It’s billed as a scary holiday, but to me there’s only happiness in Halloween. Unlike say, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or even Easter, this holiday is one our household starts planning long in advance.
To date, trips to Shoppers Drug Mart and Costco have had us hauling home the following: a Halloween CD, light-up candles for the front walk, a spider balloon, candy-corn lights, four bags of glow-in-the-dark webbing, three rolls of caution tape, boxes of candy and much, much more. And — delayed thanks to more than a week of rain here in Toronto — this weekend it all gets thrown up on the front of the house to show off for October 31st. Discussions are constant in the car and around the dining room table — should we put up spiders in the webbing this year? What faces should we carve into our pumpkins? Is this song too scary to play for trick-or-treaters?
Then there are the costumes. My daughter, son, and husband are all going as Supergirl, Superman, and grown-up Superman. Me? Well, I’m the one thing that doesn’t belong to the other — since I’m staying home to hand out candy, I opted for something a little different. Well, very different. So on goes the fake nails, up goes the poof, and the make-up will be spread thickly to transform me into Jersey Shore’s Snooki.
But aside from the copious amounts of consumption going on around Halloween here, there’s a lot of sharing and fond memory-making too. The other day me and my friend, whose family we always visit after trick-or-treating, were remembering the early costumes of our oldest children the first year they set out to trick-or-treat. My daughter is constantly quizzing me and my husband about some of the best costumes we wore as children. For me, without a doubt it was my plastic-masked Wonder Woman costume. My husband? He lights up sharing with our kids how he dressed up once as Darth Vader, complete with a homemade light sabre (made from a flashlight, coat hangers and red tissue paper).
So while we as a family find happiness in the event itself, it seems the planning and the days leading up to October 31st are just as grin-inducing. Sure, my kids loved picking out costumes at the costume store — but they also spent a half hour just trying on wigs and funny hats. We laughed and joked about the many costumes us as parents could wear (Green Lantern? Batman? Me in the 80s?) and happily discussed our decoration options for the house. (Strobe light? Gravestone in the front yard? One of those witches that look like they flew into our tree?). I’m really not sure who had more fun in that store that night, us or the kids.
In the end, I’ve come to realize what a connector Halloween is for our family. It’s something we all get excited about doing together and, well, what’s not happy about that? What are your favourite Halloween traditions or memories?
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