Monday, November 2, 2009
An Ode to Halloween
Okay, so it's not really an "ode." There is no rhyme or verse or rhythm to my love of Halloween, but there is a huge amount of poetic sentiment to it.
I grew up going to a Christian School (of which my Dad was the principal, no less) and to a fairly conservative church, so there were a lot of varying opinions about the holiday - ranging from "It's Devil Worship" to "It's the Best Holiday ever!" Um... maybe I was the only one who held the "pro" position to such an extreme degree. Being that my creative Dad was in charge of the school, he got to get around the whole Devil thing by having Storybook Character Day, where we all dressed up like characters from our favorite books...because who can argue against reading?
After Storybook Character Day, we rushed home and put on our real costumes. My costume rules are much like my cake decorating rules: it doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to be at least mostly homemade. It has to involve duct tape and cardboard and cheap face paint. Seriously. One year, my parents caved and dressed me in some store-bought Smurfette costume - the kind with the plastic mask and the smock tied around your clotes: LAME.
To be fair, the creativity gene that I inherited from my Dad is only dominated by my cheap-skate gene. So, for the past two years, Simon's costume has been straight out of a plastic bag - because it was given to him. Last year, a police man, this year a fireman.
Taly has not been so lucky. For the past two years, her costumes have been made from white sweatsuits and electrical tape (2008: jailbird, 2009: dalmatian).
But there is more to this Halloween thing than just the opportunity to dress up. (Oh, and by the way, don't think it's just for kids in this house - Ben and I rocked our Adam & Eve fig leaves!)
I love Halloween because it's stupid and everyone does it. It's not about anything deeply symbolic that we can all argue over. There are no "Keep the Hallow in Halloween" bumper stickers. There is no pressure to travel across the country for one large, high-maintenance meal. It's just some dumb day for fun, parties, and junk food. It gives pumpkins a reason to shine - because seriously, if it weren't for Halloween, how would the pumpkin farmers stay in business?
And, that's what this is about - the pumpkin farmers and keeping them in business.
Oh, and the candy. Especially the peanut-y kind, which my kids can't eat, so Ben sorts into a special bag for me to devour. I mean, really, it was a great day, and I'm a little sad it's over.
I will now go comfort myself with a Peanut Butter Cup.