Halloween 2011

Halloween has always been a special holiday for Dan and I, since we met working at a haunted house back in 2001 (That’s right – 10 years ago!). While I’ve never been a huge fan of dressing up, I do enjoy all the decorations, music, parties, and candy that come with the holiday.

This year, we were invited to a few different events, so we’ve been celebrating the holiday since mid-October. Last weekend, we went to a house party hosted by an old friend of mine. It was fun catching up with people I haven’t seen in years, and reconnecting with old friends now that we’re back in the area.

Batman and Robin

Batman & Robin

This past Thursday, our local movie theater was replaying the original Ghostbusters movie. The event was hosted by a die-hard Ghostbusters fan who was dressed up in the uniform, complete with an official proton pack replica. Before the show, he was raffling off prizes, and I won a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man stress toy.

Marshmallow Man

(photo from 16bit.com)

Yesterday, we were supposed to go to another Halloween party at a local barbecue restaurant, but Mother Nature had other plans. We got hit with a freak snow storm that dropped almost a foot of snow in less than 12 hours and knocked out the electricity. So instead of partying with coworkers, we spent the night huddled around candles in the dark with a few close friends. We watched Dawn of the Dead with whatever battery power was left on the laptop, and then went to bed right as the power came back on.

Snow Storm

With so many people snowed in at our house, this morning was a little bit like the morning after a sleepover. Everybody woke up much earlier than they normally would, and Dan made pancakes and eggs for everyone. So this weekend wasn’t a total loss. It actually wound up being a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Nothing beats cuddling up with your loved ones on a cold, wintery morning.

Halloween

Little Pumpkin With Fallen Orange Autumn Leaves

Every year, I promise myself that I’m going to do something really incredible next Halloween, and yet every Halloween, I wind up staying in, handing out candy to cute little kids. This year was no exception.

Amidst all the post-wedding activity and excitement, my husband and I kind of forgot about Halloween entirely until we woke up yesterday morning and realized we had no costumes whatsoever. We needed something to wear because Dan had to work and I was going with him to assist with crowd control at his tattoo shop. Since the shop is on a main road, there are always lots of trick-or-treaters, and it usually requires a whole team of people to hand out candy.

Fortunately, we were able to snag a couple of cheap pirate costumes from the local Halloween store before the crowds really started to show up. (Picture coming soon!) Kids were out trick-or-treating as early as 11:00 in the morning, and didn’t stop coming until around 8:00 at night. One thing I noticed during these 9 hours is that trick-or-treating sure isn’t what it used to be.

The vast majority of trick-or-treaters weren’t even kids at all; they were teenagers or even middle-aged adults who would wander in, hold out a bag without saying a word, and expect you to just drop candy into it. Sometimes they’d be in costume, sometimes not. My favorite was an older woman who came in by herself without a costume on and when I asked her what she was supposed to be, her whispered response was, “I’m invisible.”

Of the kids who were out trick-or-treating, some of them were genuinely excited and would proudly announce, “I am Iron Man!” or “I’m a fairy princess!” when asked about their costumes. Others stood at the door, cowering in fear because they were afraid of the big bad pirates handing out sweets.

But many of them fell into a third category: they’d stand out on the sidewalk, looking bored and disinterested, while their aggravated parent came in to collect the candy for them.┬áSeriously, if your kid can’t even be bothered to come in and get the candy himself, why bother getting it for them? They obviously don’t care that much.

Why are so many kids unable to get into the Halloween spirit? I loved Halloween when I was younger! I would dress up and go out with my friends every year, walking around town with one of our parents following us in the car, so that we felt like we were out by ourselves when really, we weren’t. And then, when I was 11 or 12, I started spending every October working at a haunted house, scaring the pants off unsuspecting visitors.

I know I’ve been a slacker these last few years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the holiday. What I enjoyed most this year were the smiles and thank you’s I got from the little kids who were still able to enjoy the holiday, and who couldn’t wait to go home and tear the wrapping off that first piece of candy.

So, what did you do for Halloween? What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? How did you spend Halloween as a kid? Leave a comment!

* Pumpkin photo by D. Sharon Pruitt