Aloha, FamilyFramework.net Readers!
Does your family have a set of Holiday Traditions? Send me an email and tell me about yours. I love hearing about things other families do to celebrate and enjoy time together. If you haven’t yet started your traditions, TODAY is the day to begin!
When Starbucks begins advertising Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I know our Holiday Season is about to begin! There’s an excitement in the air when the stores begin clearing out the Back-to-School sales and bring in the Halloween costumes and candies!
Pumpkin Patch kicks off our Holiday Traditions!
Montalbano Holiday Traditions begin in October with a trip to a local pumpkin patch to enjoy pony riding, hayride wagon riding, corn maze puzzling, hay bale pyramid climbing, baby farm animal petting, cotton-picking, and – finally – getting a pumpkin to carve. Well, not in Hawaii. There is no Old Baker Farm, but there are pumpkin patches. We carve a pumpkin, but only a day before Halloween.
Back home in Alabama, we always visited Old Baker Farm where Mr. Baker and his family (THE most brilliant cotton farmer I’ve ever personally met) run an incredible business. Multiple fields – once used only for cotton farming – have been converted to grow pumpkins and Christmas trees. Large tractor-pulled wagons with hay bale seats cart families out to the remote fields to search through multiple varieties of gourds to find their “just-right” pumpkin. Entry fee to Old Baker Farm covers one pumpkin each (large pumpkins have an additional fee), one boll of cotton (they still grow cotton, and it is a beautiful plant), and all the activities on the farm (pony rides are extra). It is easy and WONDERFUL to spend a half-day or so in the crisp, fresh air surrounded by nature at Old Baker Farm. We also went there to cut down a fresh Christmas tree every year – but you’ll find out about that in the December Traditions section!
Halloween is our next FUN Tradition!
Halloween is a huge celebration for our family, and we’ve brought some of our kookiness to Hawaii with us. In Alabama, houses are farther apart, and we had a system for maximum enjoyment of trick-or-treating. One parent would be out walking with the children from house to house while the other parent drove the van – with all doors open – just far enough away until time to move to the next street. Then everybody piled in, parents switched walking/driving roles, and off we’d go to the next street. We had hot chocolate in a thermos to enjoy, and a soft seat for resting. We never went with creepy, macabre costumes – we went with super heroes, princesses, video game characters, etc. The first time we took the big kids trick-or-treating, Noah looked up at us and said, “This is the best day of my LIFE!” Love that memory.
The kids have outgrown trick-or-treating. Now what? This is great!
Ann is a senior in high school and Liz is a sophomore, and they decided to dress up in costume for school, but NOT to trick-or-treat. They wanted to decorate, put out speakers to play creepy music, and hand out Halloween candy! They did a great job, and I’m so proud of them! A picture album will be posted as soon as they send me their phone images.
Whereas, I’m sad their trick-or-treating days are over, it is VERY gratifying to watch them decide to do something nice for our neighborhood kids. They are outside entertaining them, giving them candy and glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and wishing them Happy Halloween. That’s fantastic!
November and December are even BIGGER months for Holiday Traditions at the Casa de Montalbano. Click on the images below to see how we celebrate!