Gretchen Rubin

A Halloween tradition that makes me and the grandparents happy.

I’ve started a satisfying tradition that meets my resolution to “be a storehouse of happy memories.” (And why is that a happiness-project goal? because reflecting on happy times in the past helps boost happiness in the present.)

Every Halloween, I take a picture of the Big Girl—and now the Little Girl, as well—in their Halloween costumes, put the photos in a Halloween-themed picture frame, and make a Halloween photo gallery.

I also give a copy to each pair of grandparents, so they have their own set as well.

Now, like any tradition, it’s a fair amount of trouble and a potential source of guilt. For example, this year, for the first time, I didn’t have the photos ready by October 31. I’ve taken the photo, but haven’t managed to order copies or buy the frames yet. So our gallery wasn’t up-to-date.

And I feel bad about that.

But I’ll get it done, and in the end, a tradition like this is worth the effort and the guilt. It’s a lot of bang for the buck. It’s so much fun to look back on the previous years’ costumes. It’s a great element of house decoration. It gives a sense of family continuity.

One problem with most of the photographs we have around the house is that I stop noticing them. They fade into the background. Because these Halloween pictures are only out for two weeks or so, I enjoy them more.

It's a little aggravating that I don't get much cooperation from my team in getting the photo taken--putting on the costumes, striking various poses, taking a bunch of pictures, etc. And then of course those same family members (who shall remain nameless) love to look at the photos once they're assembled. That brings me to another resolution: "Let it go." It's supposed to be fun! So no nagging, no snapping, on my part.

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