~ Halloween Revisited ~

English: Pumpkin carving - photo taken in dark...

Pumpkin carving – (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My favourite holiday is about to be served up next week, and in preparation I am trying to decide what kind of treats I will hand out to those oh-so-merry revellers at my door. Oh,… you say, it is not my favourite holiday? No carollers and hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies for a song well sung?

What’s that you say? It is my least favourite holiday—Halloween …when the veil between us and the “other” world is thinner and we are subject to visitations from ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night?

But let me pause here. Perhaps it is I and those in my “not too crazy about Halloween” camp who need some reprogramming. Maybe, just maybe, we should embrace this festive time of year and turn our front yards into cemeteries and our trees into an executioner’s dream with a noose hanging perilously from every branch.

If so many people love Halloween, could we be the ones who need to change? There is a macabre element to Halloween that cannot be denied. But who are we to put a cap on our dark sides? Perhaps we need this day to get it out of our system, to face our fears, and laugh at them. Methinks we take it too seriously. We need to get with the program.

Out of curiosity, I “Googled” why some people do not like Halloween. One of the answers provided was that people who do not enjoy this holiday are lame. The verbatim answer was a little more insulting than that, but that is all I am going to share here. Other reasons given were religion and fear.

I have not always disliked Halloween and cannot really remember when my distaste for it started. Maybe it was the year that some older kids knocked over the jack o’lantern we had outside and almost burned our house down. (I am overstating here—but it did scare me—and we never put a lit jack o’lantern out on the front porch again—live and learn).  Or maybe it was the fact that when I was a kid we lived in the country and after visiting (in the dark with flashlights) the four houses close to us, Halloween was basically over, so it was not much to celebrate. One year though my Dad drove us all over the county – (actually only a few miles from home to houses that were more than a half mile away) and we made out like bandits. That year I liked Halloween.

So, this year, determined to recover from my Grinchy take on Halloween, I am going to make a list of twelve things I like about it as the first step in my recovery:

1. First and foremost, how bad can a festivity be if it features little chocolate bars?

2. I love little kids dressed up as dinosaurs with tails dragging behind them and fairies and Mario and Luigi and whatever else they want to dress up as.

3. I love that all my neighbours turn their front lights on for trick or treaters. It looks so welcoming.

4. I love it when little kids will only take one little chocolate bar when you offer them a bowl of candy and you have to talk them into taking more.

5. I love pumpkins.

Pumpkin Harvest

Pumpkin Harvest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. I love pumpkins.

7. I love pumpkins.

8. I love Linus’s faith in the Great Pumpkin.

9. I love everyone else’s enthusiasm about Halloween.

10. I love pumpkins.

11. I love turning the front light out at eight o’clock figuring all the little kids have finished trick or treating, and the Halloween festivities are over for me for another year.

12. I love how my youngest son embraces the holiday, and starts to plan his costume months in advance.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I love pumpkins?

I am far from cured—but if the antidote is those little chocolate bars, I am willing to take a dose or two.  Wishing you all no tricks, just treats.

How about you–are you a diehard fan of Halloween or someone who is trying to embrace it like me?

Pumpkins at Halloween

Pumpkins at Halloween (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Published in: on October 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm  Comments (60)  
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60 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. LouAnn,
    It’s Halloween every day at Le Clown’s. This post was almost heartbreaking to read…
    Le Clown

    • sorry to make you sad

      • LouAnn,
        My clown make-up is running all over my face…
        Le Clown

      • can I offer you a chocolate bar-that always cheers me up

      • LouAnn,
        Please, thank you. I’ll take 15 bars.
        Le Clown

      • what kind?

      • LouAnn,
        Too kind. Ok. Let’s start with Caramilk. Then I will also take some Coffee Crisp. I like to be wild occasionally and delve into a Mars bar… Should I PM you my home address?
        Le Clown

      • sure thing – that is what Halloween is all about!

  2. Our last house was so far off the beaten path that we never had a single child drop in during the 12 years that we lived there. At The current house, we get exactly 7 kids each year. So I give full sized candy bars and pop and a little something extra from the dollar store to each kid. Our decorations go up at 5pm Halloween night and are down by 9. I’m not a big fan either, but the kids are, so I humour them with some spooky decor for the night. I think the fascination with Halloween is new in Canada – I don’t remember it being such a big deal when I was a kid.

    • me either — it seems to have grown out of proportion hasn’t it. like you, I celebrated for my kids. boy, you give good treats–I want to come to your house
      I lived in an era where you were not afraid to eat the popcorn balls or candy apples because you knew who they were from–another wonderful treat was chocolate chip cookies–then there were those awful candies in the Halloween wrapping that almost pulled your teeth out if you ate them

      • Yes! I remember the ones! They were some sort of petrified caramel that stayed in your teeth for days and tasted like feet.

