We started celebrating the Day of the Dead and making an altar a few years ago. This happened for a couple of reasons. In 2017, I began (mor...

Our Day of the Dead Altar

We started celebrating the Day of the Dead and making an altar a few years ago. This happened for a couple of reasons. In 2017, I began (more officially) homeschooling Lil C and, that October, we did a unit study on Day of the Dead. I sort of fell in love with the holiday, with its celebration of love, remembrance, and happiness rather than the sadness usually associated with those who are gone. It also became very personal because we were approaching the one year anniversary of my mother's passing and it gave me inspiration on how to honor and remember her. That year we set up our first little altar in her honor. Lil C helped make some beautiful tissue paper flowers, we chose a picture, and added the skull we got in Mexico (the one in between the flowers and in front of the candles) along with some festive animals and a skeleton. Lil C also added some little gifts my mom had given her and things she made that she said reminded her of my mom <3

This has been a perfect and wonderful way to remember my mom every year, and a great way to remind Squidgy about her since he wasn't even a year old when she passed. We moved in 2018 and since our new house has a fireplace, the mantle became the new spot for our yearly altar. This was our altar last year. I was excited to find some marigolds in a cute little bucket so we could have live flowers! And the kids loved painting the little wooden skull decorations I found at the dollar store. We also added a picture of my aunt - my mom's sister - who passed away right when I became pregnant with Lil C. 

This year our altar has grown even more! Unfortunately, we lost a few more family members, a fish, and a doggy cousin last year and Lil C wanted to remember them all. We haven't finished making frames for all of them yet, but I wanted to share what we had. 
We created some papel picado using the templates I shared in the last post (you can find them here

We also made little nicho boxes to display our new photos. See how we made our boxes and get a free template to make your own at Day of the Dead Altar - Nicho Boxes.

The last craft we added were these adorable origami flowers. You can make your own origami flowers along with Leyla Torres.

In addition to creating our altar, our yearly traditions include making foods that my mom loved and used to make for us, looking at old photos and videos, and telling stories or singing songs that remind us of her. In this way, we've managed to turn a difficult and sad time of the year into a loving uplifting celebration. If you have lost someone very close, I hope you find some inspiration here to get through that difficult time of year <3