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Real Food Lifestyle vs Halloween

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 40 Comments

Hey mamas! I hope you enjoy today’s guest post from Daddypotamus. I love this man!

They’re Not Oblivious Toddlers Anymore… Time to Raise the Little People

This is the last year we can go without a plan. Katie will soon be four years old, and she’s already noticing we’re different. Pretty soon, she’ll want to know what all this tromping around the neighborhood business is about.

She’s already asking what is so special about candy that every other kids book mentions it. And it hurts me to think that she’s going to feel left out and strange. Again.

There are at least three Levels of Strange:

  • Shopping exclusively at Whole Foods / Farmers Markets = Weird
  • Meeting ranchers in parking lots to pick up grassfed meats = Fanatic
  • Living the GAPS Diet life = Potential Lunatic

Our poor kids have enough strikes against them already, don’t they?

Before we married, I was NOT planning on letting our future kids celebrate Halloween because I am opposed to the celebration of fear. Despite how fun spooky things can be to some people, I’ve purposed in my heart to guard my kids against fear-based entertainment.

So FINE, they were going to be a little weird. But I know of HUNDREDS of parents who take their kids to “harvest festivals” which basically take the fear out of the holiday and put the focus back onto having fun and wearing cool costumes.

THEN we became super-ridiculous-potentially-lunatic GAPS Diet/lifestyle folk. Candy = out of the question. Typical fair / festival food = not an option. We are a BUNDLE of fun, aren’t we?

Sure, they can still do the festival thing and have a good time. But I’m tired of taking things away without replacing them. Our kids should have a richer experience than the norm.

A Vision for Our Future

Before we had kids, Heather and I talked about how we wanted to develop our own family traditions and holidays so that our kids would grow up with rich traditions that would mold them into the people we wish we already were. Then the kids were actually born, and our primary concern was how to get Heather enough sleep so she could function (Katie and Micah both had undiagnosed lip ties that made them fussy sleepers).

It’s time we return to the vision and create the future we want our children to have.

This image above represents an ideal. My vision for our future. A future that doesn’t necessarily have to be sponsored by Garden&Gun, but it DOES have to involve feasting and celebration and a certain earthy community feel. Harvest is a significant event. Worthy of celebration. Worthy of all-out feasting.

Sacrifice Nothing

In this vision, our children sacrifice nothing of value by living the lifestyle we have chosen. Instead, they gain loads of rich, meaningful experiences. Fascinating conversations over homegrown, organic food and wine (and maybe even a little water kefir).

We gather our community together for a meal. We celebrate outdoors in the cool of the evening, with festive lights and the kids wear costumes. We are intentional about thanking God for natural resources. Everyone brings their favorite homemade dish. Together, we celebrate the joy of real food and good friends.

The Practical Side

It’s an economic move as much as it is healthy. By this time next year, I plan to have a small organic garden flourishing as we begin supplementing our prohibitively expensive organic real food lifestyle with some homegrown fruits and veggies.

Our celebration takes on a new dimension of earthy goodness as we savor the labor with our friends. Whether it’s a savory homemade cranberry sauce or a spinach and apple salad, we highlight our local homegrown foods and make them the focus of our recipes.

There must be wine and lots of conversation! Children will have the opportunity to hear stories from each family – the joys and the struggles that led them to where they are today. Our kids will see feasting and celebration and know that life is supposed to encompass even the most robust of occasions.

In my mind, it’s quite an elaborate setup. The setup, the decor, the recipes, the laughter. Commemorating the reality of harvest – that time of year when real food is gathered from the earth to provide sustenance and comfort.

I’m ready to make something magical. Who’s with me?


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40 Responses to Real Food Lifestyle vs Halloween

  1. Julie Charbonnet Whetstine via FB says:

    i let it go for about 2 days — then i send it to work with my hubby!

  2. Heather says:

    I love you for this, Daddypotamus! My vision was much smaller – homemade costumes and fall festivals – but I can DEFINITELY get behind this!

  3. Julie Charbonnet Whetstine via FB says:

    just read it – wow, girl! what a vision you have!!! it’s the wedding reception of autumn & the earth!

  4. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    Ack! This post is from Daddypotamus – he usually introduces himself. I didn’t write this, but I am totally on board with his vision :)

  5. Emily Brown says:

    I’m totally with you!!!! Sounds amazing, Daniel! Maybe we can meet in the middle….say, like the western part of Missouri??! 😀

  6. Joanna Moore says:

    love it! we would totally come join yall to celebrate and eat =)

  7. Emily Cowles Brown via FB says:

    awesome post!

  8. Sabrina B. Slonim via FB says:

    I’m with Julie. I love candy and am totally addicted. I don’t want that for my kids. We let them have some, but really try to redirect.

  9. Jessica S says:

    So when is the party? We are SO there! Real GAPS friendly food, friends, the great outdoors, doesn’t get much better!

    I’m thankful that our church does a potluck-style hotdog roast every year around this time (for Reformation day rather than Halloween), we can bring our Applegate Farms GAPS friendly hot dogs, our own sides (thermos of pumpkin soup maybe?), and our own treats, and it’s not that weird. It helps that quite a few people at church have gone gluten free recently!

