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Dear Maggie – October 26, 2023

Dear Maggie —

I’m writing to you today out of pure curiosity.  I remember last year you wrote a column all about Día de los Muertos, and how the SMOS community was celebrating this holiday.  I loved all the history you shared and its connection to the church.  I am really looking forward to participating again this year, but what I really want to know is – how do you celebrate the Day of the Dead? Do the Scottish celebrate this holiday?  After reading your column each week for the last few years, I feel like I could make a pretty educated guess on how you commemorate the day but would love to hear from the Queen of the Dead herself!

— Curious Carly

Dear Curious —

Thanks for asking! It’s nice to know that you guys want to really get to know me for me. Sometimes I feel like people’s personal Google machine; only good for spewing facts and history lessons.  Despite the fact that I just complained about being a Google machine and only because I can’t help myself, I feel compelled to tell you that in Scottish “Day of the Dead” translates to Latha nam Marbh.  I know, that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, so we will stick with Dia de los Muertos. 

You’re right, last year I did end up doing a deep dive where my column focused on the history of the day and the fun aspects of the holiday.  What I didn’t mention is that this time of year is truly my favorite!  The end of October/beginning of November is like my own personal Mardi Gras!  I mean how could it not be… Halloween, All Saints Day, and Day of the Dead – all within 3 days of each other.  After all, being the trickster that I am, I LOVE Halloween, I am a saint, and all I’ve got left is my soul!  (Which reminds me, one of these days I have GOT to tell you the story of how I ended up as a dancer on Soul Train in 1975!🕺 I should really see if Don Cornellius would do a guest post here some time. 🤔)

Ok, per the usual, I got off track with all that Soul Train business!  To answer your question, Bernie and Terry and I usually grab some margs and sit around with all of our other ethereal gal pals gabbing about the good old days.  The evening does tend to go off the rails at some point – we really get each other rolling in our graves!  I have got to tell you, some of them are real dead ringers for current SMOS dragons 😉; doppelgangers as real as my halo!  It’s also a kick to wait around and see who puts us up in their ofrenda, so we can be remembered – makes a soul feel kinda special!

Since last year’s column was a nerd fest on the holiday, this year I just want to make sure to get it on your radar.  We’re having to do things slightly different this year – the ofrenda will be put up a few days late due to the long weekend.  It will be put up upon the student’s return to school on November 6th in the cafeteria.  I’ll spare you another one of my TED talks and instead I’ll just leave this here (since it looks like SOMEONE pretty well stole all my good info for their post already), and if you want more information about how to participate, you can get it there.

I know all of your brains will be fried after having the kids home for 5 days on sugar highs following Halloween so, set an alarm on your Alexa.  Simply shout “Hey Alexa, remind me to dig out that photo of Granny McGoo and our dead dog Nugget to bring to the Dia de los Muertos ofrenda on Nov 6th” – and you’ll be all set.  At least, that’s what I do.  I know I’ll be there visiting with all my beyond the grave besties – hope to see you and your loved ones there too!  And don’t forget me in your ofrenda!!

— Maggie

P.S. Help settle an argument between the girls and I… do you think Alexa is a delightful ghost like me (St. Alexa??), or just a know-it-all chick sitting in at a bar somewhere bragging about how she won the Quiz Bowl in 7th grade?  I, for one, am Team Quiz Bowl!

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