A few days ago, some friends and I held a Halloween party. There was laughter, lots of glitter-y makeup, general chaos. Most of our friends know only vaguely, if at all, about this ridiculous American holiday where people dress up, act like hooligans, and children run from door to door begging for candy. (It’s official, Americans are kind of crazy.) Still, they couldn’t have been more excited to celebrate with us. So we invited friends, made dessert, and set up the girls’ apartment with an abundance of costume options: scarves, headbands, colored paper for making masks, feather boas, outrageous eye shadow, robes… you get the idea. I felt as if I was a little girl all over again, playing dress up in my grandparents basement.

Amidst the general shrieking, we had the opportunity to talk about the masks we all wear: masks of achievement or  of (false) perfection. After Halloween, we in the West take off our costumes and return to usual life. But how to remove the deeper masks we wear? There is a way to freedom and to authenticity, to genuine joy that is not merely put on as a costume discarded once we are alone again.

The goods: special napkins and paper plates (shipped in from America, wahoo), cupcakes, candy corn, and more.

The girls: all decked out edition.

The games: make your own mummy costume from toilet paper.

The hosts: QingQing and Talia (there were several more of us, but QingQing is pretty much the star of any event)

The aftermath: this is how the girls’ apartment looked after our friends traipsed out. Some of my friends may be just a tad dramatic.

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