May I begin by sharing with you a recent marital conversation.


Me – Now Joel, please do not your roll your eyes, but this year, we are celebrating Halloween.

Joel – Rolls eyes.  Rachel, you know you’re not American, right? What even is Halloween? What are we actually celebrating?

Me – Look Joel, nobody really knows what Halloween is, but it’s important we don’t dwell on that. Because, well, there are COSTUMES and JACK-O-LANTERNS and TRICK-OR-TREATING. And we are shaping the first chapters of our child’s STORYBOOK, remember?

Joel – Silent. Staring.

Me – Silent. Staring.

Joel – Okay, great. Let’s throw a Bar Mitzvah party too and call that part of our child’s storybook.


You guys, the whole idea of Halloween, I’ve decided, is totally my specialty: To enjoy what we have and create what we don’t.

We don’t have Fall and big old maple leaves and pumpkin farms. We don’t have streets filled with trick-or-treating kids, dressed in cute Halloween costumes, shouting excitedly to each other as they scurry from house to house. We don’t carve pumpkins and fill them with candles, perching them on our doorsteps for our neighbours to enjoy.

What we do have, though, is determination to make tradition an overriding factor in our family’s story. What we do have is the desire to create rich memories for our children — to proudly hand them the glorious invitation to play.



We now know that 95% of what a child learns is through direct experience, leaving only 5% to formal instruction. What children learn is what they experience and what they experience most is the way adults behave. So to me, Halloween is a great big excuse for our children to watch us breathe life into life. To make moments special. To show them things are what we make of them and that holiday traditions are important because they are a celebration of family, an opportunity to use our imagination, and an invitation to, for one day, partake in the glorious world of childhood and pretend.

Small children are part of our lives for such a short amount of time, and I want to savour this time I have with them. I want to feel their wonder as my own. I want to drink in the magic of imagination and fun alongside them and use it as a way to remember that life is to be enjoyed and never to be taken too seriously.







So, we’ve been Halloween-ing our home and brushing off Joel’s groans with a “You’ll thank me one day, Chip.” We’ve been decorating pumpkins and planning our first ever Annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party which will be making its glorious debut next weekend. All Ella’s teeny tiny friends will arrive on our doorstep, smiling their big, shy, excited grins that something special is happening and for one day, we’ll traipse around with them having Halloween scavenger hunts and carving out pumpkins and getting our hands covered with paint.






And when Halloween night comes around, we’ll dress up and snap pictures and pull wagons and trick-or-treat and see it as a festive night full of imaginative details, a whole lot of fun and a chance to connect with our community.

Because really, that’s what it’s about.
I love the October memories we are making. But mostly, I love that our family gets to write our own book. A book that embraces Halloween.
Friday Photo Dump – My small Instagram happies of the week. (@theredtent if you want to follow the feed.)
18 oct first18 oct second
Wishing you all a bright happy weekend.


5 Responses to “Halloween”

  1. Ctrl+Alt+Mum

    I’m Australian but Halloween is one of my favourite things ever. In fact, my due date is 2nd November but I’m secretly hoping my little one arrives on the 31st, that would be something really special. My Mum wasn’t big into Halloween but always made sure we had fun dressing up and we even went trick-or-treating for a couple of years in our neighbourhood (all the parents in the street got together and planned it out so that we knew which houses to go to). I think you’re right in that tradition and experience are so important. And Halloween is just so much fun, even as an adult I couldn’t NOT celebrate it in some way.

    • The Red Tent

      We went trick or treating too when we were really really small because we lived in a little estate-like set up, but it’s sad that it’s not a tradition most Australians get involved in. It’s so fun!

  2. Jenna

    I had no idea Halloween was just an American holiday, haha! So, will you still be trick-or-treating?

    • The Red Tent

      I think it’s more of a Northern Hemisphere thing! We’re still going to go trick-or-treating (we live on a big street with lots of kids so surely SOME of our neighbourhood families will be getting involved!), and maybe we’ll go to some Halloween festivals we’ve got around the place too. I’ll see how much Joel can stand 🙂


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