Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why do you like Halloween?

I love Halloween. I always have. It's the second biggest holiday of the year, and gaining rapidly on Christmas. But, the last couple of days, I've been trying to figure out what it is that I love so much about the 31st of October.
For kids, the answer seems obvious -- it's the trick-or-treating. And yet, when I really think about it, even when I was a kid, the candy was secondary. I never finished the candy that I got. Besides, we would, periodically, go through one of those hysterical periods, where everyone was afraid of razor blades ending up in the candy -- they would x-ray your bag at school -- so you would end up with a bag half full of tooth brushes, and coupons. I always thought the hysteria was a little over the top. Not only was the "razors in the candy" just an urban legend, but who was dumb enough to keep on eating, once you hit the blade? We were kids, but give us a little credit. So, anyway, it's not the candy.

Dressing up? We all love to dress up. It's fun to be someone else, for a while. But, I don't even do this much, these days. But, I do enjoy the challenge of putting together costumes for my kids, without making them look cheesy. The hardest costume we have had to create, was for my oldest, then 5 year old, daughter, who, after looking around the living room for a good ten seconds, announced that she would be a lamp for Halloween, that year. Yes, that says lamp.

As an aside here, I need to vent. We were ripped off, as kids, when it came to Halloween costumes. Take Superheroes, for example. When I was a kid, a Spiderman costume would have consisted of a stupid plastic mask, that you couldn't see out of, and that the elastic would break off of, before the end of the school Halloween parade, and some kind of cheesy, plastic shirt that said "Spiderman" on it, and may have even had a PICTURE of Spiderman on it. That's not a Spiderman costume, it's a Spiderman billboard! Today the kids look like Spidey, and even have web slingers, that shoot silly string. What a gyp!


Anyway, here's why I think we like Halloween: It's the culmination of Autumn. Fall, of course, lasts, technically, right up until Christmas. But when we think of Autumn, we think of the colors and the leaves, and the cool, but not yet cold weather. By Halloween, most years, it's a good bet that the weather will still be relatively mild, and there's still a lot of the aspects of what we consider a beautiful Autumn around. And mostly, I think we are drawn to Halloween, because it's a community holiday -- even more than Christmas. We gather for parties, and festivals throughout the weeks preceding the 31st, and then on Halloween we literally go out and visit the entire neighborhood. When else in the year are we more closely knit, as neighbors, and friends, than at Halloween? At least that's how it is here.

Well, there's my two cents worth, I'd be curious to hear why you like Halloween?

One more thing.
Have you ever taken a picture that seemed like a mistake at first, but, the more you looked at it... 

I took this shot this afternoon. At first it was just a blurry picture of my girls, and I passed it by, but for some reason I didn't delete it, and I kept coming back. There's something about it that attracts me, and I'm not sure what it is. I'm dangerously close to framing it, and hanging it on the wall.
Am I nuts?


Izzy, Emmy 'N Alexander said...

I love the last photo of the girls. It turned out great, even if by accident. I'd frame it.

We all like Halloween around here too. For me I think it's just fun in general. For hubby, he's all about scary, horror flicks, and dressing like a zombie. He's just dying to make his girls zombies one year. Hey, they are only 11 months and 2 years...give it a few more and I may have to give up the cute little costumes for blood and guts, rotting flesh and stitched limbs.

Happy Halloween!

Alex @ I'm the Mom said...

That's a stunning picture of your daughters! I would totally frame is!

I have to agree with your reasons about Halloween being so wonderful. The people on our street rarely talk to each other, but on Halloween, you can be sure you'll see each person from each house.

Kat said...

First off, that photo NEEDS to be enlarged and hung in a prominent location. It looks like a painting! Gorgeous!

Second, I love EVERYTHING about Halloween. I love the candy, the trick-or-treating, dressing up, being scared, haunted houses, the weather, the leaves, the decorations, the TV shows. I LOVE IT ALL. I think I may be more excited about it than the boys are.

My two oldest boys are both going as Spiderman this year and the costumes are hilarious. They have built in muscles! HAHAHA! But don't mention the web shooters to my boys cuz they don't have those, and I don't WANT them to. ;)

Cecily R said...

Not crazy. Not nuts. Frame it.

Don't hate me, but I never loved Halloween. I will say this, however. I like it a WHOLE lot more since I had kids who love it.

And you are SO right about the costumes when we were kids. It was like wearing a printed trash bag and a mask. So crappy. And yet, I still longed to be Wonder Woman every year. And every year my mom made my costumes instead. The nerve of her!

KatieZ said...

Love the photo, should definitely frame it!

Wendelyn DeMoss said...

I like Halloween for the costumes. You get to dress up and be something or someone else. And, it is human nature in all of us good hearted people to want to be a bad one for at least one night. or maybe be a character you would never be. One halloween when we were so into the new version of Star Trek we had Deana and No. 1 costumes made to go to an adult party. Our girls liked being the popular princess of the year such as Belle, Ariel etc.
I have always been a theater buff and loved playing in community theater. Halloween is similar.
I am not one for scary movies and the gore, haunted houses and blood but I do like the costumes!

Anonymous said...

No I don't think you're nuts. It's good but I don't even begin to know anything about photography as to give you reasons why I might think that way. But there is definitely something about it. :)

And Halloween I can't quite pinpoint it either, but we're all big fans. Almost more than Christmas anymore because of the whole Christmas isn't about Christmas anymore and all the pressure on the what rather than the why. Halloween is no pressure - all fun. :)

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

We were "gypped" (sp?) as kids. I was just talking about those plastic masks the other day and that now they are viewed as a safety hazard...so really we were "gypped" and endangered. haha :)

I agree with you @ the sense of community on Halloween. What other time of year can you go door to door asking for free stuff? And people smile at you and tell you how cute the kids look. Gotta love it. :)