Buddhist or not, Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. I love it because of its ties to ancient rituals of transformation. On this day (much like during Mardi Gras), people are encouraged to break out of their ordinary roles and play with being different. This is a strong reminder that life, much like the year, ends, and it’s a perfect time to shuck off the leaves and dead branches and try different ways to grow.
But mostly I love Halloween because I get to dress up and eat candy.
My child and I start preparing for Halloween the way most people prepare for Christmas (which means we began the second we could pretend it was Fall). (Which takes a lot of pretending where we live!) Last year we put up window decorations. This year, inspired by a page from the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine, we decided to make a Halloween tree.
First we walked around the neighborhood and found a likely menacing-looking branch. Then we spraypainted it black with a craft spraypaint meant for wood. (Photo above.)
It didn’t take long to dry, and it already looked creepy!
Then we stuck it in a mason jar full of rocks to keep it from falling over, and decorated it with a handful of plastic insects that my kid keeps around the house. (Don’t ask.)
We’re still working on decorations, which include ghosts made out of cheesecloth and fluff, pipe cleaner bats, and origami blow-up pumpkins, but that’ll have to wait for next weekend.
Until then, I sincerely hope you’re all getting ready for the BEST HOLIDAY of the year!