Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ten More Days!

by Stephanie Black

As a child, I loved Halloween. My sisters and I were expert trick-or-treaters. When we arrived home after our eager trek around the neighborhood, we’d dump our candy out and sort it—Three Musketeer bars here, Tootsie Pops here, Bit O’Honeys—yuck, Mom and Dad can have those for “tax”.

Unfortunately—but naturally—I outgrew trick-or-treating. I was twelve, going on thirteen. My older sister and partner in crime wasn’t going with me that year. I hadn’t even bothered to plan a costume in advance—I was rummaging through the dress-up box on Halloween, trying to come up with some last-minute thing to wear, and I ended dressing as a sort of makeshift alien. When trick-or-treating starts to feel like more trouble than it's worth, you know that's it.

After that, Halloween always seemed to be a bit of a bust. I loved Halloween, so it felt like it ought to be special, but without trick-or-treating, I wasn’t doing much that was special. I wasn’t a party-thrower (possibly having inherited too many party-pooping genes from my father who, when at Disneyland, decided “Nothing is worth standing in line that long for” and left to go work on his talk for Education Week).

To my delight, the excitement of Halloween rose again with all its spooky thrills when my children got old enough to enjoy the holiday. I even get to go trick-or-treating again, at least every other year (sometimes my husband goes and I hand out candy). I still love trick-or-treating and no, it’s not just about the chocolate. At my age, I could buy a bag of candy if I'm so all-fired desperate for sugar, but that's not the point. Candy is much more fun if you get it by trick-or-treating. I love the scent of trick-or-treating candy, that delectable aroma of a bunch of different types of candy mixed together in a trick-or-treating sack. That's a once-a-year smell. Yum! And I love the decorations—the glowing jack-o-lanterns, the ghosts (the fun stuff, not the gruesome stuff).

Last year, my oldest daughter and her friend were taking my youngest daughter trick-or-treating. My middle daughter and son were going with a friend. That left my youngest son to come trick-or-treating with me. He didn't seem thrilled with this arrangement. "I want someone fast!" he said. He was afraid I'd be too slow and wouldn't keep up with his frenzied pace. Oh my heck. In the words of the villainous Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove, "Does he have any IDEA who he's dealing with?" Son, I could trick-or-treat your little costumed self into the ground. Just try to keep up. Eat my dust.

Of course, I’d probably get some funny looks if I rang the doorbell without him.

Happy Halloween!


Cheri J. Crane said...

Stephanie, I love the ghosts. What a cool idea. =)And I love Halloween, too. This year, our ward is doing the "Trunk or Treating" thing at the church. We'll actually do it inside the church house, so the little goblins and witches can run around and show off their costumes. It sounds like fun. In our neck of the woods, the weather is usually cold enough that they have to wear coats over their costumes as they run from house to house.

Michele Ashman Bell said...

Steph, you totally crack me up. I love seeing adults get into the holidays as much as their kids. I think we all still have a desire deep inside to dress up and run around trick-or-treating then enjoy the sugar coma afterwards. Great post!!!

Kerry Blair said...

Stephanie, thank you from the bottom of my ghoulish little heart! I've always loved Halloween, as everybody who has ever read one of my books knows. Assuming I've been a relatively normal American girl for all these decades, I planned a Halloween party for the Cubs, only to be told by a sister in our ward that I am "perverse" and "deluded" and "flirting with Satan." Oh, dear. I can't quite decide if it's a scarlet letter or badge of honor to be thought of as the Ward Witch. Can I come to your house this year?

Cheri J. Crane said...

Kerry, we get to enjoy a spook alley for the YM\YW group activity next week. The YM are in charge and it was their idea. I don't see a problem with it. You are not perverse nor deluded. Halloween is a fun holiday celebration.

Years ago, an older couple in our ward felt like the sister in your ward. They told the youth that they would be handing out hugs that year instead of candy, since Halloween was evil. As I recall, their house was egged several times during that evil holiday. ;)I think a lot of us snickered about that incident.

Stephanie Black said...

If Halloween is "perverse", etc., our Stake hasn't gotten the memo! They're having a massive carnival and trunk or treat on Saturday. And next Wednesday is the YM/YW Halloween dance :)

Cheri, the milk jug ghosts are super easy. Just an empty milk jug with a face. I'm saving my jugs now in anticipation of Halloween!

And this is one time of year I'm definitely grateful for milder weather! :)

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I'm laughing! First at the thought of Kerry as some pagan goddess and secondly at Cheri's story! Oh, man. Yes, give out hugs instead of candy on Halloween. Poor people were lucky it was only eggs!

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I was laughing so much I forgot to tell you, Steph, how much we are kindred spirits! I absolutely love Halloween. It ushers in Fall/Christmas and I just really love it.

Jeri Gilchrist said...

Great post! My son thinks up his next Halloween costume all year long. Of course it changes weekly, but it's something he thinks of continuously. He even thinks that when he is too old to trick or treat, he should dress up to hand out the candy. Other than Christmas, (of course) I don't believe he recognizes there are a lot of other fun Holidays-- until they come around. Cute idea with the milk cartons. We want to make some. Love them! I'm wondering how they are lit up? I was thinking candles would melt them but maybe not?

Jennie said...

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm bah humbug when it comes to Halloween. The only time I went trick or treating as a kid was when I was about twelve and went out collecting money for UNICEF and people gave us candy too. (My mother said no child of hers was going to go around begging from the neighbors!) I allowed my own kids to go trick or treating. The first time I took my two oldest kids, we were doing fine until we got to the end of our street, and a man answered the door stark naked. (I should have called the sheriff's office. I would today.) I put out a few pumpkins,a scarecrow, and a couple of candy dishes various visiting teachers have given me over the years, and I spend a small fortune on trick-or-treat candy for the neighborhood goblins, but I just can't get enthused about the spooky stuff.