them with a Halloween parade where they are given bags of candy and throw mini parties in the classroom. Miraculously, every single year my brothers have their parade Hoban gives me a day off, which I greatly appreciate.

Due to the school’s policy, the students can’t wear their costumes in the first half of the day, so my mother and I drive to the school and wait in line to pick up my brothers. They have about an hour and a half to eat lunch and dress, so we take a vote as to what to eat.

For a good amount of time, we simply eat in the car and joke around. My mother is extremely playful and loves to joke around, so we get that from her. 

I know that so far, all of this may seem insignificant, but with work and school and homework and other activities, it’s hard to actually spend quality time with your family. It means the world to me to be able to truly enjoy the company of my family, especially when I’m usually too busy or overwhelmed to do so. 

And of course, finally, we have October 31, Halloween itself. Halloween is simply a takeout-and-watch-a-family-movie day, but it’s still so fun for us to all gather together, pick a movie and enjoy it together.

It’s the simplicity of spending time with family, in any form it may be, that truly is more valuable than any standard tradition the world can offer.