Years ago, after selling our home and waiting for the new home to be built, we rented a house that used to be an old barn. In renovating, the owners preserved the charm of the barn on the outside as well as the inside of the house. They kept the old wooden rafters, wood floors, and barn wood siding for the walls. Darning the walls were antique photos of couples or families, standing, unsmiling, in front of the barn or a horse, or in the middle of a field.
The day before we moved all of our things in, the owner said, looking at our teenagers, “Now, we don’t want any parties here!” That was on October 30th.
The next day we stretched spider webbing over the rafters creating a ceiling of white horror, and then down the staircase, placing plastic spiders here and there. Green and orange lights placed in the windows, and recordings of screams and ghosts and monster moans created a creepy ambiance, and occasionally we danced to Monster Mash. We were helping the kids get ready for their Halloween Party. After all, it was October 31, Halloween.
It was fun for the kids and their friends; trick or treating, and then sorting through their candy like pirates searching for treasures. That was the last party we had at Halloween.
Every year since the kids were little, we’ve had great memories of fun costumes and getting together with family and friends. In our old neighborhood, my sister and sister-in-law came over with their children, all dressed up and the dads took the kids while the moms answered the door. Then when the kids got old enough to trust to go out on their own, we’d build a bonfire on our driveway and give out candy and have a ball looking at all the adorable children and their little costumes.
My sister, bless her heart, she wins the award for the most creative handmade costumes. She made every costume her children wore every year! And she has three children, a daughter and twin boys! So while my children were running through the house piecing together something that could be considered a costume, hers were grinning and walking in the house with something like two cute little Dalmatian puppies, a medieval princess, an angel, a bunny, two teletubbies, or two chickens hatching out of their eggs! OK the baby boys weren’t walking when they were chickens hatching out of the eggs, but dang doesn’t that make it even cuter? My sister is an amazing artist, seamstress, and costume-maker!
I always told my children to create a costume using their imaginations and anything they could find in the house! Translation: I’m not taking you to that costume store where they’re going to charge me an arm and a leg for a cheap costume that will fall apart by the end of the night. They figured out my plan by the time they were ten and then for the next two years they begged their heads off until they wore me down and I bought them expensive costumes that fell apart by the end of the night. I can stay strong for only so long. Plus, when my daughter was a “business woman” one year, carrying my briefcase to school, even I knew it was getting bad and we had sunk to a new Halloween costume low. I feel a little ashamed telling that story.
I think we’ve all survived the costumes, the candy, the parties, and the tricks so far. Now it’s on to the grandchildren and seeing what fun costumes they’re choosing this year. I think it’s a unicorn and Paw Patrol.
I hope your Halloween memories are just as good or even better! Happy October and Happy Halloween, my ghoul friends!
The photo at the top is of our kiddos wearing the costumes my sis made! Pooh Bear, the Bunny, two Dalmatians, and a mouse.