Thursday, November 2, 2006

Halloween around here is a big deal. Of course, when I was little, trick-or-treating was a big deal. Halloween was still an innocent holiday focused on dressing up, pumpkins, and of course candy. In recent years, it has seem to become a religious holiday–according to those who don’t celebrate it.

I never ever remember someone when we were little not celebrating Halloween because “its the devil’s holiday.” But, today it seems to be a hobby of many evangelical to share the good news with the children of the world that Halloween is the devil’s holiday. Please, spare yourself. My kids love it and as long as I can keep that influence away from them, I will. It is amazing but true, after trick-or-treating my whole life, I am still not a Satan worshiper.

And so the adventure begins…Pumpkins? Check. Scary porch? Check. Costumes for the kids? Check. Costumes for mom and dad? Check.

Yes…I have started to dress up again. Part of the fun for me was always creating the costume and making it myself, whatever it was. I was Diana Ross, a punk rocker, a giant baby, a pair of dice with my friend, and even a sequined belly dancer that I sewed myself (couldn’t have been older than thirteen at the time). Of course, I quit dressing up for a long time until two years ago when Phillip asked me what I was going to be. You think I need to dress up, I asked. Oh yes, he replied. And there folks, is where I was reunited with my love for costume creation.

Halloween is also a big deal around here because it is Samuel’s birthday. I tried so hard to push him out before midnight, I really didn’t want a Halloween baby, but it has turned out just fine. In the late afternoon we opened presents, here he is with his new soccer ball. He wanted this thing forever!

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Then, we had buttermilk pancakes for dinner (his request), got our outfits on, sang happy birthday and ate cake. I made Samuel an ice cream cake–it has birthday cake smashed inside of it; inspired by Cold Stone Creamery’s Birthday Cake ice cream.

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Then lots of pictures and heading out for trick-or-treating. Nevermind the appearance of the porch. It is new and currently under construction (hence the absence of cedar siding around the front door). Andrew is in a police costume I originally sewed for Phillip (Sam wore it too). He kept pointing at it saying, “Daddy.” Yes, I would tell him, you look just like Daddy!

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Jeff was a cowboy, but it was so cold, he had to wear a coat. And here is my costume…(Mary, doesn’t this remind you of that time we..okay…I put that wig on in Philly and we took all of those crazy pictures…only this time, I wasn’t smoking anything). Pajamas, bathroom, face mask, slippers and curlers.

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It was funny, as I could tell many kids were unsure if it was a costume or not. Phillip originally told me not to do it, as it would “be too embarrassing.” But, I was warm, comfy, cleared away blackheads and rehydrated my skin with an avocado mask. Sweet little Andrew, so confused by the whirlwind of celebrations would say “Happy Birthday” instead of trick-or-treat.

We had a steady flow of tricker-treaters here. Once the boys returned they were in charge of the door. They enjoyed that just as much as going out. One would open the door, one would scoop out the candy and put it in the bags and the littlest one would stand behind them and go “whooohoooo” at the costumes, with a little “Happy Birthday” thrown in there every once in a while.

At the end of it all, the boys sort their candy. They have yet to do that this year because we couldn’t keep Andrew out of it long enough for them to sort it. That will have to be done one day during Andrew’s nap or in a separate room under lock and key. I don’t think I have ever seen a two-year-old so nuts about candy! So, anyway, they sort into two piles: keep and Candy Fairy. They turn the Candy Fairy bag in to us and we take it to Toys R’ Us where the Candy Fairy lives and exchange it for a toy. The more the bag weighs, the bigger the toy they get. Hmm…works quite nicely for all holidays involving excessive candy.

At the end of the day, I tucked Samuel into bed and he said, “I had the happiest birthday” and planted a big wet kiss on my lips. What a wonderful boy.

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