Happy Halloween!

With Halloween falling on a Monday this year, a great many parties and celebrations happened Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! For those who cherish this holiday… like a few special friends of mine… nothing could be more perfect.

Some embrace the holiday’s origins, others celebrate with Trick or Treating, and still others choose to ignore the holiday altogether. Do what works for you.

Historic records show that Halloween’s roots live in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. This was a pagan religious celebration to welcome the end-of-summer harvest. Costumes were donned as people danced around bonfires to ward off ghosts and evil spirits.

By the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as the time to honor all saints. All Saints Day came to incorporate some of the old Samhain festival traditions. Thus, the night before All Saints Day became known as All Hallows Eve, leading to today’s Halloween.

My family has always enjoyed the fun of Halloween. Mom baked fresh gingerbread boys, and we decorated them with raisins, sliced maraschino cherries, gumdrops, and M&Ms.

Decades later, another generation of trick-or-treaters was finding their way back to the home that I then owned, causing me to bake over 200 gingerbread boys (& girls) each year. Oh, yes… I always put out a big bowl of individually wrapped candy bars, too. Many little ghosts and goblins had properly been instructed by their parents to not collect home-baked items. But many more were being driven there by their parents precisely to score one of those freshly baked gems.

Thanks, Mom! Thanks for teaching me to cook, bake, and celebrate all that is wonderful around us. Especially I thank you for teaching me to appreciate all our similarities and differences. We are so blessed that your love and fun sense still sparkle today. I simply love how you now have a chef and a team of decorating ladies cooking up more than 1,000 gingerbreads every season at your independent living apartments. Bravo!

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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