I really kind of hate Halloween. I don’t like wearing costumes myself for any reason and thus, can’t imagine why anyone else would. I also hate purposely scary things, and I don’t get why anyone would want to decorate their house or yard with faux-macabre stuff like tombstones or bloody limbs sticking up out of the ground. What’s fun or decorative about dead or limbless people? Can anyone explain that to me?
But I have long ago accepted that pretty much everyone else I know (with the exception of my husband, who shares my antipathy toward Halloween) seems to really enjoy all the things I just listed – the dressing up, the skeletons hanging from their trees, etc. And that includes my kids, who have always really enjoyed the whole Halloween thing.
I don’t ever want them to feel deprived, so over the years, I’ve begrudgingly carved pumpkins, bought or created costumes for them, and taken them trick or treating. I do, however, draw the line at purchasing or displaying any decorative reminders of death, decay, terror or bodily harm around our house and yard. My kids always seem to have a great time on Halloween, even if their mother refuses to string up plastic eyeball lights or wear a witch’s hat while handing out Halloween candy. They accept my Halloween limits, just as I accept their enthusiasm for October 31.
Now that my older kids are teenagers, they kind of do their own thing on Halloween night – with my input an approval, of course. Tonight, for example, both J and E hung out with friends across town, and then J brought E home around 10 pm. J dressed up for the night, while E did not.
But the two youngest are – at 5 and 2 – just beginning their prime, parent-overseen trick or treating years, and as one would predict, they find the whole thing quite thrilling. So over the past few weeks, we decided on costumes for this year, and tonight I took C and G trick or treating with the Knoxville cousins, along with some friends over in the friends’ rather posh and very friendly neighborhood (the same one where J and E were celebrating with their own pals). Jon was happy to stay back at Casa Hickju for the evening to man the doorbell and candy bowl for any trick or treaters who came calling at our house. (As it turned out, we apparently had 20x our normal trick or treating volume this year. He said we almost ran out of candy.)
As much as I usually dislike and simply tolerate Halloween, I have to say that I actually had an awesome time tonight. Our friends’ neighborhood was perfect for kids to trick or treat, and all the children were in excellent moods. No one melted down or began whining that a seam in their costume was rubbing or their shoes were too tight. Plus, the hazy full moon was gorgeous in a clear night sky, and the weather was perfect – cool but not too cold. I’d have to say this was the most fun I’ve ever had taking any of my children to collect candy and treats on Halloween. Oh! Plus I ran into a kid about 10 or 11 years old out trick or treating in a pitch-perfect Arnold Horshack costume. How awesome is that?!
Following are a few choice photos from our Halloween 2012, AKA “The Year Katie Actually Had Fun”
Here’s middle schooler, cousin El attired as the Prom Queen, circa 1984. Betsy ordered the dress on eBay and sewed the sash herself. Loved this costume.
C originally planned to be a hotdog this year, but the hotdog costume I ordered via Amazon express shipping didn’t arrive. So at the last minute, she selected this fairy princess costume, accessorized by C herself with earmuffs and headlamp. And as for Danger Toddler, she’s the monkey you see the fairy princess hugging below. She LOVED dressing up as a monkey… And acting like a monkey all evening.
And a few more shots of Halloween Monkey Toddler.
As you can see, all that money we spent on J’s orthodontia back in middle school has really paid off.
Here are the kids about to head out for trick or treating. In addition to C, G and (very tall!) cousin El, that’s cousin M in the terrifying monster mask, and a very, very cute NC as ‘Madeline.’
So how was your Halloween? What did your children wear this year? How was the candy haul for 2012? What was the best costume you saw out and about? Inquiring minds want to know.
Also, I know that many of you living in areas hit by Sandy weren’t able to do any trick or treating last night, and Halloween was the absolute last thing on your minds. Please know that you all continue to be in my thoughts & prayers, including last night when I was lucky enough to be enjoying a carefree night of fun with my children, nieces and nephew.
Today I will be making a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Hurricane Relief Fund on behalf of the Mamapundit reader community. I wish there were more I/we could do to help, and I pray that by October 31 next year, those of you who have had your lives turned upside down in recent days will be able to take your children out for a night of fun once again.