I’ve been formulating my ‘Halloween’ post in my mind for about three weeks. Which, even then, is probably considered ‘seasonally late’ by blogging standards. I’ve never been one for editorial calendars when it comes to my personal writing, preferring instead to spark my creative juices with the threat of a looming deadline or simply by whatever inspires me.
No Tutorials or How-Tos Here
So this time you won’t find a how-to on homemade Halloween costumes or favourite Halloween recipe because on the day of actual Halloween, what would be the point in that? Instead, let’s chat about the love/hate relationship I have with Halloween.
This holiday-that’s-not-really-a-holiday is a bit of a nuisance, albeit a fun one. After all, there’s no other time of year where it’s acceptable for your school-aged children to go out after dark, dressed in costume, knocking on strangers’ doors begging for candy WHICH WE THEN LET THEM EAT!
At the very least, November 1st should be a national holiday if for no other reason than for kids to recover from the sugar coma of the night before and for parents to deal with the ensuing meltdowns. Unfortunately, this ‘holiday’ does not discriminate and, so, too bad if it’s not a weekend, it’s off to school the next day bleary-eyed and cranky from the sugar high and resulting crash of the night before.
Why Halloween Was Better in the 80s
As I kid I loved Halloween. I mean, what kid WOULDN’T? But when I look back at how we kicked it old school in the 80s, I miss the simplicity of it all. While, of course, we coveted the K-Mart translucent plastic costumes with their scary-ass masks, instead, we scrounged through our parents’ and grandparents’ closets for ‘dress-up’ clothes, pulling together costumes from the oddest of pairings.
And don’t even get me started on the Candy Store that opened for business the second we got home so we could trade fave treats with each other (or charge outright cash.) My Dad carved intricate pumpkin designs of his own making and damned straight we roasted those seeds! Things are a little different now, but as much as possible I try to keep to those simple traditions. As I wage this silent Halloween war, I’ve discovered I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this ‘holiday’.
10 Reasons Why I Love Halloween
To be clear, by love, I mean tolerate. If you’re one of those people that literally turns their yard into a haunted house, go nuts! I do love Christmas, but to the extent that my sober, will-power-driven, candy-avoiding, exhausted body can manage it, I tolerate Halloween. In any event, for simplicity’s sake, I love…
- seeing the excitement and fun it stirs up for the kids.
- that the kids beg excitedly on October 1st for the Halloween books and CDs that have been shelved for the past 11 months.
- stealing the Starburst out of the kiddos’ treat bags. (We have an understanding).
- nailing a spectacular jack-o-lantern carving.
- watching the kids, who are now old enough, carve their own pumpkins, boldly trying challenging stencils (thank you, Netflix!)
- munching on roasted pumpkin seeds.
- piecing together fun costume ideas from scratch.
- eating Halloween baking.
- walking the neighbourhood with the kids because I realize soon they won’t want me to accompany them trick-or-treating anymore. I’ve already lost the teen to her independence.
- watching Halloween family favourites on Netflix — old and new alike — like Casper’s Scare School and Hotel Transylvania 2 and Scooby Doo Zombie Island.
10 Reasons Why I Hate Halloween
Relax. I understand ‘hate’ is a strong word, but it’s shorter than saying ‘I have a strong distaste for’ or ‘it is an extreme bother when’. In an effort to be brief, I hate…
- pulling out the fall/Halloween decorations at the last minute so that they’re only up for, like, a day before they have to be taken down again. Sneaks up on me every. damned. year.
- refereeing who gets to listen to that damned Ready, Freddy! Halloween Fraidy-Cat CD because, “They had it two nights in a row and it’s our turn and it’s not fair!” God forbid that thing ever get a scratch.
- seeing the fistfuls of candy people give out when one or two pieces will suffice. Related: please stop buying the gross Halloween s***!
- the hand cramps that come from poking the little holes through the stencil onto the pumpkins and again from the incessant sawing motion with the mini serrated blades. Add to this: I will never, ever carve pumpkins on Halloween day again.
- that the local wildlife see fit to gnaw through three hours of arduous, pumpkin-carving labour. I mean, that’s just rude.
- walking by the dried pumpkin seeds which have been sitting on the counter for two days, WILLING them to roast themselves. I will need to find the time to do this. Luckily, I have recipes!
- spieling around looking for costumes or costume odds and ends THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN. Dear Teen: Don’t text me at 3pm on October 30th to ask if we have face paint. You knew a week ago you needed face paint. This is not news. And yet you JUST realized we may not have face paint? Or it’s dried out or you can’t find it. YOUR costume idea. YOUR responsibility. (What I actually replied was something like: Is Dad still at the store? Ask him. Dad bought the face paint.)
- having neither the energy nor the time to decorate Halloween sugar cookies because they are frightfully delicious!
- knowing my husband is at home, warm and dry, seeing all the cute neighbourhood kids, whilst sipping on wine. I also hate when older kids insist on ringing the doorbell after lights-out. Clearly, CLEARLY we are done for the night if we’ve gone radio-silent. And no, it’s not because we’re out of candy, because I’m actually sitting here, in a mountain of wrappers, watching Netflix on my iPad, spying on you through a corner of my window. With wine.
- being unable to watch all our Netflix Halloween favourites because there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
So, tell me: are you Team Love Halloween, Team Hate Halloween or Team I-Wish-It-Were-the-80s Halloween?
Disclosure: I’ve been a Netflix fan since before it was considered cool and a blogger long before that. As a member of Netflix Canada’s #StreamTeam I get the best of both worlds. Each month we receive a fun family package in exchange for my candid monthly posts. Sometimes there’s even a bonus thrown in for my readers, so be sure to subscribe to my email updates so you don’t miss a post!