Thursday, November 01, 2007

Memories of Halloween then and now.....

I love Halloween--more of the way it was. We had about 30 Trick or Treaters last night. They were so cute...the later it got, the older they got. I never give them a hard time when they're over 13, though. At least they had costumes. I don't really pay much attention to all of the costumes, too busy handing out candy. One kid, though, probably around 14 or 15 stood out. He made his costume--a robot--out of cardboard and tin foil. What a hoot! He had a cut out for his eyes, all boxed in around himself with black clothing. There was a small flashlight in his eye area. He pulled open a "drawer" to put candy inside. He and I made eye contact and I said, "That is the BEST costume I have seen all night!" He hesitated and said, "I spent way too much time on it." I said, "It was worth it. I'm an artist, and you are awesome!" He paused and said, "Thank you!" Then, he ran to catch up to his friends, yelling, "HEY...I'm AWESOME!!" LOL

Now, in our city, the merchants on Main Street have a "Trunk or Treat" on Halloween; all the kids in the city go there and get candy instead of going around the neighborhood. I prefer the neighborhood approach. We were a more cohesive neighborhood when our kids would go around the block. The fear of poisoned candy and razorblades has proven largely unfounded, but we always checked the kids' candy.

My memories of Halloween are wonderful, and I asked my oldest if he had good memories. He's a little hacked at the "killing" of Halloween by fundies and churches, too. He said he has great memories of when they were little. Mine are of scrambling to make the weirdest costumes: Captain Picard, a pterodactyl (THAT was fun), T-Rex, because my kids couldn't be just ghosts or Frankenstein's monster....oh, Grant was one year. I took Kyle through Walmart costumes one year, he was about 5. I said, "What do you want to be?" He said, "Nothing black-colored." We were surrounded by black costumes. I nagged Grant one year, he was about 5. He wouldn't decide what to be...time was nearing! "Please, just be a vampire, little G!" I was easy, and I had face paint and a black cape. I pleaded up til the day before, terrified that he would come up with the most difficult idea at the last minute. "PLEASE! VAMPIRE!" I asked for the last time. "Oh, all right!!!" He relented. "I'll suck people's blood and live in a box!" LOL

Robert loved taking Grant around because the cute factor yielded more candy...until he went as an IRS agent. He put on a black suit, and carried a briefcase for the goods. They would ring the doorbell, Grant would say, "Trick or Treat" in his cute little kid voice, and Robert would say, "IRS, ma'am" The people would say, "Here you go, sweetie." to Grant....and to Robert, "Nothing for you, took everything already!" LOL

When I was growing up, my mom would decorate the house all up; we lived in Iowa, so it was a real autumn. She made an incredible ham and lima bean soup (sounds weird...SO savory!) and it was just FUN. My dad would carve a big pumpkin and stick it on our yard light (free standing street lamp-looking) and wire it up with a two way radio. He was the Great Pumpkin. Kids would come to talk to the GP, and dad would respond....but only to kids. Many was the ticked-off kid that would drag a parent over to hear the GP talk, but my dad wouldn't talk in the presence of adults. He was trying to keep the "magic" going. I thought it was kinda mean, but we all giggled anyway.

When I got into "religion" I discovered that all of this was evil! OMgosh...I never knew. I thought it was. . .fun!


Missy said...

OMGosh!! I made ham and bean soup last night! I think I'm going to have to try the two-way radio in the pumpkin thing.

I couldn't help but smile last night hearing all the kids in the neighborhood giggle and scream and watch flashlights bouncing all around. The best costumes were a "trash can" and a "shadow"

karen said...

A shadow? How cool! How'd they do that?

Missy said...

He wore all black, painted his face black and silently stood next to his sister all night. He even tried to stay in the correct void. Pretty clever for a 9-year-old, eh?

Don R said...

What great stories! I, too, remember the simplier times of childhood.

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Your comment to the "robot" must have made his night, I can just imagine how much that would have meant to a kid!!!

I loved Halloween too. My son on the other hand grew up with a waffling mother that could was not strong enough to tell the fundies to back off and let her raise her own kid and let him have fun dressing up and getting candy. By the time I decided to do what I thought (let him have fun) it was too late, he had outgrown it.

Except for this year. Ugh. I think you saw his choice of costume. I suppose it could be worse, but not much...

karen said... could indeed have been worse. I thought it was funny...heck, one year at university, I was one of the "girls" to a similar fellow's costume.
All in fun!

Helen said...

OK so I am a party pooper but I just don't like Halloween at all - even before I was a Christian I didn't like it, why is it acceptable that we allow our kids to vandalise peoples houses for one night a year and scare vulnerable elderly people by hammering on their doors, if it were any other night they'd be grounded!!

Our Church does a Hallelujah Party which brings in about 250 children as an alternative to Halloween, the kids love it full of games and entertainment, so rather than deprive our kids of what their friends are doing they have great fun too!

and yes we still get some arrive vampires!