by Lauren Moraca
Before I jump in with all my Halloween excursions, I’d like to share a little history blerp on Halloween by History.com:
Halloween, celebrated each year on October 31, is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity and life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth, and ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off these roaming ghosts. The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic Hallowmas period of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and the Roman festival of Feralia all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween. In the 19th century, Halloween began to lose its religious connotation, becoming a more secular community-based children’s holiday. Although the superstitions and beliefs surrounding Halloween may have evolved over the years, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people can still look forward to parades, costumes and sweet treats to usher in the winter season.
I got a jump start on the spooky season a few weeks back by hosting a Halloween Stampin’ Up! party at our new house. After many a revision, my “BOO” banner turned into a great success! Check out my latest blog for a supply list and see all my SU! projects from last quarter.
Next on my list to get in the spirit, I volunteered to take on the Halloween enrichment project for work as an After School Educator. This project was inspired by my mentor and master teacher, Betty Wells, who introduced me to it during the fall season when I was student teaching 4th grade. I knew junior highers were less likely to enjoy it as much, but I thoroughly enjoyed creating the demo. Simply watercolor a sunset effect on white paper, then draw and cut out your design on black paper. Tip: the white paper may shrink, so keeping a boarder in the black paper is a good safety net for when you have to glue.
It isn’t Halloween without pumpkin carving, am I right? I have yet to have my husband participate in this ritual, as he doesn’t like the smell or the sliminess. So, I substituted him for his sisters! Ellie and Alex came over to enjoy the sticky goodness with me.
Elly did a rearing cat pattern, using one of the patterns that came with our cutting utensils.
Alex did a cute nerdy pumpkin with glasses and freckles.
With the internet and my watercolor project as my guide, I free-handed my spooky haunted house, complete with a bat. (We took them into the laundry room to see them lit up, as it’s the only room in the house without windows. Say hello to my clean laundry waiting to be put away. (: )
Next on the agenda? Why, roasting pumpkin seeds of course! I adjusted one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten, recipes for Rosemary Cashews, but used pumpkin seeds instead! Rinse and dry the seeds, coat with Ina’s recipe, and roast for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees until crispy brown. Be warned, it’s a little spicy! My father-in-law loved them! For me personally, next time I’m going to use less cayenne powder and more brown sugar. Less healthy, yes, but my mouth won’t be on fire!
After a pre-carving nap, we took our little pumpkin on her first trick-or-treat adventure! She hated the costume. Be warned! She may look serene, but this was between glares and whines.
And lastly, but certainly not leastly, we visited the other cutie in our lives, my birthday buddy, Andrew! He was Batman this year. He wasn’t so shure of the baby at first, and got really clingy when Mommy held Izzy. He cuddled for almost 10 minutes, a record for him lately, being such a going going going boy! He was very sweet and patted Izzy on the back many times. He’s going to be a great big brother someday.
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