Spooky Isn't It?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Well...the countdown has begun.  We are officially 24 days away from my favorite holiday, Halloween!  And with this turn in weather (how did we go from sunny, hot, and in the 90s last week to chilly and rainy this week?) it has put me in the Halloweeny mood.

I have always loved Halloween. As a kid I loved going to the pumpkin patch and picking out my pumpkin.  I would always look for some specific "pumpkin trait" each year (one with a long stem, a white one, a tall and skinny one, etc).  I loved carving my pumpkin even more.  While some people hate getting all goopey from the pumpkin's "guts" I loved the feel, the smell, and the satisfaction of getting the insides clean.  I loved seeing my finished creation lit up by a candle.

Decorating for Halloween thrilled me.  We would go all out at my house with our decorations: lights, garland, spooky faces for the trees, shadow creatures to hang in the windows, doormats and other electronics that would make noises, shake, or light up.  I'm convinced that we were so thorough with our decorating to compensate for the fact that we don't decorate for Christmas.  Yes, there are Chanukah decorations but nothing like what's offered at Halloween.  Halloween was our chance to light up our house and go crazy with the decorating.

As a kid I also loved to dress up.  When I was young, my mom would make my costumes.  I remember her making the most amazing Glenda the Good Witch costume that was pink, poofy, and sparkly.  In middle school a group of my friends and I went as a box of crayons.  We each chose a color and interpreted a crayon in different ways.  I remember loving my blue crayon costume because my mom had made it out of sweatshirt material.  Halloween's are infamous for being chilly (and sometimes rainy) here, so having such a cozy, comfortable outfit made trick-or-treating a pleasure.

Oh! And trick-or-treating.  We all used pillow cases as our bags so we could collect more goodies.  We would always walk or neighborhood first.  I loved the people at the end of the street who would give out King Sized candy bars.  And I waited all year to get a cinnamony candied apple from the old woman down the street.  She made them every year, and passed them out to adults and kids alike.  You would never see something like this happen now. Everyone is so fearful of the potential razorblades inside the apple or antifreeze in the candy mix.  Makes me miss the "simpler" times.  After hitting up everyone in my neighborhood we would pile into the family Suburban (we were a Suburban/SUV family not a minivan one) and my dad would drive us to other neighborhoods in town where the reputation for large candy payouts were high!
Trick or Treat!!!!
Once at home, my brother and I would empty our bags on the living room floor and would begin to separate our loot.  Favorite candy in one pile, second favorites in another, and stuff my brother liked (and could be traded) in another.  There was always a little pile of candy for my mom and dad (and if Grandma Pearl was in town, Almond Joys were put aside for her).  The last pile was the discard one. You know, the stuff that people should have saved their money on.  Who in their right mind give kids RAISINS on Halloween? 

As I've gotten older, the fun of Halloween hasn't left me.  I have had a countdown going for my favorite holiday for months now.  I still love everything about Halloween, it's just the way that I celebrate that has become a bit different.

Decorating my house has become something I look forward to.  I'm actually surprised that I've already made it seven days into October and haven't pulled out my boxes of decorations.  Usually I have to restrain myself to hold out until the 1st. Looks like I have a weekend to look forward to, of hanging up MY garland, spooky tree sculptures, pumpkins, candles, skeletons, and  plethora of Halloween themed lights. 

I usually don't carve pumpkins anymore, basically because I have no one to do it with.  I know I can do it on my own, but it's so much more fun with a group of people.  I'm thinking of hosting a pumpkin decorating contest at my work.  I think my middle schoolers will enjoy it, as will the teachers I work with.  The school I work at is geared towards the teens excelling and thinking towards higher education and universities.  I see a university mascot pumpkin decorating contest in the very near future!!! 

Hands down, I would DEF have to say that dressing up is still my favorite part of Halloween.  I love that for one night you can be someone completely different.  I like being a character, and enjoy ones from fairytales the best.  In the past I've been: Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Dorothy, a pirate, a dinner girl, a flapper, Marilyn Monroe, and the list goes on. I usually start looking for my costumes MONTHS in advance.  It's not untypical of me to have my costume delivered the first week of October.  I'm usually the one who is organized and has everything pre-planned.  On the other hand, my Bestie doesn't usually go looking for her costume until a few days before Halloween.  I honestly love going from one packed costume store to the next.  It just makes me more excited for my favorite holiday. 

I'm not sure what's wrong with me this year though.  Not only have I not decorated my house yet, I haven't found a costume!  OY VEY!!!  Don't get me wrong, I started looking in August.  But nothing is really shouting at me this year.  I'm not sure what/who I want to be.  I found a few costumes that I kind of like: Queen of Hearts, Superwoman, Robin Hood (a female version).  But I want to LOVE my costume.  Ugh!!!  Hopefully inspiration will strike me SOON because I'm running out of time to get a costume ordered, delivered, and if need be; exchanged...all before the Halloween festivities begin.

And OH the festivities!!!! For obvious reasons I don't go trick-or-treating anymore.  I do look forward to the day I can dress my children up and take them from house to house asking for candy.  I like being home on the 31st so I can see all the cute kids in adorable costumes come to my door.  But when I celebrate now, I celebrate with Jello Shots and cocktails instead of caramel apples and candy (although I have been know to take caramel apple SHOTS before). 

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, which means that we will do our big celebrating on the 30th...a SATURDAY NIGHT! Plans this year are to go back up to Tahoe for South Lake's big Halloween bash.  We had so much fun last year, we're going back for more.  And the party may start earlier this year.  As a Nevadan, I get Friday the 29th off for (yes...oh yes...wait for it) NEVADA DAY!!!  All of you from other states can just shed a tear right now.  While you work, I will be enjoying my day off celebrating the day that Nevada became a state. Yes, I know the Silver State's Anniversary is on the 31st but the state holiday is celebrated by taking the Friday before off.  Gone are the days of having Halloween off, but I will take a three day weekend ANY DAY!

And now for a confession: writing this blog has just re-inspired me.  Maybe I just needed a little spark to light that Halloween candle that's inside of me.  Wowza...only a mere 24 days til Halloween? Now if I can only make it through my day so I can start decorating once I get home.  I don't think I can wait until the weekend....


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