October 1, 2020
I am not a big fan of Halloween these days, but I find myself wishing that kids could enjoy the “trick or treat” of simpler times. There are so many things that children have lost this year, and I hope that parents are finding creative ways to keep their children safe and enjoy crazy costumes at the same time – even if they only wear them at home! If I had little ones in the family, I would want video, to see what this year’s costumes look like. We have a great-niece in California who will be dressed like a skunk – her costume is adorable – and I think her sister is a dog. They are having fun, carving pumpkins, and perhaps, thinking about a bigger and better Halloween next year.
When my children were little, no one bought costumes! All of us (with or without seamstress skills) made costumes. One year, we used a large cardboard box to create a Rubik’s cube for our son’s costume (that was a good one!). Another year, we covered a football helmet with aluminum foil to make a “spaceman” outfit. Not exactly a showstopper, but it didn’t matter.
One year I used white sheets to make an angel costume for my daughter (remember when I said that I can’t sew??). I think I stapled the hem together so she wouldn’t trip, and her daddy made wings, which were WAY above my pay grade! She looked quite wonderful – at least long enough for some pictures and making the rounds of our neighbors with trick or treat bags.
I have happy memories of trick or treating when I was a child, including a year when I was too sick to go out in the cold. My father was very playful that year, creating a costume for himself in the basement, then walking around to the front of the house and ringing the doorbell. He fooled me every time and made me laugh, which was the goal. If I couldn’t go out, at least I could enjoy guessing who the secret trick or treater was!
We used to do that, by the way. When children appeared at our door, we didn’t just hand them some candy. Instead we would try to guess who was inside the costume. Very often we knew perfectly well who it was, so we could make silly guesses and laugh – “Are you Superman? No? Are you Clark Kent? Oh. You must be – Jimmy Nolan from down the street!” After which there was much laugher and plenty of candy changed hands. I am not sure when that guessing game stopped, but I think we lost something in the process. Connecting with the kid behind the mask was fun for everybody. And being wrong a few times made it even better.
So I will hold onto my memories of Halloweens past and look forward to my favorite holiday of all!!