Halloween 2018: It does not have to be all about ghosts and goblins
Halloween has traveled around the world. In the United States it is celebrated by more Americans than almost any other cultural event except the 4th of July. It used to be kids only but now baby boomers have decided they do not want to grow up and Halloween has become a good excuse for a party with costumes and a lot of beloved junk food for adults of all ages.
Some religions take a dim view of children pretending to be a ghost or a goblin
At The International school our kids want to be part the national party too but sometimes this can be problematical. We have children from all cultures and a variety of religions. Some of those religions take a dim view of children pretending to be a ghost or a goblin or the devil, himself.
Food is an issue as well. Our children do not eat food with added sugar or chemical additives so Halloween candy is not an option.
What to do?
Many years ago we decided to have our own party but we wanted to make sure that everyone was invited and would feel completely comfortable attending. Each year we chose a theme Mythology, Great Artists, Shakespeare Characters, Great Composers and, my all-time favorite, Staff members of The Institutes! The mothers and kids ran the extra mile that year to duplicate every detail of the staff member they chose. It was a riot. This year the theme was Composers Around The World. A natural choice for our kids since they all sing and play an instrument.
Mother and child research their topic and prepare a brief presentation for their friends in the class and the staff and families of The Institutes
Of course, each costume is original and created by mother and child together in the old-fashioned tradition of Halloween. Mother and child research their topic and prepare a brief presentation for their friends in the class. Sometimes they create a homemade book that the child reads to the class then their friends try to guess who they are. Often children create some small gift for their friends – a party favor to remember their character.
When the day arrives each student makes their presentation. to their classmates and then to the staff of The Institutes. They visit the administrative staff and the kitchen staff. They end their tour at The Children’s Center with the families and children and the clinical staff.
It’s a great party.
As for the food, we reverse the custom. The children often bring little bags of snacks they have made at home. The treats are healthy and tasty so that every child can enjoy them.
We do not have any ghosts or goblins or devils either but we have never missed them. Each year we open the door on a new subject and new ideas. We have a great time learning more about the world and we have a great party but the best part is everyone is invited.