JMHurd
Graphic Designer & Illustrator

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Located in Southern Pines, NC, Jackie is an Illustrator and graphic designer. Subscribe to this blog to learn more about Jackie, her experiences in creativity and helpful tips for fellow creatives.

Here comes Halloween

 Featured in this post is my Happy Ghosts design, available exclusively at The Textile District as fabric.  Click here to visit their website and get a few yards- I will get a commission for any fabrics you purchase from their site that were designed by me.

Featured in this post is my Happy Ghosts design, available exclusively at The Textile District as fabric. Click here to visit their website and get a few yards- I will get a commission for any fabrics you purchase from their site that were designed by me.

Once again another holiday has totally snuck up on me! With four kids I should probably be all over it with a Halloween Advent calendar, baking spooky cookies and sewing up Halloween costumes. My kids haven’t had a single pumpkin spiced anything yet and neither have I, although I did put some cinnamon in my coffee the other morning. That’s a start right? BUT now that I’ve realized I’ve only got 15 days until Halloween, the hourglass has flipped and I’ve got to make the most of it before we move on to the turkeys!

I’m going to write about something I haven’t shared publicly… I always feel nervous about offending family member who might read my blog- but I don’t think they read it so here’s a bit about me and Halloween and why I love it so much now as an adult.

I’m originally from New England- Connecticut to be precise, where when the seasons change, they really change! When I was really little I remember having to wear my winter jacket under my Halloween costume, talk about ruining the wicked witch look with an ugly pink jacket! Halloween was a big deal, the decorations, the build up, the parties and then trick-or-treating. I loved it.

When I was five my mom and dad divorced and eventually my mom re-married. Soon after the trick-or-treating stopped. Instead of occasionally going to Catholic mass with my Polish grandparents, we went to a new church with my step-dad, a louder church where people spoke in tongues and REALLY loved Jesus. My step-dad would let us hand out candy but we couldn’t participate. The magic stopped. Magic we were told, was evil- any tv shows with reference to magic, my magical toys (rainbow bright, the smurfs,) eventually disappeared too. I never bought into this new lifestyle though, no matter how hard I tried it just didnt make sense to me and it wasnt fun. I would look forward to weekends I could spend at my grandmother’s house, she had a stash of witchy books with spells and stories of magical things and she would encourage it- soak it up, here’s another one! Was it that she loved to see me read or she felt like I needed some magic in my life? Whatever it was, it kept my imagination flame going.

Why was Halloween taken away from me as a kid? Because of religion… I don’t want to put the blame on Christianity as a whole because the Catholic side of my family loved and has always celebrated Halloween. Some people use religion as a guide and some people become consumed by it. In my case, my step-dad was (at the time) really religious and we went to a church that had a lot of influence over him and my mom.

Halloween’s origins are Pagan. It began as the Celtic Festival of Samhain celebrated on October 31st, the transition between the summer into the cold dark winter, when it was believed the boundary between the living and the dead was at the thinnest. Eventually the next day, November 1st was designated by the Catholic church to become All Saints Day. I don’t think my step-dad knew this or would have put much thought into it, because according to the preacher, pagan was pagan and pagan was wrong. But I’ve always known better.

So when I say I love Halloween, it’s not just a simple “ooooh spooky time, so much fun” kind of “I love Halloween.” It’s a celebration of the strong-willed child that I was who always thought for herself and remained curious no matter what.