My two favorite holidays are Easter and Halloween. I know, I know. Strange combination of holidays, but it all goes back to my childhood. I don’t know if my parents realized it at the time, but they were shaping my memories and my view on these holidays before I could even realize it. My memories from these holiday traditions when I was a child, still shape how I feel about those holidays today.
I’m actually a huge scaredy cat. I don’t watch scary movies, go to haunted houses and you should hear me screech at the sight of a spider. Even so, Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays. Why? Growing up, we lived out in the country. You’d think that would mean that we would go into town to trick or treat. Wrong. I lived in an area where there were many children around my age and all the parents and grandparents in the area would have candy ready and waiting and we’d all drive around the country to do our trick or treating. My family would end every Halloween at my grandmother’s house. My grandmother loved Halloween. She’d take pictures of every trick-or-treater that came to her door and then later hand out a copy to the parents. She’d always have an extra special treat for my sisters and I. It was the sense of community and coming together that I was really drawn to.
Now that I am a parent, I make sure to make a big deal of Halloween for my children. It’s special to my grandmother, it’s special to me, and I want it to be special for them as well.
Again, my memories are based around me living out on the farm. Easter always hit towards the end of calving season. Baby cows everywhere. Every Easter it was church, brunch, then a trip out to see the calves with the family that would come to spend the day together. Some years we’d even get to see one right after he or she was born. Now, I lived there, I could see it any day, but for some reason, with family around on Easter Day, it was extra special.
As I grow up, I realize the resemblance of new life in Jesus to the new life all around that time of year, especially on the farm. Flowers blooming, trees budding, new baby animals. It’s like the world is being brought back to life, just as Jesus was and we are through Him. It’s pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.
Again, as a parent, I make a big deal of this day with my children, sharing those things with them.
Thinking about how much of an impact these things had on me really puts into perspective how much of an impact we have on our children’s lives. These moments we are living, the traditions we have right now, right at this moment, are going to be the memories they have the rest of their life. (No pressure, right?)