I was talking to Erin the other day about our plans to celebrate Samhain (pronounced sow-in). I’m sure she’ll blog about her own plans, but I wanted to say how sad I felt after our conversation. I was sad because it made me realise that we don’t have anyone that we can celebrate this holiday with in the same spirit we are seeking.

For the last couple years, I’ve compromised on how we celebrate this occasion. Going to the community party at the civic centre, for one thing was a huge compromise in an effort for Lily to not feel “left out”. This party centres around handfuls of junk candy and crowds in dollar store costumes. Lily would play all the games run by apathetic youths set up around the gym and decline the handfuls of junk offered afterwards. In the end, I don’t think we were gaining as much as we were losing for attending. The biggest problem with going to this party was that it made the rest of our evening, which was the more meaningful part, rushed.

After talking things over together, we decided that we’d put the focus back on our family and give the party a miss. We still planned to dress up and carve a pumpkin together. After a hearty turkey soup supper we celebrated the end of summer and acknowledge the shorter days while eating honeyed seed cake. We took a few minutes to remember our passed away loved ones.

Honeyed Seed Cake

Newly carved~Enjoying the evening together

Lily was dressed as Wonder Woman. I had bought a jumper pattern to make the costume simply but the smallest size was still much much much too large for her. That and I’d planned to change a zipper from front to back made the pattern useless. I ended up making the outfit up as I went along. Not anywhere near perfect but it was fast and Lily loves it. I forgot to embroider red stars onto the crown and cuffs and will finish that today. Leif was going to dress as a knight but didn’t end up wanting to.

Wonder Woman

Cam set up a fun Samhain style obstacle/ropes course in the woods. It looked a bit like the Survivor backyard series that Cam sets up for us from time to time. This was the first one Cam made and it’s become more complex over the years. This time the kids had to work together to move through the spider’s web and end the course balancing on a long slack line. It was a lot of fun but a bit dark for quality pictures.

The spider's nest was the forest in the backyardLeify needs a bit of help on the wobbly topClimbing down


A few friends stopped by to show off costumes before heading out for the night.

Friends come to visit

We were so lucky to have a break in the rain for the evening allowing us to spend so much time outside. We ended the evening around a bonfire in our backyard and a second helping of dessert. In the end, I’m so glad we didn’t rush and just enjoyed our time together.

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5 Responses to Reconnecting Over Samhain

  1. elementsofmylife says:

    This is wonderful Annie!

    I had such a debate going on yesterday about how to authentically let the day go past. The children were super excited at school and we played pass the pumpkin in the afternoon. That was enough!

    Evening was more challenging but we ate early and then went for a walk before the trick or treaters set out.

    We met up with a friend and her 3 year old and visited with some neighbours as we made our way around the block. We only stopped at a few houses and then we were at our house. We invited them in and visited over tea for a while. Then they went on their way and I got to work on patching Kev’s sweaters. It was pretty good day in the end!

  2. Jacinda says:

    Here in the south it is Beltane which we in our family celebrate but everyone around except some of my older friend, do the halloween thing as it’s what the shops are selling. no-one has any idea what it is about and it just drives me crazy and leaves me feeling like a downer. It reminds me to counter consumerism so next year we will throw a big Spring party the same night, dress up and as the trickers come and visit we will invite them in, have some fun and hopefully engage in some conversation.

  3. Kim says:

    Your evening sounds lovely.

    I’m finding as my little ones are getting bigger that I’m pulling away more and more from conventional Halloween celebrations. We don’t do trick or treating and I’m thankful that we live too far out of town to not have to worry about handing candies out. Instead, we celebrate the evening with another like minded family and my inlaws. We still dress up, carve pumpkins and bake autumn goodies but it’s mostly about our last bonfire of the year. It was so relaxing this year and best of all: no candy hangovers. :)

  4. erin says:

    i so get what you mean about sharing this time of year or the samhain celebration with others spiritually close and close in a life values kind of way. so many of us who are like-minded seem to be incredibly spread out! not fair says i.

    i thought of your family as we split up our amazing seed cake and gobbled it up around the bonfire, you would have complimented the group perfectly :) this has been the first year where we have been able to gather with good friends on this day, and even the trick or treating last year with other friends was still a bit, empty, in the “go and get all you can and then go home to sort it all” sort of way. my kids haven’t even asked for the remaining two candies they got at the farm that they brought home. they’ve forgotten about it already.

    we were fortunate to connect with this family so close to us, as winter will feel a little less isolated for us, and we won’t have to drive the long distances of last year to see folks we know.

    i’m glad you chose to focus on your family, i think the kids really feel it. and you were likely eating seed cake and bonfiring right when we were. that comforts my heart :)

    and lily’s costume turned out marvellously! your sewing talent i wish i had!!

    love to you.

    ~Erin xoxo

  5. taisa says:

    This sounds just right Annie. We are planning to do things differently next year- maybe you will be here to join in! You did a terrific job on the costume and I love the idea of a Samhain ropes course! Miss you guys. love Taisa

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