Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to. That’s when I feature them on the blog. This is one of those days. Today’s question is about Halloween.
I asked you in the past about your outlook on Christmas decorating, and you wrote a detailed post to explain.
So now I have to ask about your views on Halloween since you have mentioned several times that you are not interested in Halloween themed projects and decorating.
Not trying to be nosey…it’s just that you always have interesting thoughts and ideas on things.
Hmm…Let me think a second. Okay. Let’s start with an explanation. I don’t decorate for Halloween. I don’t really make many Halloween projects. There isn’t a witch hat quilt in my house. There aren’t spider webs. I decorate with pumpkins vs jack o lanterns.
I think it all started with me as a young kid. My parents were not into Halloween. My mom was of the belief it was a pagan holiday and not something we should be celebrating…so, I wasn’t exposed to it much. We were allowed to dress up and go to the school “costume” party…but not to a Halloween party.
We did not dress up as anything scary. Here are two of my older brothers and I. I wasn’t old enough for school (I’m in the middle) so I didn’t go to the school party. My brothers were old enough. Jim is a motorcycle guy…Jay is an old lady.
At our school, everyone went to school in the evening. We went to our classrooms and played some kid games. We ate lunch in the cafeteria and always got an orange drink in our cartons rather than milk. (this was a BIG deal) Then at the designated time we went as classes and paraded through the high school gym so all the parents could see all of our costumes. First, second and third prizes were given out in each classroom. Then we went home.
We lived in the country and didn’t do any traditional trick-or-treating at all.
It was what our family did so that’s what I did. I really didn’t know there was any other way to do Halloween.
One of the things I absolutely loved about dressing up was hanging out with my mom while we made out costumes. For a few weeks in advance, mom helped us put out costumes together. I remember one year my brother Jay was Mrs. Harper Valley PTA. He won first place that year. One year he was a box of Jello. Mom and Jay worked so hard on that costume. I was a baby one year. I was so impressed that mom came up with the idea of making a pacifier by cutting a circular piece of tag board, cutting a small hole in the center, inserting a balloon, and then only blowing it up just enough to make it look like a pacifier. That was my second grade costume.
My mom was so cool and full of amazing ideas for costumes and she was so good at working with us to make them come to life.
Fast forward to when I was old enough to make my own choices…I came to realize that I’m not a fan of Halloween. I don’t like to feel scared. I don’t like creepy things. Thoughts of zombies, bats, spiders, blood, gore, and ghosts, don’t make me feel good. They made me feel scared. They gave me bad dreams.
Back in 1980 when the original Friday the 13th movie came out, my sister-in-law took me to the show. I was 14. I hated it. I really hated it. I was so scared. I watched the exit sign through the entire movie and was still scared to death. I was not a horror movie fan and to this day. I do not watch anything scary.
So then I had kids…we always did something Halloween-ish but never a lot. At first, we lived in the country. It’s hard to go trick or treating in the country and we weren’t ones who went to a lot of houses of people we didn’t know. We’d go to 10 or so places all of the people we knew… grandparents and neighbors.
We always had candy in case we had trick-or-treaters but we rarely did.
I tried to create some of the same costume memories with my kids as my mom did with me and my brothers.
I know parents don’t have time nowadays but I think it’s sad that people don’t make costumes very often anymore. That was the biggest part of the fun for me.
Later we lived in town. Again…we never took the kids all over town. We just went around a block or two of our closer neighbors. That was enough. The kids had a ton of candy just from that. We gave out candy to people who came to our house.
There was often a parade in town and one of the local groups sponsored that. We also occasionally went to something hosted by a local 4-H group.
All of this…and all of our costumes were always something non-scary. We were always just a non-scary family. I continued to not like scary things and my kids, for the most part, followed suit.
Now as a grandma, I see some kids are scared. Carver, my grandson, was that way. As soon as he was able to make his wishes known he refused to go trick or treating. He didn’t like dressing up. He would come to my house and help hand out candy but he didn’t like Halloween. He was never a Halloween boy. Now, he’ll go and doesn’t mind but typically he just goes up and down my street. It’s enough and he comes back with plenty of candy.
Speaking of candy…I never understood why parents take the kids to so many houses and get so much candy when all they do for the next month is yell at the kids for eating too much candy-or have to hide the candy. I’ve always wondered, why go to so many houses in the first place if the candy is just going to start an argument.
I think sometimes I have too practical of a mindset. Speaking of a practical mindset. Typically the week after Halloween the kids and I would bake cookies or mini banana bread loaves and then the kids would go out and gift that to our neighbors who had given them candy.
As far as decorating goes…it was the post about this cross-stitch piece that prompted the question from Darla…
I skip Halloween decorating. I just go with fall and pumpkins and Thanksgiving. It works for me. I only have to decorate once. I don’t have to figure out how to decorate first for Fall, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. I can just combine Fall and Thanksgiving and call it all good. HA! So I guess maybe the answer is that I’m lazy. HA!
The answer also is…I can have fun and decorate but I can do decorating that isn’t scary. Remember I have grandkids and before that, it was childcare kids in my home. I never want any little one in my home to feel scared like I did as a kid when I saw scary things. There are so many good feelings to feel…I would never pick scared as the feeling I want to feel. Life throws out enough scary things.
I am not against anything others do and celebrate…this is just me.
I would love to hear about your family your Halloween traditions. Please leave a comment.