Halloween was never a big holiday for me. Sure as a kid I loved the free candy, but I don’t remember classroom parties or endless decorations. I am not a fan of horror movies and didn’t party like my friends, so Halloween just became another day made a little better with fun size candy bars. In my early twenties, I started going out for Halloween. Nothing huge just hanging around with friends as we watch the crazy unfold. Then I met SoHubby. The man lives for Halloween. He likes the dressing up, the decorations and the scaring the crap out of people, especially the little ones. It isn’t Halloween until you make a kid cry on your porch and then console him with some free candy, hoping his parents are too drunk to remember this. And, now, with kids, Halloween has taken on a whole new turn.
If you haven’t notice Halloween has become almost as big as Christmas. Matter of fact all the holidays have. The kids celebrate each holiday with the same excitement that was once reserved just for the big one, Christmas. I think the stores play a big part of this, because where there is excitement there is some one spending money. Tis the American way. So they start putting Halloween items out starting in the beginning of August and people start to get the fever and the only cure is to spend, spend, spend. I have no problem with this. Heck, I welcome it because it just means more clearance once the holiday is over. Too bad candy doesn’t last a year, at least not in this house. Besides, Halloween is the first big holiday since school started. So yeah! Party, party, party.
Sohubby did get my Halloween spirit going in those early days of our relationship, but I think the kids, especially Sam, have thrown them into overdrive. No, I am not covering my face in blood, watching Friday the 13th Part 103, or doing my best to give little kids heart attacks, but I am looking forward to Halloween. I haven’t gotten my vision, though. As soon as someone mentions Halloween, usually Sam, I can pretty much smell the cool crisp air with a touch of warmth in it. This is odd only because we live on the edge of the 7th circle of Hell, weather wise. It is rare to have a cool crisp Halloween in these parts, which means while the rest of the country is choosing costumes for warmth we are steering our kids toward ventilation and mosquito protection. However, if we do get that rare cool Halloween night, it is usually spoiled by the heavy hint of humidity in the air. How can you have humidity and coolness at the same time? You, my friend, haven’t been to New Orleans in October. It happens and it sucks. Still we march on like the true holiday soldiers that we are.
Next are the decorations. I dream of hay bales with cute and friendly scarecrows and lovely round pumpkins scattered around our yard. The look that screams come on in, sit by the fire and sip a cup of cider with me. The husband and the kids steer the decorating more toward the blood, demented minions, gravestones, and things that look as if they have been underground for a century but love to pop up just as you walk by. You know the look that screams 1950′s haunted, abandoned mental institution that would have been the center piece of any Geraldo special. Not my ideal, but, again, I go with it, because I am out numbered. I am sure when the kids are grown and on their own I can torment my lovely husband with all the cute and cuddly Halloween decorations I have always dreamed of.
The pumpkin patch. I had seen and heard about them from TV shows, but had never seen one in real life. Unfortunately, when I say pumpkin patch down here, I am not talking the drive to the country from the city to wander the land of a farm searching for that perfect pumpkin. I am talking the parking lot of a local church who charges by the pound and has made up area for photo ops. If you are really clever with your camera you won’t get the cars zooming pass on the major street in front of the church. But if you close your eyes for a second and let the hay scratch you a bit you can imagine that you are in that far off farm in New England finding that perfectly round pumpkin. As for the pumpkins, while they are better than what you will find at the local Wal-mart or grocery store. They are never perfectly round and most times you are lucky to get one that has one good side.
The one thing I can count on is the candy. There is just that special mixture of chocolate and wax like candy that smells like Halloween. And, of course, you can’t have Halloween without the candy corn. That is grounds for explosion from the holidays altogether. If you are not rolling on the ground screaming from pain by November 1 you didn’t have a good Halloween. None of that Harvest Mix, either. Those waxy pumpkins and brown “chocolate”and candy corn are enough to send me racing to the toilet like I am knocked up with triplets. Things start to look up on October 1 when I have an excuse to get the candy bowl out and keep it filled with candy corn and other candy that signal which holiday is coming. We never know why our pants are a little tighter with each passing month from October to January, because surely that small handful of holiday candy, that we grab on the way to the sofa to sit on our ass with our computers and TV, isn’t enough to pack on the pounds. And all that exercise we get walking the kids from house to house to beg trick or treat for candy, or shopping for the perfect gift or turkey would be more than enough to use up the minuscule amount of candy we consume on a second by second basis. Not to mention, the stop we make at our friends’ house for a second go around at dinner while trick or treating. Nothing says love or holidays like food.
I will probably never get my New England Halloween (yes, I think of New England for Halloween) with it’s cool crisp air, apple picking, perfect pumpkin patches and hot cider, which I am almost positive I wouldn’t like. I will continue on with our Halloween filled with ghoulish decorations that get knocked down day after day, because along with cold humidity comes big gusts of wind. The kids changing which costume they want and the never ending fight over which costumes is not too sexy (yes, even in the pre tween section) or too satanic or too ghoulish or just plain too gross. The bowl of candy that screams for me to partake of it’s sweetness until all the good chocolate is gone and then hangs around on my ass until New Year’s. It is not the Norman Rockwell Halloween that I have in my mind, but it is a good time because it tells us that the cool crisp air we have been dying for since the middle of May is around the corner. Thanksgiving is knocking on our doors and Christmas is getting ready to make it’s visit and stay awhile. It is the holiday that comes knocking to let us know that it is that time of the year for families and friends to get together, hopefully, forget the everyday mundane stresses (traded in for those frivolous holiday stresses) and that a new year is coming filled with promise and happiness. Yes, Halloween never meant much to me growing up, but it has a whole new meaning now.