Halloween was fun when I was a kid. But, when my kids were little, Halloween was an adventure! Zany creativity took over the house. (But that’s not what I’m wrong about.)
Having an artist for a mother (me!) meant we made costumes.
A red monster with horns (a little red devil?), a wizard, and a cowboy. Several pirate versions, and a mad scientist with colorful bugs sewn on a lab coat, for my son. As for my daughter, witches, a cowgirl, a “fancy” lady, a hippie, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. All cute stuff.
Many involved sewing and in the case of the wizard — painting. First I made a robe with blue satin fabric. Then stayed up half the night painting moons and stars all over it. Let me tell you, blue satin fabric is NOT like canvas. Paint doesn’t want to stay on it.
To complicate things, I added glitter before the paint dried. There was a conical hat to top it off. Phew. I’m exhausted just writing about it.
Also, I was eight months pregnant!
Eight years later, my daughter — “Laura Ingalls Wilder,” wore a long skirt with a ruffled hem. And layers of petticoats. Enough said.
There’s more to Halloween than costumes and candy.
Every year, we set a special Halloween table and made Halloween themed desserts.
Pumpkins became characters with painted faces. (Carving isn’t my thing.)
There was even a party or two. A haunted house in the hallway with black crepe paper hanging from the ceiling. The sounds of screaming and giggling girls. Skull-shaped pizza and ghost sugar cookies.
It was great fun!
I stopped enjoying Halloween when my kids got older. Now I buy candy at the last minute. I never decorate. Maybe a tiny naked pumpkin on the porch. If I think of it.
My dog barks every time the doorbell rings. Some children don’t even bother saying, “trick or treat.” Sure, many are adorable, with good manners. And that’s sweet. I love to see them in their costumes. It’s all about the kids and making them happy.
Halloween is now a “holiday.” But it’s not an official holiday. It’s business. Because people spend over seven billion dollars per year on costumes, candy, and decorations. Seven billion! Even dogs are dressing up now. (Not mine.)
All this time, I thought adults had taken over Halloween and made it into a “holiday.”
I was wrong. So wrong.
It’s the children who took over.
I googled to research this post. And learned that Halloween originates in Celtic paganism. The Celts believed that ghosts of the dead mingled with the living once a year. They offered treats and sacrifices so the dead would be happy and leave them alone. Creepy.
Fast forward a few hundred years to Halloween now.
More googling. Images this time. Vintage Halloween costumes. Adults (and children) dressed in the oddest and creepiest costumes I have ever seen. Strange scenes enough to give you nightmares. Copyright laws scare me too much (boo!) so that I’m not posting any of the images here. If you’re curious, google images of vintage Halloween costumes. Or you can click on this link if you dare. Or worse — this link. But don’t click before bedtime.
I’m warning you.