      • exactly – they did taste like feet — so glad you put the right description to them!

  3. I love Halloween. It was great when I was a kid. Candy, flashlights and shaving cream and out until 10:00 or 11:00pm. It was so much fun.
    I don’t get into overwhelming my lawn with decorations that are over the top. Like you, I love pumpkins and keep it simple.
    Anyone who can’t let themselves go a little needs to get in touch with their inner child. Oh, and Charlie Brown is a classic.

  4. I didn’t love the holiday until I had children. I used to drive the 15 miles into my hometown, let my children cover all the houses possible in the neighborhood I grew up in, then end up at my grandparents house for hot chocolate and homemade goodies.

    As the kids got older I looked forward to the evening of Halloween because it was the one time of the year that neighbors were out and being neighborly. Every one sat on the porch and actually talked back and forth on that night, the rest of the year you might get a wave as they were driving off. But that night you would hear one call out to check out a particular child in a particular costume and how cute it was.

    I loved the little one’s who came so happily to collect their piece of candy and could relive the time that mine were that small.

    Where I live I get exactly two children, my own grand kids who drive over here near the end of the night to show off their costumes and collect a little gift from me. Then they dump out their candy and share it with the adults. It’s sweet and the only moment of the holiday I enjoy, seeing the kids, not getting their candy but that’s a plus if it’s something I like :-)

    So what’s the verdict. I can live with or without it now.

    • I think you summed it up very well here — Halloween pasts and present — the future, who knows
      thanks for the walk down memory lane–it reminds me of when my kids were little

  5. I do my best to embrace it, by doing the things I DO enjoy – like handing out candy to those adorable trick-or-treaters!! :D I think the reason it’s less favorable to me now, however, is that many people in my age group use it as an excuse to be irresponsible, and that’s just not my style. Good luck finding your Halloween Spirit as well – like you said, at least there’s candy and pumpkins! :)

    • that is smart–just take from it what you like and forget the rest–good way to handle it–and anything that has candy and pumpkins can’t all be bad

  6. I used to love Halloween when i lived in a cold climate but down here in Little Bombay, the humidity makes the costume hot, make-up runs from sweat and no one gives out Hershey’s miniatures.. Enjoy it for please please :-)

  7. I think I grew out of Halloween by the 8th grade (which was also the last time I went trick or treating). The neighborhood kids probably called our house the Grinch House since we never passed out candy or decorated like our neighbors did (what can I say, we’re not a family big on Halloween). I always look forward for it to be over so I can start getting excited about (American) Thanksgiving. ;)

    • and because we have already had our Thanksgiving, we get to look forward to Christmas

  8. In Australia Halloween is not the biggest deal in the world but its growing and thank you for that! :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • if it were up to me though it would not be growing–all I like are the chocolate bars, the pumpkins and the little kids

  9. What an entertaining post! We don’t ‘do’ Halloween over here. I remember our first year in Canada, when I was 8, it was such an amazing novelty. My little brothers and I were blown away!

    • it would be kind of cool if you weren’t expecting it

      • fun when you’re a kid!

      • true–the fun part now is those little chocolate bars–my youngest son use to hide his stash from me (I don’t blame him–mommy was out of control–ha ha!)

  10. This is the kick-off season of lots of fun family time. Each year I enjoy it more & more. My kids & I dress in theme. We have fun! We don’t get too many trick-or-treaters. So- we hand out full size chocolate bars.

    • so what is your theme this year?

      • Dog – Robin
        Teenage son – Might rebel & go off theme
        Middle child – Dark Knight
        Youngest – Batgirl
        Me – Maybe a villain
        Hubby – Nothing. He’s staying home to pass out the candy

  11. Hi and what is it with you and pumpkins??? :) what a lovely thing to love, the good old pumkin but is their taste, their shape, their colour, their smell, the shapes you can cut in them, how they grow, pumpkin soup …..that does it, I’m in love tooo.

    • I just think they are a very happy fruit or vegetable — Just looking at them makes me happy – I like pumpkin pie, love pumpkin soup and seeds, and even jack o’lanterns – they are super versatile

  12. I try to embrace Halloween…..much easier now that my grand daughter has so much enthusiasm for all that is Halloween. Can’t wait to see her dressed as a tiger. She brings joy to a holiday that started to lose it’s appeal for me.

    • gives you a brand new perspective doesn’t it – Sophie as a little tiger – how cute!

