My kids have been learning about the day of the dead and doing alters and skeleton art projects at school. They had lots of questions and although we didn’t celebrate in the past and am not of Mexican heritage, I like the idea of embracing death and remembering and honoring those before us. With all the Halloween activity, I wanted to be sure we did a bit of remembering and celebrating those our family has lost.
We sat around the dinner table and I told a few stories about some past relatives and what I miss most about them. We also remembered some of their favorite foods and recipes. The kids were able to chime in about their gido (my dad) and how they remember him doing gymnastic tricks with them in the living room and how much he loved old cars and Mediteranean food. I recalled my own grandfather and how I loved when we went for ice cream (chocolate mint) and to the movies. I even remember making him his drinks (scotch on the rocks) when I was about 10 years old. It smelled bad and strong then and still does to me now.
We recently put in a fire pit in our backyard, and have been enjoying after dinner s’mores on occasion. Because of Dia de los Muertos we dressed up the marshmallows a bit by coloring on them with food dye pens. I know not very healthy, but fun. It was pretty neat to see their faces dance in the flames. This was a simple and fun way to celebrate and create (hopefully) a new day of the dead ritual for our family.