Halloween originated with an old Gaelic holiday called Samhain. For the Celts it was a time to celebrate the harvest and their dead.
During this past year my grandma and my father-in-law passed away, and a few years ago my father passed away. I talk about them with my daughter, but I thought it could be really special to put together a little traditional tribute to all of them today.
First we gathered photos of our passed on loved ones, as well as things they liked, or left to us or that reminded us of them. Then I got some little candles and we took them all outside. We put the candles down on our front walk, one for each person, and clustered our mementos around each one. After that we picked up some especially pretty autumn leaves and berries to finish our decorating.
As we lit the candles we sang songs that my daughter felt they would like (these included ABC's, a church song, and a Barbie song, haha), and then I spent about 10 minutes telling her stories about these loved ones from when they were little.
One thing my grandma loved was some special "surprise" tulips I planted in her yard one fall without telling her. It was so fun for both of us when they bloomed the next spring. This fall I had picked up a package of tulip bulbs, so after our songs and stories we planted surprise tulips to remember Grandma Ruby.
I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about the nature of this activity. I'm a Mormon and believe in God and Christ. I'm definitely not a pagan or anything, and we didn't have any prayers or spells or chants at all. We just had a few quiet minutes together outdoors to appreciate the beautiful day, to plant flowers, and to reflect and remember our loved ones. It ended up being really special and I am looking forward to doing it again next year.