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.


Dad said...

You are so funny! Thanks for publicly running me through the gauntlet of inexperienced child-rearing once again!

I know I can never go back, but I do wonder sometimes what I would do the same and what I would do differently, not just as a dad, but as one involved in Christian ministry. I couldn't be more awed at the person you are turning out to be as you live your life before Jesus.

I am just so glad we were able to protect you from the unicorn curse!

Kristy M said...

At least you had storybook character day. During my southern baptist childhood we had to dress as bible characters for the annual "fall festival". There aren't too many female bible characters to dress up as so there were quite a few Mary's and Esther's at the event! You and Ben would have fit right in :)

Praying for Cros said...

and don't forget ALL the great post-Halloween sales! I have 2 tubs full or paper products, candy & costumes ranging from .37cents to $2 (next year pumpkin-y long sleeve shirts *matching* for the girls!)! I TOO love halloween!!! thanks for your FUN blog! * YOUR costumes!*

Rachael said...

Your costumes are great. How does Simon do with trick-or-treating, does he enjoy ringing doorbells?

I have fond memories of Storybook Character Day...I think I wore my Samantha American Girl dress.