It turns out that after years of saying I don't like Halloween, in fact I've been known to say "I hate Halloween!" that I actually do like this wacky, weird, wild holiday.
Now that my boys are not the least interested in decorating the house and spooking it up...couldn't care less about carving pumpkins and don't see the point of leaving the porch light on for trick-or-treaters, it seems that I DO want to do all those things. To be sure the little darlings are mystified with my sudden change of heart.
Where is the grumbling, growling, grousing, aggravated Mom of years past who is stumbling through thrift shops trying to find pieces to put together an "original" costume instead of a store bought one from Wal-Mart? The Mom who made one costume for school and another for trick-or-treating so they didn't have to trick or treat in the "come as a profession you admire" get-up the school asked them to wear. Where is the Mom who said, "I can't wait until they out grow Halloween!" Or, "I never liked Halloween...even when I was a kid!"
Well guess what?!! That Mom's kids grew up and she....umm...I realized that Halloween is the kick off of the "holiday season". You tick them off like a metronome...Halloween in October; Thanksgiving in November; and Christmas in December!
Besides, I also realized this is my favorite time of the year. Really if anyone asks me, or it comes up in conversation I always say "fall" is my favorite time of year. So how can I possibly continue to say I dislike any holiday in my favorite time of the year?
I've discovered that while autumn has always been a hectic and very busy time of the year it is also has number one son's birthday, October 28th. So Halloween was always a holiday with a booster rocket that started on the 28th.
There are many reasons that Halloween became the punching bag of holidays. The birthday and birthday party followed closely by school parties with outrageusly behaved kids in costumes didn't help. From my own days in the school room to my kids' school rooms parties, Halloween was almost always dramatic, traumatic and exhausting. There always seemed to be more work than holiday, which is a whole other subject for another time.
My kids rarely did more than a block or two of actual trick-or-treating. We generally participated in school, church, or community Halloween parties and carnivals so we could leave the begging for candy part of the evening out of things. However, as the boys got older, they enjoyed going out to houses and seeing the spooky and different decorations as much as getting the candy.
I remember trying to bribe them into skipping the door-to-door one year by telling them I'd take them to the store and let them buy any bag of candy of their choice and take it home. They both said they'd rather take their chances on the street. Go figure!
Of course, in recent years a parent has to go through every piece of candy piece by piece and check it because there are wackos who want to harm kids as an added jolly. Every year without fail there is a story somewhere where a needle, pin, razor or some such was found in some kid's treats. This added stigma didn't give the holiday much to crow about.
But even with all the craziness I love the pumpkin lights I have for my porch. My marigolds are all in bloom in orange and yellow. I've bribed the child units with a little pumpkin carving party with their friends a couple days before Halloween so I can have a bunch of pumpkins out. I enjoy seeing the little kids out trick-or- treating for the first time.
I know once I drag the can of decorations and old costumes out the whole household will get into the swing of things. We'll decorate. We'll carve pumpkins. We'll buy way too much candy. And my boys will dig through the old costumes under the guise of looking for something to wear to scare our little visitors at the door but end up begging me to go out and trick-or-treat...still more interested in "being out there" than eating the candy we have at home.
So go figure...it turns out I like Halloween!!