2 min read Everyone has suffered some kind of loss during the pandemic, be it loss of work, freedom of movement, peace of mind, ability to socialize with friends and family… or worse.
But in many respects, children have had it hardest, and not just because most lost a school year and all the monumentally important stuff, both educational and extra-curricular, that entails.
Children also had to try and make sense of a big, scary, global threat while bearing up under the palpable concern carried by their families. While wearing a mask. And trying to remember to keep two meters apart from everybody all the time.
All of which makes Halloween — easily the biggest, best-est non-denominational kid-oriented event on the annual calendar — an even bigger deal in 2020 than ever before. And yet with social distancing restrictions in place, traditional trick-or-treating is pretty much out the window. Still, that doesn’t mean Halloween can’t be an event celebrating all the usual hallmarks of the occasion.
Indeed, the core aspects of Halloween, like dressing up in costumes — or better yet, dressing up the animals in costumes — then mugging for treats, creating nifty jack-o’-lanterns, and bobbing for apples are entirely doable and even advisable as a powerful distraction from the altered reality of daily life. It just takes some creative thinking. (Hasn’t surviving this whole stupid year required creative thinking?!)
Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, “the word Halloween or Hallowe’en dates to about 1745. The word ‘Hallowe’en’ means ‘Saints evening.’ It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day). In Scots, the word ‘eve’ is even, and this is contracted to e’en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Hallowe’en. Although the phrase ‘All Hallows’ is found in Old English ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ is itself not seen until 1556.”
So, when the kids holler about Halloween tradition and the ABSOLUTE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING IT HAPPEN, MOM!!!! they really are onto something. Even without the usual door-to-door trekking, there are plenty of ways to summon the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve.
Let’s revisit our beforementioned point about dressing up the animals. Be it a dog, horse or cat (yeah, good luck with the latter), creating a kooky, fun costume from scratch (or getting out the safe, water-soluble paints) is a brilliant way of spending an afternoon. The resulting brag-worthy and shareable images posted to Instagram, meanwhile, are a great way to set the right tone safely from home. (Be sure to tag backontrack).
Baking and making Halloween-themed goodies like Candy Corn Cookies and Jack-O’-Lantern Pie is also an excellent way to spend October 31 from the safety of home. Kraft Canada has some super-fun, easy, and very impressive-looking edibles that are ideal for budding chefs assisting the grown-up in the kitchen (https://www.kraftwhatscooking.ca/recipes/holidays-seasons-occasions/halloween-1000124).
Of course, with the prevalence of Zoom and other online conferencing platforms, showcasing the kids’ unique costumes with family and friends around the corner or across the world has never been easier or more appealing. Hopefully, Halloween 2020 will stand as a holiday where social restrictions led to some truly innovative thinking.
Photos by Roz Edge Photography www.rozedgephotography.com