Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is fun. It's just fun.

I wonder who doesn't have fun memories of Halloween as a child?

Dad taking us out trick-or-treating. A big THANKS to my mom, as this has carried on to my kids - and I've stayed nice and toasty warm because of this "tradition". Plus? My kids love that this is a "tradition" in our family. In this day and age, when cultures have mixed and family traditions are few and far between we grasp on to our own families "traditions". I have no doubt that my daughters' children will trick-or-treat with their dads, too.

Planning costumes and changing costumes the day of Halloween itself. Who didn't decide at that last minute that being a hobo would be more fun than being an M&M... only to discover that coffee ground were itchy when stuck to the face with Vaseline? (Not at first, mind you, but once you had been out about half and hour you were an itchy, gooey, slimy mess. Fun!)

Your mom MAKING your costume - as the only costumes you could buy were those plastic apron and mask combinations. (Where the back of that plastic mask got wet from all that pesky breathing you had to do?) Oh, didn't we feel sorry for the kid in the store bought Batman costume the day of the school parade? His mom didn't even make him a costume! (For the record, I've made only one costume for my kids. Not even one each, just one. Julia was a "peach" for her first Halloween. Now you can buy fairly elaborate costumes for less than the cost of making them - which doesn't seem right.)

Planning our routes once we got older to maximize our candy haul. Because in the 'olden days' we could trick-or-treat unattended by 3rd or 4th grade, and end up miles from home... with no cell phone to keep in contact. Mom didn't worry - it was Halloween!

That one scary house in every neighborhood that you stayed away from?

Cleaning out and carving pumpkins? Well, cleaning out pumpkins and then drawing the faces that your parents would carve with huge knives. I don't think I carved my own pumpkin until 7th grade.

Remember the parade at school? With the other grades marching before you, and your class joined on the end, and then once around the outside of the school (or gymnasium in bad weather) so the moms could get pictures? Cookies and apple cider provided by the room mothers afterwards, maybe some candy corn. I hear that still happens in some schools, but my daughters' school doesn't do that anymore.

Wearing costumes under winter coats, hats, mittens, and snow boots. The age old question of "who do we have here?" literally needed to be answered... NOBODY could tell I was Raggedy Ann under all those layers!

I remember the last time I went out Trick-or-Treating was with my neighborhood friend Christine. We planned our route for weeks in advance, and had a blast. It was all about quantity - and carrying your candy in a pillowcase because other containers would fill up too fast! I think we each got half a pillowcase full that night. We didn't eat all of it, though, as some of it was thrown out because it was candy we didn't like, and it was raided by our older brothers and sisters (we were both the youngest kids in the family), because going trick-or-treating was, for them, too babyish.

When my youngest daughter woke up today she shouted, "It's Halloween!"
Yes. It is!

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