This is truly a day for the children in all of us. Whether you like to eat the candy, dress up in costume, or you enjoy being scared speechless it is all about the thrill of being a bit outside the box. In the interest of bringing back great memories for all of us big kids, I am going to share some of my favourites…
I think for me it started with the first Hallowe’en costume I remember, when I was three. My Mom sewed up a leopard costume, complete with a hat that had cute little ears, and a puffy tail. She painted a cat nose and whiskers on my face with paint and sent me out with my Dad, carrying my pumpkin treat bucket. everyone said I made a lovely leopard, and they filled my bucket with goodies. What’s not to love?! I wish I had a picture but all those old shots are on slides.
When I got older, I had a younger brother to take trick-or-treating, so he wore the leopard suit that I had grown out of, and I wore a newly sewn clown suit. Since I was a tall kid, the clown suit was a good fit; I was a bit clumsy anyway, and from a practical standpoint it was more adaptable. When I got taller, Mom added stockings so that the short legs wouldn’t look the wrong kind of funny. The other practical change was using pillow cases instead of those pumpkin tubs – you could stay out longer and not have to go home to dump out your loot.
Mom and Dad had to approve your loot before you ate it. You weren’t allowed to eat anything en route, and you were to beware of homemade goodies that people put in your bag; apples could have razor blades in them. There was one elderly lady on our block that made puffed rice squares that we could eat, because we knew her and she put her address on the saran-wrapped packages. Mom and Dad told us it wasn’t a good idea to eat all the treats right away – wouldn’t it ruin the fun if we threw up all those Tootsie rolls and chocolate bars? But when I was a kid, no one gave out healthy treats. This was an honest-to-goodness junk food occasion.
In university the parties became a bit crazier; in those days jello shots and yucca flux were cool. We still bobbed for apples, but the guys were more concerned with impressing the girls than actually grabbing an apple. One year I went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show with friends. We dressed up as characters, and brought props to take part. We put up our umbrellas and sprinkled water from spray jugs when Barry Bostwick gets out of the car to fix the tire. When someone at the grand table, says “A toast, we must have a toast!” we all threw toast. It was completely irreverent, a totally appropriate Halloween experience. In case you haven’t ever seen this film in a theatre with others, here are some tips for you when you do 🙂 http://www.rockyhorror.com/participation/virgins.php
I think the theme of Hallowe’en is the same as with many other celebrations – you just need to believe in the essence of the occasion. Let yourself be scared, step outside your comfort zone and see what it’s like to be different. Enjoy the thrill.
Need a reminder of how to make the most of Hallowe’en, or why it’s important to believe? Who better than Linus to tell us…