I have written before about juggling two cultures and all the traditions and holidays that come with that. Fourteen years in I feel like I am starting to get the hang of it.
Halloween was the first big US holiday that we have been back in the Netherlands for, and so I knew it would be an emotional one for the kids. Oh who am I kidding, it was emotional for all of us. We LOVED trick or treating in our little village of Somers with friends and neighbors. That very first year we were there the kids were over the moon to finally be able to experience real Halloween and the excitement never wore off.
Because of this I wanted to compensate more than I perhaps normally would. I have found that the best formula for combating homesickness is not always to try to imitate what we miss, what we had, but rather to honor and celebrate the occasion in a whole new way. It cuts out the pain of comparison and gives us the freedom to try something new that we might otherwise never experience.
And so instead of attempting trick or treating we stayed home and threw a spooktacular Halloween feast for our family. Spider webs, candles and flickering ghosts hung around the room went a long way towards creating the perfect atmosphere. Everyone was such good sports: they all crammed into our tiny living room for dinner (with a pretty complete representation of body parts) and enjoyed an outside fire and a game of nighttime tag as well.
We all went to bed feeling happy, content and exhausted. It was a huge success.
Thanks Fine Fischer for so many of the lovely photos!