Halloween marks the gateway to the holidays for me. Family traditions start to take center stage again, the air turns crisp and I can feel the ghosts of ‘what was’ starting to gather.  Long-standing ways of marking the special days don’t work quite the same now. We adjust.

For as long as I can remember, Ken made homemade pizza on Halloween. He was a master at making the yeast dough, hovering over it the better part of the day to punch it down when needed. I’m a decent cook but pizza dough that is consumable is not in my bag of tricks. (Our daughter helps in this photo taken fifteen years ago today.)

I tried to make it myself one year but that effort resulted in a lump of goo at the bottom of the trash can and tears, mine. We ordered a pizza; it was not the same in many ways.

So we adjust again. We could abandon the practice but I would prefer to preserve it for my son who is still at home. He has memories of Halloween pizza just like I do. Soon I will be off to the bakery where they sell a fine freshly made pizza dough in a plastic bag. My son doesn’t trick-or-treat anymore so maybe he will help me put it together tonight, the evolution of a tradition.

Last year I offered a workshop with tips on getting through the holidays when you are grieving a loss. It included a short activity booklet with tips and tools that I include for you here. I hope you find it useful this season.

What traditions will you keep? What do you need to leave behind if only for right now? Can you make a change to make traditions work better for you now? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.