On Sunday morning, October 31, I checked Facebook as usual. One of my friends had written "Can't wait to get through this day and move on to the real holidays."
While I appreciate her point, I am feeling more and more each year that Halloween is a real holiday. Not the gory part, but get this... We spend the "real" holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter - with our families. There is not enough time to fit in parties with all of our friends, and certainly not an entire neighborhood of acquaintances and school families whom we really like and would enjoy getting to know better.
Halloween has become that time for us. And - bonus - the kids get to play dress up and parade around the neighborhood, bumping into their buddies at each stop, collecting chocolate. All while Mom and Dad make small talk with parents manning the doors or taking kids out for this one night of costumes-friends-and-candy bliss. They love it. We love it.
Our Halloween tradition for eight years has been to go across the street for Jim and Diane's annual chili dinner party. We always arrive late, as we've still got little ones to take door-to-door and everyone else's kids are wrapping up high school (if not already all grown up). These past two years we have added a stop next door, for Jared and Melissa's annual Halloween party. At the party next door, they allowed Zach to judge a "best dressed" contest and they had goodie bags for the few children in attendance. Across the street, after trick-or-treating what felt like forever, we collapsed and allowed Diane to feed us. Zach fell asleep in the chair in their living room. It's like home over there.
We've come to really love Halloween. It is certainly not a holiday celebrating our risen savior or giving thanks for the countless blessings poured out on us by Him, but is such a special time of fellowship for our community of friends and neighbors.