  10. Abbey Byrd via FB says:

    Man, I would love to have a fall festival like that!! :) sounds like tons of fun. I don’t want my children celebrating “Halloween” getting dressed up and being with friends and family to eat and celebrate would be entirely different in my opinion and totally acceptable.

  11. Lyndsay Weir via FB says:

    I always wanted to celebrate the season changes rather than the holidays. I just don’t have many people in my life that feel the same way.

  12. Kristine Winniford via FB says:

    Great post, my husband and I are in the same weirdness boat. With a 3 1/2 year old its starting to get difficult. We were just discussing all this crazy-ness last night. Halloween is not a “holiday” I am a fan of, mostly because of all the sugary junk but now that you mention it I also don’t like the celebration of fear aspect either. We have not celebrated in the past, but this year I think he might catch on. Can we get away with one more of year hiding out away from tricker-treaters? I LOVE harvest parties, but we just don’t know any like minded people who would see that as fun. We had an abundant garden and even raised our first meat chickens this year and would love to celebrate that with others, but our lifestyle and diet choices have alienated us from family and friends. Thanksgiving and Christmas are other tough holidays for us. We will cook Thanksgiving dinner at our house and our family will be invited, but my MIL traditionally does a meal at her house (which is not what we consider to be wholesome foods) so it will probably be just us. Christmas is tough because we don’t believe in all the materialistic gift giving, we will get each child something special and well thought out but it will be given as a New Year’s gift. We feel that Christmas has become an appalling day of materialism and gluttony. Family members ignored our requests last year to only get each child one thing and make it special, when our backs were turned they fed our oldest (than 2) ham and cheese (he is allergic to pork and dairy, his poor tummy kept him up for 2 nights after) and also tried to give him chocolates and candy (to this day they have not had candy, I intend to keep it that way as long as possible). Oops, what a rant. Sorry! I just hate that people like us who eat healthy and do so much to promote genuiness and true thankful-ness are the weird ones. Shouldn’t we be the normal ones?

  13. Sharmista Anthony via FB says:

    What a fantastic idea! I love it! We don’t do halloween for a variety of reasons but I love harvest time. The candy and scary stuff is everywhere though!! I dream about spending October in a cabin in the mountains where there aren’t any halloween things. lol

  14. Suari Mason says:

    I love this post. We don’t tradtionally celebrate Halloween in Australia. Now due to the marketing giants trying to get more money out of us, Halloween seems to be everywhere. It is invading our supermarkets and schools. It scares the hell out of my son. I keep re assuring him that we don’t celebrate Halloween in our house but that only works to a point. Thankfully we live on a farm so won’t have any trick or treaters and we keep the crap food away from him.

  15. Elliemahar says:

    I wish we lived closer– your vision of harvest feasting is exactly what we would love to do! There are so many ways to embrace the ways that your family is different from the mainstream. I love this.

  16. Kim says:

    Sounds great and I wonder if you have ever looked into Sukkot? This feast is a way to offer thanks to God, who provides the harvest and it is very festive. Here is the Wikipedia info-

    Sukkot is agricultural in origin. This is evident from the biblical name “The Feast of Ingathering,”[3] from the ceremonies accompanying it, from the season – “The festival of the seventh month”[4] – and occasion of its celebration: “At the end of the year when you gather in your labors out of the field” (Ex. 23:16); “after you have gathered in from your threshing-floor and from your winepress” (Deut. 16:13). It was a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Coming as it did at the completion of the harvest, Sukkot was regarded as a general thanksgiving for the bounty of nature in the year that had passed.
    Sukkot became one of the most important feasts in Judaism, as indicated by its designation as “the Feast of the Lord”[5] or simply “the Feast”.[6] Perhaps because of its wide attendance, Sukkot became the appropriate time for important state ceremonies.[7] Moses instructed the children of Israel to gather for a reading of the Law during Sukkot every seventh year (Deut. 31:10-11). King Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem on Sukkot (1 Kings 8; 2 Chron. 7). And Sukkot was the first sacred occasion observed after the resumption of sacrifices in Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity (Ezra 3:2-4).
    In Leviticus, God told Moses to command the people: “On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook” (Lev. 23:40), and “You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Lev. 23:42-43).

  17. Lauren Scruggs says:

    Could not agree more with this! LOVE the vision and want to incorporate it when I have a family one day! Very inspired by this and thanking the Lord for the simple things in life that create so much joy–close friends and family, beautiful fall nights, delicious meals! Weird is cool 😀

  18. Julie Harding says:

    So beautifully written daddypotamos! “so that our kids would grow up with rich traditions that would mold them into the people we wish we already were” That is so true. I have grown so much more as a parent as I struggle to teach them and live out what I’m teaching them.
    You tell us when & where & we’ll be there with a real food dish to share. I can’t think of anything better than the scene you described above.

