Ten Things I Enjoy About Halloween
Loving husband is going to laugh when he reads this, but I really enjoy making the kids' costumes. So what if every year, a few days before Halloween, I'm swearing at the sewing machine and spending every waking minute in the sewing room and moaning, "How am I going to make that?" I've made witches and fairies, cats and clowns, unicorns and horses, knights and kings and characters from books.
This year, we've got a blue-haired Vaati and two fine young Links (from The Legend of Zelda), Hannah Montana, and "just a boy named Levi". The boy named Levi has been persuaded by promises of candy to dress up as a cowboy named Levi, which involved nothing more complicated on my part than buying a little cowboy hat and finding his cowboy boots. Which is good, because those Link costumes have been a challenge to my limited seamstress powers.
2. Trips to the pumpkin patch.
Sure, we could choose our pumpkins at the grocery store, but there's something about the hay ride and the pumpkin field that makes it just that much more fun.
3. Carving pumpkins.
Every year we carve pumpkins as a family. Loving husband and I make a great pumpkin team. He hates gutting and I stink at carving, so I gut and he carves. He prefers fancy designs and patterns; I have a soft spot for those crooked little faces the gents draw onto the pumpkin with a Sharpie, so we always end up with a nice variety of pumpkin faces on our porch by Halloween.
4. Pumpkin Seeds.
This year I decided once and for all to solve my yearly dilemma-- salt-water soak, or not? I tried one batch each way. The salt-water soak wins. Non-soaked seeds were a tad crispier, but the flavor of the soaked seeds is delicious. I read a great pumpkin seed tip a few years ago: A twenty-minute dry-roast in the oven before tossing the seeds with olive oil and salt and pepper and returning them to the oven to roast until done makes a nice crispy seed. Yum!
They're just so stinkin' cute! I love to hear those little voices saying, "Trick-or-treat!"
We trick-or-treat up and down our street. It gives us a chance to say hello to our neighbors, and the kids get to show off their costumes. It's wonderful to go for a family walk, see the kids enjoying one another and the neighbors, laugh together. We're fortunate that loving husband's mother comes to man the door until we split up and I return home with the fine young gents while loving husband continues on with the lovely ladies.
8. The costumes go straight into the dress-up box.
So the fine young gents dress up as their characters for weeks afterward. What a wonderful way to encourage imaginative play.
9. It doesn't involve cooking a special meal.
No turkey, cranberries, ham, pie. As a matter of fact, we usually get take-out because we need to eat early enough that the fine young gents can go trick-or-treating then gorge on candy and still get to bed at a decent time.
10. It's just plain fun.
Most holidays center around family gatherings, which I thoroughly enjoy. Halloween is a community holiday. We welcome young strangers onto our porches and walks, and we're delighted to do so. It gets us out to parties with friends, or out on the streets meeting our neighbors. We get to dress up as our alter egos, visit the pumpkin patch, wind our way through the corn maze. And we get candy! It doesn't get much better than that.
Happy Halloween! Have an exciting and safe holiday!