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Halloween Scrooge No More

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Scrooge No More

I admit it.  When it comes to Halloween, I am pretty Scrooge-like.  I can't remember the last time I've dressed up.  I don't decorate the house.  WE DIDN'T EVEN CARVE A PUMPKIN THIS YEAR.  And we have an almost-three-year old.  Shame on us!

For Jack's first Halloween, I bought a dinosaur (dragon?) costume off the clearance rack at Babies R' Us.  Last year, my mom made him a spider costume  (that he was too afraid to wear).  This year?  He wore the spider costume and I shelled out a whopping .99 on a second-hand ladybug costume for Claire at Kid 2 Kid. I didn't even try the darn costume on her until this afternoon, about 2 hours before we went Trick-or-Treating (it fit).

For the most part, I just think Halloween is kind of a pain.  It requires work.  It ends in obscene amounts of candy for the people who need it the least (kids, and me) AND we have to keep the dog in the backyard so she doesn't tear down the door every time someone knocks or worse, rings the doorbell.  And in Texas, it's kind of hard to prepare for...because you don't know if it's going to be too hot for the costume you picked out, or too cold for the costume you picked out (for the record, it was a perfect 70 degrees tonight).

But I remember how fun it was when I was little.

I remember the giant ghost decoration my mom put out every year.  I remember the fabulous costumes my mom made (like a magnificent paper mache' My Little Pony).  I remember dumping out a giant pillow case of candy and sorting through it all (and putting it into little piles...chocolate here, bubble gum there, lollipops here, and raisins in the trash) and letting my dad  eat some to "check and make sure it's not poisoned" (ha!).   I remember tearing through our neighborhood, which was kind of rural and had lots of space between the houses and almost no other children, and watching our candy bags fill with full-size candy bars because it was cheaper for the neighbors to buy a few giant candy bars than a big bag full of little ones.  Then we would load up in the Buick station wagon and my Dad would drive us to my Gramma's house so we could Trick-or-Treat in her neighborhood (lots of houses close together) and we'd hear Thriller, The Monster Mash, Purple People Eater etc. on the radio as we drove.

And most importantly?

Halloween was the GATEWAY TO CHRISTMAS!!

So, I loved Halloween as a kid.

And then, somewhere between childhood and parenthood, I turned into a Halloween Scrooge.

This year, I had good intentions.  Inspired by other houses in the neighborhood (Fake graves and skeletons in the yards! Spooky wreaths!) I asked my mom to show me how to recreate the ghost we used to have hanging up as a kid.  But I was somehow never able to actually get the pieces together necessary to make it.  I picked out little candy bags and lots of ghoulish treats and removable tattoos and pumpkin bubbles from the Oriental Trading company catalog (I wanted Trick-or-Treaters to get cool treats at our house).  But, I never wanted to actually spend the money to buy the stuff when it came time to order (this is why I was at Target this afternoon, picking through what candy was left as the employees were setting up Christmas displays next to me).

While I was at Target today though, I had a bit of an epiphany.  Rather than wallowing in my own lameness (what mom of a young child doesn't even carve a pumpkin??), I decided to let myself off the hook because I kind of have a newborn (I say "kind of" because she's 14.5 weeks old now, I am not sure if that counts as a newborn) and a new house that is still not entirely unpacked.  No time for Halloween nonsense! doesn't have to be like this next year.  I realized, as I was looking at the creepy Halloween wreath I kind of loved and wanted to buy but couldn't justify spending $30 on, that tomorrow ALL OF THIS IS GOING TO BE ON SALE.  For, like, cheap.  And I can come and buy it and not feel like I'm wasting my money on junk for a holiday I don't really care about because A) it will be cheap, and B) it's not about me, it's about my kids and Jack loved Halloween!

That's right...having Jack helped put some of the magic back in this holiday for me.  In our old house, Trick-or-Treating was not an option so we went to a function at a local church.  This was Jack's first time Trick-or-Treating (Claire's too, for that matter, but she slept through most of it and just woke up for the neighborhood block party at the end of the night).  Jack and the neighbor girls had great fun running from door to door (until Jack got tired and asked to ride in the wagon, at which point I asked him if he wanted to  stop getting candy and he told me "no, the girls can bring it to me" - HA.).  He loved seeing the costumes, playing at the neighbor's party, and when we got home, passing out candy to the big kids who were still out making the rounds.

I figure next year Jack will be big enough to really get into it and he will appreciate my efforts at decorating the house.  I will be a Halloween Scrooge no more.

And speaking of Scrooge, Christmas is coming up.  And Christmas is another story indeed.  There's a good chance that when I'm at Target tomorrow scooping up the leftover Halloween decorations, I may have to throw Christmas wreath (or two)...or a giant light-up the basket.

Here are my precious little Love Bugs in all their Halloween Glory.

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