It's that time of year again. Happy Halloween!!!
I see Halloween as the kick-off for the most hectic time of year. The start of the crazybusynuttyinsanity that is comprised of Halloween followed by Thanksgiving which is trailed by Christmas and ends with New Years. Just three months which become one long stretch of gotta-do's and lists and tightly packed calendars and go-go-go's. Of course it's also filled with family and friends and fun and laughter and lots and lots and lots of love. And no matter how much I enjoy it, it is so compacted full of events and activities (to say nothing of calories) it's more like one big holiday. I think we should call it, "Hallothanksmasyear".
Nowadays the first part of Hallothanksmasyear is the easiest to get through. We no longer have to make costumes or decorate for the parties of small children, I didn't carve any pumpkins and there isn't even any baking involved. It's just a matter of making sure that the pantry is well stocked with candy, leaving the courtyard light on and answering the doorbell with a smile and generous handfuls of goodies over and over again. Not a tough gig at all.
I know that there are people who really get into this first chapter of Hallothanksmasyear. Even without young children around, they dress in costume, seriously decorate, hold themed parties and more. In fact, I know folks who plan all year for this night. And that's awesome. I'm impressed, I'm wowed and I'm inspired. In fact, I was so inspired to do something a little more celebratory that I ate a pumpkin muffin for breakfast. There you go. There are parties and then there are PARTIES! Mine was lower case.
As a kid of course, it was a different story. When we lived in California, which was only one of the many places that we lived when I was growing up, October 31st was a very big deal. The school held a carnival that day. All the kids came in costume, the teachers wore costumes too. There was a costume parade and kids won cheesy prizes. Afterwards we kids hit the bricks going door to door trick-or-treating. Most costumes were homemade back then too. I must say that my mother was very creative. I remember going out one year with a neighbor girl dressed as salt and pepper shakers. Seriously. Not an especially comfortable costume, but creative.
Nowadays I see most kids in store bought costumes, lots of super heros, fairytale princesses and the occasionally animal costume. They are all adorable of course, but I would love to see more imagination involved. Of course, that's me. Who has time to make costumes anymore? I mean, I can't sew a button back onto a shirt with any degree of guaranteed success. I have some nerve expecting others to do something that I'm not going to do. But I would dearly love to see a bedsheet ghost again. Just one. It's not fancy and it's not sparkly but it's home-made do-able.
As I think about it, we can't give out home made cookies or candies anymore because parents throw that stuff away immediately. There could possibly be something bad in home made stuff y'know. And it seems that every year fewer and fewer kids actually do the door to door trick-or-treating anyway, same reason. Something bad might possibly happen. Could we at least employ a tiny spark of creativity with the costumes? I know I know, the kid wants to be Spider-Man or Elsa from Frozen both requiring store bought costumes. But wouldn't it be fun, just one more time, to push their little imaginations farther and make something homemade this time 'round?
Well everyone will do whatever it is that they do and I will enjoy this night, the first night of Hallothanksmasyear to the fullest extent. I will answer the door with a bowl full of candy and a smile on my face. I will make much of their costumes and sneak a few candies for myself. And then I will move on to preparing for the next part of Hallowthanksmasyear which involves far more lists and baking which for me also means more fun!
But I will forever be nostalgic for kids in homemade costumes showing up on my doorstep in droves and homemade popcorn balls wrapped in sticky waxed paper in treats bags.
Happy First Day of Hallowthanksmasyear to you!
Have fun and be safe
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.