Halloween came and went and I’d have to say I’m happy it’s gone. My family didn’t do much to observe (money is tight and Hubby and I are too exhausted/busy to do extra things) but the small things, like Hubby carving pumpkins with the boys and all of us going out trick-or-treating together, created special memories. Mostly.

Between the many terror-inducing displays my 5 year old saw around town and the Halloween themed everything, he suffered terrible nightmares last night and was trembling and crying this morning telling me about it all. He’s a sensitive child and I don’t know how best to protect him from this next year. For now I’m doing damage control: smudging, lighting a candle, saying prayers, and giving him safe imagery to think of when he’s scared. Hopefully future Halloweens end less traumatically.

I didn’t grow up observing Haloween (Fundemental Baptist upbringing), so the last few Octobers have been a learning experience. Trick or Treating is fun – costumes, community, and candy! But what about the heavy stuff? I’ve grown to appreciate the concept of remembering the dead, talking about death, and exploring the darker aspects of life as the wheel turns to the darker part of the year. But I really, really, REALLY DON’T LIKE the displays of horror-movie yuck in people’s front yards. My kids don’t need or want to see that; I don’t need or want to see that. If murder and sadism is your idea of a great lawn decoration, get an island.

As someone who identifies as a witch, I come across a lot of other witchy folk who think Hallowee/Samhain is the best day of the year. I enjoy it, but it’s not really my favorite. I respect darkness, but that’s not my realm of choice. The supposed history behind Samhain is a little sketchy, I’m learning, so there’s that too. Christmas/the Winter solstice will remain my favorite festival for many reasons, chief of which is the rebirth of the sun. Maybe this is one reason I’m finding my witchiness fitting better with Catholicism than with normal Pagan paths. ChristoPagan it is.