If you’re new around here, you might not know that Halloween is kind of a big deal. It is my favorite non-religious holiday (although if we get down to the nitty-gritty, paganism is a religion and Samhain is a festival to celebrate the harvest…. AND Halloween is All Saints’ Eve which falls on the day before the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day… so can we really call it non-religious? I digress).
Anyway… we typically celebrate big around Halloween. For example:
2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | (I didn’t post the 2013 party)
Since we said “I do”, we’ve been hosting Halloween parties. It’s expected. People start asking me in August what the theme is going to be. And while I absolutely love that and look forward to the party every year, this year it felt forced and exhausting.
So I decided to cancel it. (I’d even made the FB event already.)
As soon as I did I had a few friends reach out to make sure I was ok. I had a few people tell me they were glad I took the year off. Some people were sad to not be getting together.
I felt very blah about it. Which kind of let me know it was the right decision. If you’re not excited about a voluntary just-for-fun party, why are you throwing it?
I love having people over and planning parties and celebrating Halloween with costumes and food and games, but… none of it sounded fun to me this year. I’m worried about COVID. I’m tired from chasing a toddler. I’m swamped at work, buried in home projects, and deadass tired by 7pm.
There is a small part of me that’s sad I cancelled. It doesn’t really feel like Halloween this year. Maybe that will change when we dress Maddie up on Saturday to trick-or-treat, but I didn’t make a puking pumpkin or carve a jack-o-lantern or buy costumes for the dogs. It’s a weird year.
And also, after last year’s party, I came down with COVID. (I don’t know that it was the party- we were outside the whole time, food was individually packaged, and I was the only one of all the guests to get it.) It made me very hesitate about getting people together. And I still feel that way.
It’s difficult to make a decision that might let others down (or feels like it might). Maybe past guests are thrilled to not have to come to another Halloween party at our house. Maybe it won’t be missed. I don’t know. But it did feel a little selfish to cancel.
I know it was not. I know our friends will celebrate the holiday in their own way this weekend, and we will take Maddie around the neighborhood, and next year we can chose to have a party or not. But it’s odd to break an 8 year tradition. And there’s my explanation for why there will be no Halloween post.
And now let’s switch topics. Tell me something fun you’re doing or did for Halloween!
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Cancelling something I love that others love too feels conflicting internally for me as well. I know it was the right thing for me to do, but tradition has strong holds, doesn’t it? We feel all sorts of ways about that. I’m about to do that for Christmas Eve this year. Sometimes it’s nice to take a year off or to decide to just stop in general. See how you feel!
My parents are with us this year, so we’re having apps and I’m wearing a pumpkin poncho and MFD will do his traditional driveway carving of a pumpkin while we give out candy.
It’s VERY hard to cancel something I love. I think the pandemic has taught me that… But also that it’s ok to cancel if I’m not feeling it or I’m uncomfortable. We cancelled M’s first birthday last year and did a zoom party. That was a sad one to call off, too, but totally necessary. I wish I’d have done it for the Halloween party; I went back and forth about it.
This year I just went with my gut. I’m still trying to decide how to handle M’s second bday and the holidays. Sigh. I’m tired of things being weird but a little happy for the excuse…? I dunno.
Your Halloween sounds so fun! Maddie is dressing up as Mickey and we’re visiting the grandparents. If the weather holds out we’ll ring a few neighbors’ doorbells, too 🙂
I feel this on a spiritual level. I’m not forcing things anymore. Just not. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel conflicting. I hope you still felt a little magic!
I’m still working on not forcing things. My guilt and self-forced obligation to others make me do things I don’t want to do. But it’s something I’m 100% trying to work on!
We had a lovely day with Mads! Complete with trick-or-treating and costumes 🙂