We make a point of keeping celebrations and holiday traditions as familiar as possible. I’m sure this will get interesting next spring, since we expect to have at least one child’s birthday in the middle of our Pacific crossing. There are many things to learn and enjoy from being in new places, and we certainly benefit in that respect- but there is also important comfort in the of repetition of traditions in the children’s lives. And in the case of Halloween, they would probably say there is importance in collecting and eating candy, too!
Halloween this year helped me appreciate a few aspects of our nomadic life. First, we didn’t have to spend several months having it marketed to us- we are able to enjoy holiday when occurred, with an abbreviated run up of about a week or so as the children considered costumes and trick or treating. I’m pretty sure that back in the US, the marketing of Christmas specific decor and gifts has already eclipsed all signs of fall. Halloween gear was on the shelves of stores before we even left the country, back in August. AUGUST, people! That’s crazy.
Second, we have the time to indulge deeply in enjoying it in context. We spent most of the two or three days before creating costumes. Making costumes was something I always wanted to do, but could never fit into our busy land lives. Well, there isn’t nearly as much competition for my time now! The children drew pictures of what they wanted. I tracked down a fabric store in Santa Rosalia, and found scraps to make costumes. I cut, and they sewed, taped, and painted. Siobhan’s mermaid tail was acquired in La Paz last spring, but the rest came from our hands…and I have to say, I think they look pretty fabulous. They sure thought so, and that counts more than anything to me!
The unexpected delight was how prepared the neighboring cruisers were for our little trick-or-treaters. The plan was to visit the half dozen or so boats at the Singlar Marina where we’re tied up. I visited boats on the dock about an hour before we planned to send out the kids- our three, Jack from Just A Minute, and Skylar and Steven from Ocean Blue. I brought a bag of candy along, so I could have a few handfuls with any boat that didn’t have candy on hand. Being prepared for trick or treaters was not something I wanted to assume, and Mama Bear didn’t want her kids disappointed (or her cruising friends having to turn down a bunch of cute children!). There was no need to worry- EVERY boat was ready! There were familiar candies (to anyone who has sampled the, um, unique Mexican candies like hot and salted tamarind pulp… or salted chili watermelon popsicles…this cannot be undervalued), and one boat even had fresh baked cookies.
It’s a wonderful tribe out here.