The Origin of Halloween

Halloween is the that special time of year for cute, funny, or scary costumes and candy. But why do we celebrate this frightfully fun holiday and where does the name Halloween come from?

About 2,000 years ago, the Celts celebrated the end of summer and beginning of cold, gloomy weather. The fall and winter were often associated with sadness and death. They celebrated this occasion with a festival of Samhain on the night of October 31st where the people believed the spirits and ghosts of the deceased would travel from the spirit world to the real world. People would dress up as angels, devils, and saints and have big parties with bonfires and lots of food.

This tradition and belief remained a trend for the Celtics but when the Celts where conquered by the Romans, the festival of Samhain had a few adjustments. The Romans celebrated two festivals around the same time of year that were held to honor the dead and revere the Roman goddess of fruits and trees. Over time, Celtic and Roman traditions for October 31st combined. When the Roman Empire’s religion was mostly Christian, the Christians decided to replace the festival of Samhain with something similar but easy for the church to control. So, the Romans declared November 1st All-hallows or “All Saints Day” and November 2nd “All Souls’ Day”. On All Saints Day, the poor would beg for food and the people would give them “soul cakes” which were little pastries and this is where trick-or-treating originated. The night before All-hallows, October 31st (the original night of Samhain) became known as All-hallows Eve and people dressed up and threw parties. All-hallows Eve was eventually shortened to Halloween.

Halloween remained a popular holiday in Europe and when it reached colonial America, new traditions appeared. The people shared stories of the deceased with one another, ate sweet treats, had “play parties”, celebrated the harvest, and played tricks and pranks on each other. It wasn’t until the 1850s that Americans started dressing up, and that’s when the holiday really took off. Halloween evolved into a community holiday where neighbors could get together, dress up, pull pranks on each other, and share spooky stories. In the early 20th century, kids could receive a small treat by showing a trick and this is how the tradition of trick-or-treating got started in America. It has been one of the most popular and expensive holidays celebrated since then. People have gone crazy with candy, party supplies, costumes, and house decorations. Families still get together to celebrate the holiday and party and kids still go from door to door asking for something good to eat.

What kind of turn will this crazy, fun, and festive holiday take? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe upcoming Halloween. Don’t eat too much candy!

The Origin of Halloween
“History of Halloween .” History.com. A+E Networks, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

How to Be a Babysitter

For about a month, I’ve been pretty busy babysitting. Being a babysitter requires social skills, time, responsibility, and creativity. Babysitting is extremely fun and I enjoy doing whatever I can to help others, so it’s something I’m doing more and more often.

I wrote this blog post for a school assignment and I thought it would be good to share with you all. Here are a few tips on how to be a great babysitter. Just kidding, these are actually some very sarcastic tips on how to be a babysitter. Enjoy!

Congrats newly minted babysitter!

Welcome to the wonderful world of babysitting! Here are a few tips on how to succeed in the babysitting industry:

1. Don’t exchange information with the parents. When you first arrive at the house, the parents will mostly likely ask for your phone number and maybe your email. Don’t give them your information and never ask for their’s. You don’t want them scamming you and remember the rules with stranger danger.

2. If you are babysitting when the kids have to go to sleep, tell them scary stories before bed. Make sure it’s scary to the point that the child is screaming and possibly crying. Kids love stories before bed, and by telling them a scary story, you accomplish another task on your babysitting list.

3. Feed the kids a bunch of candy and sugary foods. Most children love sweet treats like candy, cookies, and ice cream so give them what they love! You’ll be extremely popular with the little ones and watching them bounce off of the walls can be very entertaining.

4. Make yourself at home. A majority of parents will tell you to “make yourself at home” which basically means “get comfortable and do whatever makes you feel at home”. Eat the food, watch some T.V., and even sleep in the parents’ bed if that makes you feel at home. If you really feel like making the house feel like your own, change up the place a little and let our your inner interior designer.

5. Show the kids where all of the dangerous items are. By telling the children where the dangerous items are, they will be aware of them. Make sure the objects are visible and easy to reach just in case the kids need to defend themselves or use any of the items.

6. Leave all of the doors and windows open. Leaving the windows and doors open allows for fresh air to circulate throughout the house. Also, everyone on the outside can observe what is going on inside the house, and you, the fearless and protective babysitter, can observe everything that is happening outside so you can protect the kids.