  19. Jana says:

    Daddypotamus, you rock. And we don’t celebrate fear-based holidays either (what a great way to put it). I love the concept of celebrating the harvest in community with real food, twinkling lights, and fun costumes for the kids. Makes me wish I had it to do all over again (my boy is all grown up now). We’re total urbanites (more like urban hippies…is that even possible?), but try to grow a few things in raised garden boxes. We’re weird right along with you all. We too meet ranchers in parking lots for grassfed meat (and honey); we too shop at Whole Foods/natural markets exclusively; and we are planning to go on GAPS as a family after the New Year. Other oddities we embrace include wearing amber necklaces, using herbal remedies instead of drugs, and we believe in Earthing/grounding. I believe this puts us firmly in the lunatic category : )

    If more of us start thinking this way, I wonder what changes we could effect. For now, kudos to you both and keep up the great work.

  20. Ramy says:

    We are so there! Please put us on the list. I’m still good with avoiding the candy (though someone did give Sky a piece today before I knew what was going on !) She’s just almost two now.
    I guess they have to criticize and try to subvert us to feel better about the fact that they eat so terribly.

  21. Margo Snider via FB says:

    Pre-children, I have thought it strange to go to strangers house asking/expecting candy….really?!?! Love the Potamus family, when and where do I bring my dish o celebrate the harvest! Fabulous!

  22. kristin @ petal and thorn says:

    we’re turning out to be quite a weird family, too. hubby is super strict with diet and health (as in, he purchased half a grassfed cow and had it butchered) but a lot looser on the moral gray areas (would totally be fine with doing the halloween or santa thing). i’m the opposite- more conservative about the moral issues, and looser with the diet. baby is only 9 months, but between the two of us, she could be in for a looney childhood. i love your idea of keeping the celebration, the sparkle, and the fellowship, while losing all the unnecessary junk.

  23. Robin says:

    So great. This is the kind of vision I want to adopt as well. Thank you for this.

  24. Amanda says:

    I love it! I look forward to seeing how this develops

  25. Jenni says:

    this is a great vision and I will personally fly my family of 5 down to TX to be a part of it if you really make it happen. GAPS lifestyle here for a year. My husband (who is a Lutheran minister by day and 100% cook, gardener, supporter by day and night) did a garden this past summer/fall for the first time. He LOVED IT! and I know you will too.
    I do like it when you write. Gives the male perspective and then something for me to share with my husband from the male perspective. Its usually the moms that drive these things…anyway…on a separate note, I have been thinking that my own now 4 month old Micah :) is tongue tied since he was about 2 weeks old. We recently took him and my 3 year old daughter to an ENT in Boston. He ultimately decided that my daughter has a moderate case whereas Micah only has a mild case (in the doctor’s words, he was “not impressed” with Micah’s tonue-tie). After going back and reading about your own Micah, I am getting more and more anxious about this. How can I talk to Mommypotamus about this? I would like to speak to someone who actually knows what a mild tongue tie can do to disrupt the beauty of nursing. HELP!!!!!

  26. Genevieve Mama Natural says:

    Love this idea! Now if only we lived in a place where it wasn’t cold and rainy in the end of October :(.

    Thanks for sharing Daniel!

  27. Kristine Winniford via FB says:

    This is awesome! You all don’t by chance live in North Idaho? Cause we would be there! If not we’ll just use you for motivation.

  28. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    Kristine Winniford – Ah, we would love for you to join us. Unfortunately, we’re in Texas :(

  29. Margo Snider via FB says:


  30. Alisha says:

    Wonderful! More kindred spirits in the world! My husband, baby, and I live in the middle of Kansas and are discovering more and more people becoming aware of such things and it is so exciting to hear of more and more people across the world being aware also. Thank you for sharing this beautiful vision. We too are trying to reinvent our traditions and lives how we feel God is leading us to do so. I have always wanted to celebrate and feast like the Hobbits :) and you painted a pretty good picture of what I imagined! I am so thankful for our community we have here. They help me be even more confident that we are taking a good path and that even though our child(ren) are starting out in an “odd” home, I have hope that it will one day be the norm! If what you do brings Life to all around you, then how can it be anything but perfect??

  31. Jessica Savill via FB says:

    Does “liking” this post secure us an invitation to the party? LOL

  32. Ramy Moudy Jisha via FB says:

    We are THERE! (If we are invited, of course : )

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  34. Erin says:

    Thanks for the great post. I actually had been discouraged today after eating lunch at a friends house. It was obvious she thought my kids were deprived and I didn’t think quick enough to be able to explain the joys and blessings of healthy living. Who says candy=happy childhood? PLEEEASE!!!! Isn’t there enough info out there for all to see the health crisis we are in as a nation? Hooray! Let’s celebrate the wonderful gifts God has given us of health and life! Let’s share it with our friends, our cities and the world!

    • Heather says:

      I totally agree, Erin! I would give back my candy-laden childhood in a heartbeat if it meant I wouldn’t have had to suffer from serious health problems in my early twenties. And besides, real food tastes better anyway!

  35. Emily Blanchard says:

    Hello, just found your page, and was wondering if you knew how to set up water storage tanks and purification systems? We live in a florinated town and if we use the florinated water to grow the veggies, they lose the whole purpose of being clean…. Thanks a bunch!

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