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Friday, October 22, 2010

Building Your Own Family Holiday Traditions

As Halloween approaches, I take time to consider some of the holiday traditions we have created with our blended family.  Holidays for divorced parents can be hard.  With visitation and custody schedules forever changing, some holidays you may be alone.   Regardless of the situation following divorce, it is never a bad idea to create some of your own new traditions.

Traditions we have come to love for Halloween:

1. Halloween Witch.  One of my children has food allergies and the mere thought of trick-or-treating throws me into a panic.  We created the Halloween Witch to go along with the Easter Bunny.  She leaves a bag full of toys, treats, and games for each of the kids on Halloween.  We then spend the night as a family watching scary movies, eating popcorn, and handing out candy to the children who come by.

2. Special Halloween Dinner.  Every year our dinner on Halloween is the same.  Homemade Turkey Chili, Homemade bread, and for sugar cookies.  The kids love decorating the cookies and look forward to a nice hot bowl of chili on a cold Halloween night.

3. Homemade Costumes.  This is one we are really loving this year with little money.  All three of the kids this year are dressing up as babies.  They get to stay in their pajamas all day, they get a ring pop around their neck as a pacifier, and they stay warm and comfy.  There are thousands of homemade Halloween costumes ideas online just google homemade costumes. 

4. Homemade Candy.  Sometimes the best stuff really is homemade.  The kids all enjoy making taffy, caramel corn,  and homemade chocolates that can be colored for the holidays.  They often give these to some of their best friends. 

5. Telling Ghost Stories.  This should be used for older children as younger children get easily scared, but this can create fun family memories as you all sit in a circle with blankets and flashlights sharing scary moments.  

Finding yourself alone on Halloween try some of the following:

1. Party.  Have a party at your house for other alone parents or go to parties you are invited to.  It is easier to not be alone on those nights.

2. Movie Time. Halloween can be great fun at a movie theater you can go alone or with someone and still enjoy that scary time of year.

3. A few days before send your kids a disposable camera with the following instructions: Scary things can happen on Halloween, so before you start to scream, take a picture with this, and be sure you do not miss, all those fun Halloween moments in the days to come.  Then send them a care package with a little candy, tooth brush, toothpaste, floss, toys, pencils, paper, and games.  Wrap each thing individually for more fun on their end and have them send the camera back to you in the box you sent the care packages in.  Then you can develop the film and share in some of their Halloween moments too. 

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