Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I used to think about my costume months in advance because in the old days the term "Trick or Treat" meant you had to trick neighbors by dressing up so that they could not guess who you were. If they couldn't guess you, you received a treat. However we always got the treat even when they did guess us. I tried very hard to carry this custom over when my kids were young so that they could enjoy the holiday as much as I did.
We moved into our present house during the summer when the kids were very young. My oldest daughter and son were in first grade and kindergarten respectively. In addition the bus stop was right in front of our house. Since the development was still in it's infancy, yet there were a couple of streets behind us and many in front of us, I decided on our first Halloween to introduce myself to the kids in the neighborhood.
The first bus collected the kids for the Middle School. Thinking that they were older and less scared I dressed up as a vampire - I did a good job if I say so myself. Well, they certainly weren't prepared for me charging out of the garage and surprising them at the bus stop. Nor were they prepared for me to chase the bus down the street to the next bus stop. I had a good time and couldn't stop laughing.
Shortly thereafter it was time for the elementary bus. I thought dressing up as a vampire might be too much for them. This was the first time that I learned people have a genuine fear of clowns. I always thought clowns were funny so I naturally thought that was a good idea for the younger kids and I wasn't wrong. However, a couple of the mothers of the kids had a very strong phobia of clowns - they were scared! I didn't chase their bus down the street.
While the kids were at school I prepared for the nightly visit of gremlins and goblins and whatever else might come by. Basically we transformed one side of the garage into a haunted area. I planned to stand outside in my vampire outfit, scaring and giving out the treats. It was a success. We had a line of kids who introduced themselves to us and told us where they lived. From that Halloween on we progressed in our decorating and scaring the kids.
What was even better was that our neighbors on each side of us were as much into Halloween as we were. For years kids went screaming from one house to the next. I guess you know you are doing something right when a couple of the neighborhood kids would go home and change into different outfits and come back.
The most memorable time I can think of was when the kids were in high school, the youngest still in Middle School. I was really getting good at decorating the foyer and living room. We had a sheet dyed black covering the entrance into the dining room. Two teenagers, a girl and her boyfriend, came to the door. I was dressed up as usual and invited them to come in. They were very hesitant as they did not live in our neighborhood and of course didn't know us. At any rate the young lady entered first. We had the eerie music on, blue lights and spiders, etc. She was scared but continued to encourage her boyfriend to come in. Finally he did. As he stood in the foyer with his back to the black sheet covering the dining room he kept saying that he knew someone was going to jump out from behind the sheet. The more he kept claiming that was going to happen the more I kept reinforcing that it wasn't - wrong.
Unknown to me one of my kid's had called and needed to be picked up from somewhere. At any rate my husband is the one who took the call so he was the designated person to do the pick up. In so doing the only way to get out was through the dining room. Now hubby is 6' 4". As he emerged from behind the sheet the young man jumped, screamed and darted out the door - never to be seen again!
Our neighborhood kids are now in their late 20's and early 30's. I hear from them when their home always asking if I'm going to decorate for Halloween. I don't do it anymore.
Hubby's favorite part of Halloween was when the kids returned from their trick or treating and poured their bag full of goodies on the floor to be examined prior to eating. I always enjoyed seeing what they got. We always gave out peanut butter filled eyeballs.
In the old days we used pillow cases, then came the paper shopping bags and now the plastic buckets. I wish we had had the re-usable canvas bags that they now have for trick or treat. I made some up to see.
The other thing I noticed of late is that people are starting to have more Halloween parties rather then taking their kids around to various neighborhoods. Therefore I've designed some complete Halloween invitations. I like the inside of the cards better then the covers.
There are many more plus stickers to match the invitations.
Ah, enough Halloween for now.
Have a Firecrackin Great Monday!