      • I’ll send you a picture of Sophie all costumed-up after Halloween :)

      • can’t wait, Krista –there is something in the mail for Sophie–you may get it Friday. love you

  13. I do love Halloween, but I also have a few misgivings about the macabre element of it – I don’t like the blood, the machetes, the crackling skeletons…I prefer the cuter/goofier side of the holiday – the opportunity to dress up as something funny…and of course eat…lots of chocolate. :)

  14. I wouldn’t say this is my favorite “holiday” but it’s not one I despise. When we were little, we lived in one those neighborhoods where everyone knew each other so going around getting free candy was nice and now I give it out to those cute little ones that stop by. What I don’t like is seeing nearly grown kids come to the door for candy. If they can do that, I’m going to dress my dogs up and go door to door. I say that every year. :).

    Lou Ann, do you like pumpkins?

    • Oh, in case you were not sure – I love pumpkins (lol)

      Yeah, when you have to start looking up, then it is time to retire the trick or treating

  15. Halloween was never my favorite holiday until I became an adult. Now I love helping my kids with their costumes and decorating the house. Halloween is the holiday when we get to be creative. Christmas is just a day to celebrate spending.

    • I have a few friends who think the same way you do–that Halloween is fun with the kids–it used to be with my kids too

  16. Ha! LouAnn my daughter who is now 13 is miffed that I did not ‘enlighten’ her about Halloween until she was 8! (and if fact it was not I who told her…) Like Heidi I have never lived in a place (all my adult life) that had trick or treaters show up on my doorstep, so what she did not know, did not hurt ;) At 8 we took her to her grandparent’s neighborhood…an actual neighborhood with house/driveway/grass/house… She was delighted and I was shocked to see the progression the the holiday had taken since my exit some 20 years earlier.
    People spend BIG BUX on gaudy decorations, creepy faux webs and smoke machines! In this neighborhood keeping up with the Jones’ was in full swing on All Hallows Eve!
    Commercialized Halloween is a drag in my opinion…my daughter wanted a ‘boughten’ costume for a ‘live clue’ costume/halloween party and the prices are outrageous! Whatever happened to making your own costume.
    I see it as just a big giant waste of money….and don’t even get me started on those ridiculous blow up things that bounce around people’s lawn sucking the electricity like my uncle on a binge!!
    Pumpkins!! YAY. I love them too….painted, carved, cooked. From birth to age 8 it was all about the harvest- celebrating Samhain….even without a TV the dominant culture has pushed its way into my life, sigh…

    • amazing how it has taken off–it certainly stirs some imagination–but there are big bucks involved now and I don’t think it makes it any more festive

  17. LouAnn, Just keep up with that festive spirit. I love pumpkins!! Yes, keep it going. You know I love Halloween. I’m not sure why I like it. I’ve never analyzed that before. Probably because I had a lot of great childhood memories, filling a whole a pillowcase with candy. What could be better as a kid? – Amy

  18. I love pumpkins! I hate Halloween. I never liked dressing up and trick or treating embarrassed me. I hate dressing up. I hate being the sucky mom that can’t think of good costumes.

    I love pumpkins and our Thanksgiving is coming!

    • I remember going trick or treating and a neighbour asking my sister and I to dance for the treat–get me outta here!

      • Yeah, I really hate it. I’m not even going to pretend that I could maybe start liking it.

      • I like a woman of conviction, unlike a fence sitter like me–actually I came out against Halloween in a column I write for the newspaper I freelance for, and someone lambasted me for ruining her teenagers’ creativity–their creativity was a really gory scene they had made of their front yard that was disturbing

  19. I’m such a diehard fan of Halloween. Probably because my birthday is November 1st, but it’s always been my favorite holiday. It’s whimsical and fun and it’s an excuse to break up the monotony of every day life.

    • whimsical and fun win out every time — see, it is all in your perspective

  20. yup i’m with you ~ no thanks halloween. chocolate and pumpkins have better things to do IMO

  21. I like #4, too. I can’t stand the greedy ones! But I’m not a huge Halloween fan either.

  22. I hated Halloween for a long time. For many years in our small town, it was an opportunity for teens to engage in vandalism condoned by their parents and much of the community. As school teachers, our home was one of their favourite targets. Did you know that eggs frozen on siding leave permanent stains? For years, we didn’t bother repainting because what was the point when it would just be damaged again the next Oct. 31? Fortunately, that era has passed and Halloween has been returned to the younger set of innocent trick-or-treaters. I actually missed being there to hand out mini chocolate bars and ooh and ahh over their costumes this year!

    • I used to be afraid of the night before Halloween, or Devil’s Night–that is when the damage took place in my town–but you are right–it seems to have faded thank goodness


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