Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day of the Dead altar / ofrenda

So, as the "holiday manager" in this household, I decided that we won't celebrate Halloween anymore, but we will celebrate the Day of the Dead. Halloween doesn't make any sense in Portugal... plus there's all that controversy about participating in evil, etc... but I find Day of the Dead such an interesting custom. I'm not Mexican, but I did grow up in California and I heard a lot about this in Spanish classes.

So I made a little altar or ofrenda in our prayer corner with pictures of a few of our loved ones that have passed away. And I ordered these books, which we really like and recommend, from Abebooks.com. Leeeeeeeet me talk to you about Abebooks. Have you heard of this site? I no longer order books from Amazon. Even if you order a large quantity of used books all from the same seller, they won't group the shipping costs into one. So even if you buy a lot of books at 1 cent each, you still have to pay three or four euros of shipping per book. But Abebooks, on the other hand, will group your shipping from the same seller into one. Plus you can search books just from the UK for example, which is what I do to avoid paying customs. It's great. And cheap. And this is not a sponsored post.

Anyway, I think that our modern-day society doesn't deal well with death or like talking about it. So I decided that celebrating the Day of the Dead in our house would be a great way to bring up the issue with kids, pray for our loved ones (the Church asks you to do that all of November...) and do it in a colorful, fun way.

I might have overdone it a little with the "death teaching" with my two-year-old. When we see dead birds, for example, I explain that they are dead to her. The other night we saw a boy in front of our house playing with a toy drone. The next morning she asked where he was and I said he wasn't there anymore. "Mommy, is he DEAD?" she asked me. Oops.

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