7. Introduce the concept of procrastination to the kids if they have homework. Homework isn’t important until the night before it’s due, so emphasize that to the children. Procrastinating will improve the kids’ performance in school because performing under stress forces kids to work harder to get their homework done.

8. If the family you’re babysitting for has pets, leave the doggy door or cat door closed. The doggy door or cat door is the only way a pet can escape, so by closing off their only way of escape, you prevent them from running away.

9. Respond to every phone call the house receives. The parents don’t need any messages. You’re there to answer the phone so you will answer and make decisions for the parents.

10. Remember that YOU are in charge. You are the one getting paid, so you need to make it crystal-clear to the parents that they pay you the amount you want to be paid, you will do what you want, their children will follow your rules, and the parents arrive at home when you tell them to. If you tell the parents to be home at 9 pm, and they say they’re running late and will be there at 9:45, get out of there. The kids were your responsibility until 9 and after that, they aren’t your problem.

Good luck!

How to Be a Babysitter

 

Did You Know: Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are very cute and playful creatures. They’re little, fun to be around, and becoming popular As pets. Here are a few things you might not know about hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs rely on hearing and smell because they have very poor eyesight.

Unlike porcupine quills, hedgehog spikes are not barbed, and they aren’t poisonous.

Hedgehogs can hibernate but most of them don’t. The African Pygmy hedgehog is well-known to hibernate.

When in water, a hedgehog can float on its back. If you own a hedgehog and it cannot do this yet, do not force your hedgehog to try and float on its back! You might hurt it!

Hedgehogs got their names from the habitat they most prefer- garden hedges- and the noises they like to make.

When these creatures are exposed to any types of pungent smells or tastes, they self- anoint their quills. Self anointing is where they rub frothy saliva on their quills to remember the taste or smell.

Hedgehog babies are called hoglets.

According to many people, bathing a hedgehog is on of the cutest things seen by man.

These little prickly bundles are lactose intolerant, so dairy is off-limits!

Hedgehogs make great pets although they require a lot of space to move around.

So whether or not this stuff is new, now you know a few things about hedgehogs! Have a wonderful week!

Did You Know: Hedgehogs

Happy Homecoming!

Homecoming week is one of the busiest and most enjoyable weeks of high school. There’s a big football game, many activities, and also a huge dance. My homecoming was last night and it was amazing and also exhausting! Here are a few tips on how to make your homecoming dance and week a success.

1. Attend school activities. School activities during homecoming week are highly-attended most of the time and they’re super fun. Why not enjoy time with friends and classmates and show some interest in your school? Events like powder-puff which is the girls’ flag football game, the homecoming dance, pep assembly, and the big football game are special, exciting, and memorable. If you don’t go, that’s okay but you’re missing out on a lot! You’ll value high school a little bit more if you go to these events!

2. Participate in spirit days. This goes along with the first tip. At most schools, there is a theme for homecoming and during the week you dress up to get in the spirit of the theme. For example, at my school the theme this year was Vegas and throughout the week we dressed up like flamingos (Flamingo Hotel), Romans (Caesar’s Palace), and tropical (Mandalay Bay. We also did two spirits days for school pride and class colors. Getting involved in spirit days is really fun and silly. A majority of people think that they might look ridiculous wearing a toga to school, for example, but when the whole school gets involved, you can all look silly together and have fun.

3. Make smart decisions. Most often at the homecoming dance or on the way to the dance, students think it’s okay to break out the alcohol and drugs and do whatever they feel like doing. I strongly disagree with these ideas and believe they’re insane. There is never a good time to do illegal and inappropriate things like drugs or alcohol as a minor, in my opinion, let alone a school dance. You should avoid drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous or risky behaviors. There are plenty of other ways to have fun at a school dance, like dancing (what a concept), playing games, and so on.

4. Have fun! Homecoming is a special time of the year and take advantage of it! You only have four years of high school and homecoming only comes once a year so make the most out of the time you have.

To make homecoming week one of the best weeks of the school year, just remember to attend school activities, participate in spirit days, make smart decisions, and have fun! Happy Homecoming!

Happy Homecoming!