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Name:Polimom
Location:near Houston, Gulf Coast, United States

Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Halloween in Algiers

Everywhere I’ve ever lived had different traditions for Halloween. Some of those differences resulted from local religious impact, others from increasing parental anxiety about safety. No matter what, though, every October culminates in a massive children’s party. It’s a childhood ritual, whether the communities approach the event as a Fall Festival or a candy fest – and key to this holiday is children.

The kids who experienced Katrina have gone through a lot, and many of the “little things” that give them a sense of “home” are – at least temporarily – gone. Neighbors, friends, schools…. Nothing is the same, even for those who are back (or never left).

So when I received this email from someone in Algiers, it struck me as a great idea.

Though life is far from normal for us, it's starting to resemble it. With schools opening back up there are a lot of kids in the area again. It's a welcome sight. With Halloween coming up, we wanted to provide them a traditional Halloween. My girlfriend and I have been working very hard to get our house ready for the holiday and are preparing a mini-production of sorts for Halloween day itself.

Most of the behind-the-scenes stuff is done and we're getting ready to start decorating tonight or this weekend. We've driven around the area and seen a fair amount of other Halloween decorations up and some other people obviously thinking about the holiday.

Anyway, the purpose of this letter is to let you know that 538 Pacific will be open on Halloween day between 4-11 (or whenever it dies down). We will be putting on a miniature Haunted House and I'd like to know if other homes will be doing anything similar. I think it's important to give kids a traditional holiday to speed the return to normalcy and I hope we can be a part of it. We're welcoming trick or treaters of all ages, with or without costumes, we just want to people to be there to enjoy our work.

Parents of young children in Algiers will no doubt wonder how “scary” this Haunted House might be (I always worried about that when my daughter was small). I wrote to these folks, and they tell me they have the capacity to gear the scariness up or down, depending.

Obviously, haunted houses are not for everyone. Sometimes, just going around the block and knocking on doors for candy is enough. That’s a lot of fun, too! Yet even if your block only has one child back so far, remember them. They, too, need the rituals and normalcy of their pre-Katrina days. Just think of it as a “one bag” year.

1 Comments:

  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Raven said;

    Just to let everyone know, if you're looking to celebrate Halloween, there are a couple of options as to where you can pick up your supplies.

    Though the Party City on Manhattan is still closed, the Elmwood location (across the Huey P. and near the KMart) is open and doing brisk business. Also, the Gretna Costume Shop, on Lafayette St. near the expressway, is open as well.

    Both have a good selection of costumes and supplies.

    Hope to see some of you at 538 Pacific, should be a fun night!



     
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