Living Abroad, Love Ireland, mixed culture family

Making Halloween our Own

October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from Ireland.  The kids are on midterm break so we have been celebrating all week-long!!

It was about 8 years ago that the King carved his first pumpkin.  I remember explaining in detail that he had to clean out the insides first….around that time I ate my first slice of Halloween brack and he gave me careful instructions to not choke on the ring if I found it.

Ever since then we’ve been trying to combine our two cultures to make traditions of our own family.

His pumpkin carving has gotten significantly better, but I still haven’t bothered to actually make my own brack though.

Pumpkins 2013 by the King


I didn’t realize it until this year, but I guess I try to get the kids costumes back home if possible.  In Ireland Halloween costumes tend to be on the spooky, bloody, evil side.  This year Princess M spotted a puppy costume in Target when we were home last month…the upstate NYer/mother in me couldn’t help but notice there was plenty of room to layer warm clothes underneath…the King noted it was the very opposite of spooky. We bought it.

We decorate, we read Halloween stories and watch spooky(ish) movies all in the lead up to the big day.  And while I still have difficulty finding It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown we manage.

And even though there is sadly no pumpkin patches or corn mazes near by, we find an autumn Halloween party somewhere in the community and pick our stemless pumpkins from the grocery store. And we come home and make chocolate covered apples and toast pumpkin seeds.

Making the chocolate apples

Making the chocolate apples

Tonight the King will light a fire in the fireplace and remind me that the origins of Halloween came from Celtic Ireland.  I will make last-minute adjustments to costumes, get ready for trick-or-treaters and politely remind him that America does Halloween best.  We’ll both laugh and toast our family with a Guinness or even a hot whisky because hot apple cider is hard to find….

How do you make Halloween your own?

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  • Reply americanmominbordeaux October 31, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Lovely post!! We have had to sort of do the same thing in France….make Halloween our own. France for the most part doesn’t celebrate. However, we have come to learn there are pockets of areas that do trick or treating. It just depends on where you live and who you know. This year my oldest hosted a Halloween party for her friends – that was fun to introduce them to the holiday. We are trying a little trick or treating tonight..with some French friends – I figure I’ll be glad to follow someone French around – as they know more than I do as to who to go to or not. We will attend an expat family party tomorrow. It’s actually nice to get more use out of costumes!! But yes, America does do Halloween best!! Miss seeing all the houses decorated!! Enjoy your day and Happy Halloween!!

    • Reply bothsidesoftheatlantic October 31, 2013 at 9:41 am

      I find even with Halloween if we don’t try to celebrate some of the ways I know how it makes me home sick. Sounds like your finding some new traditions too. Enjoy!

  • Reply Becky November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Chocolate covered apples?! Sounds like something we need to start doing here in the U.S. Just found your blog and will definitely look for it often. Becky

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