To be honest, I mostly lost interest in Halloween sometime in early adolescence, after I had outgrown trick-or-treating. Yes, there were some good parties in college but we didn’t really need Halloween to do that.
When my sons came along, of course, I managed to muster some enthusiasm for the holiday and truly enjoyed their costumes and enjoyment of trick-or-treating.
But Halloween has taken on a bit of a revival in my life since I started working at my current job five years ago. The simple reason is that my coworkers love Halloween!
Every October 31 in my office we dress up, decorate the dining room, make a big lunch, have a best costume contest, put on crazy music – it’s good, clean fun.
Most of my coworkers are immigrants from Latin America and bring with them traditions associated with this time of year. The Day of the Dead, November 1 and 2, is an important holiday in their lives, providing a special occasion to remember loved ones who have passed on.
Some of my office mates make small altars for the Day of the Dead near their desks. They put together colorful collections of flowers, decorative paper, candy skulls, photos of loved ones who have passed on, and even bits of food and drink. Robin Williams and Joan Rivers have appeared on a couple altars I’ve seen as it’s customary to include celebrities who have died as well.
These are all symbols of life overcoming death. And it seems that Halloween is a natural extension of the celebration for my co-workers.
I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from them.