Autumn is my favorite time of year! The colors, the pumpkin spice smells, the chill in the air that allows for that extra layer, boots, and a chance to hide those extra libritas (little pounds) that you acquired cause you ended up eating the Halloween candy you didn't allow your child to eat.
This is the official start to madness. You have Heritage month so it's time to celebrate our cultura. Then it's harvest and time to decorate our homes and officially transition from summer to fall. Then comes Halloween (if you celebrate it) and then helping your child decide what they want to be, cause half the time they want to be everything! Then it's Dia de Los Muertos and a way to honor the dead just in time to get us ready for Thanksgiving. Whoa, that's alot to do, and we as mamás are at the center of todo (everything).
So let's begin, with an action Plan! Here's a printable download to help you get organized:
1) Hispanic Heritage
There are many things that you can do with your family to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. We all get caught up in the day to day hustle and grind, but make an effort to do 1 activity or attend 1 event with your child and familia. I would recommend a family event as many of them do craft activities, feature music or folkloric dance, and traditional Latino foods. It doesn't even have to be from your particular country as long as it's something visual for your family to remember, to get conversations started, and to get them interested and Connecting with their cultura. Check out our Events calendar for nationwide events. Don't see something in your area? Visit your local websites of museums, zoos, malls, galleries, farms, even churches. You'd be surprised at how many organizations, institutions, and businesses understand the importance of the Hispanic community and are offering events.
2) Decorating for Harvest, Halloween, & Dia de Los Muertos
I live in an apartment in Brooklyn, NY. As many New Yorkers, space is limited so decorating for fall is limited to a wreath on the door and minimal indoor decor. However, when I used to live in Florida, now that was a different story. I couldn't wait to decorate. What you may not know about me is that I am also a Halloween product and costume designer, so this is another reason why it's my favorite time of year. I get to see product that I've designed out in stores, get new ideas, and the best is on Halloween when I get to see children wearing my costumes, what a treat!
Back to design. Here are some decorating tips:
Buy traditional pieces that you can use year after year. For example, if you are going the Halloween decorating for outdoor lawn inflatables, wreaths, tombstones, and plastic decor can be reused; for indoor traditional colored decor like oranges and browns can work both for Halloween and Harvest. Check out our pinterest board for more ideas.
Buy trend forward pieces that can be added and incorporated with your traditional decor. From studded pumpkins, to glitter skulls, to sequined bats, to hipster forest animals, there is a theme for every taste. Pick a few standout items that will not get lost in the decor, but know that while they may be the hottest item right now, next year they may be donation.
Incorporate your cultura in your decor. Do you celebrate Dia de Los Muertos? There is beautiful "Halloween" decor that can be incorporated into your tradition that will help you create your altar and decorate your home. While I am Colombian and we do not celebrate Day of the Dead, I do attend the Dia De Los Muertos activities and events. I think it's a beautiful tradition to honor our passed ancestors and friends and one that should be passed down to our children. Keep your cultura alive and Carry On your traditions.
Nothing better than DIY. When you have kids they love Creating and we love what they create! This is a wonderful time to Connect with our children. Decorate a pumpkin or collect fall leaves and make a wreath. There are so many ideas. Check out some ideas on our Hispanic Halloween Pinterest Board.
Have fun and who cares if you're not a Martha Stewart. Relax. Not everyone is a creative genius nor has the time to recreate their homes every year. It's ok. a spiderweb goes a long way! The most important thing is that whatever you do you are Connecting with your kids and Creating memories. The time you spend with your child is what they will remember the most!
Dressing up has always been fun for me. Before I had my daughter I would go all out and try to outdo the previous year's costume. But after I had my daughter Halloween became about her, while I try to be creative, I keep it simple for me and spend the time on her. After 13 years of designing costumes for many companies and Creating my own, here are some tips to help you get organized and not wait til the last minute!
Talk to your child at HOME about what they want to be not at the store. Too many options for a child is overwhelming. You have no idea how many times I've seen a little boy stand in front of the Party City wall changing his mind 10 times and the frustrated mom in front of them. YOU know what they like. For my daughter I knew it was either gonna be Batman, Elena of Avalor, Dora, or Paw Patrol. Guess what? She made the decision for ALL of us including my dog. Remember give them 2 options until they can decide so continue to narrow down the list.
Start NOW. Don't wait til the last minuto, especially with popular licensed characters. My daughter wants to be Elena and while I enjoy sewing and will make her costume, I already bought her Elena crown. If your boy wants to be Paw Patrol or PJ Masks or any one of the popular superheroes, get them now while you have the options.
DIY is always great. It's more difficult to DIY when your child wants to be an iconic superhero like Spiderman or Superman, but there ARE Creative ways of taking simple clothes and recreating iconic characters. There are other super cute DIY costumes like "La Chilindrina" or "El Chavo del 8" that you will not find in any store.
Get the family involved. My favorite are Family costumes or Mom and Child themed costumes. Last year my family dressed up as Cookies and Milk and we were a big hit. The year before we were "Black Sheep." A family is a unit and whether it's mom dad and kids or just mom and child, every family is different. Use this opportunity to Connect with your family a Create a beautiful memory both for you and your child and Carry On your new tradition.
Have a Happy Hispanic Heritage, Harvest, Halloween, and Dia de Los Muertos Mamás. With a little planning you can do it! Please share with us all of your decorating pictures, Halloween costume pics, and Dia de Los Muertos Pics to add to our Pinterest Board. There are other Latina Mamás just like you looking for ideas. Let's help them out! Send all images to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us @milegasi on Instagram.