Our Happy Halloween


I spent a lifetime fearing Halloween. As a child, our family would turn off the lights, lock the door, secure anything that should be secured, i.e. the pumpkins on the front door step. We couldn’t risk them getting smashed into our front door - and head out to dinner. The only night of the year we went out for dinner.  Restaurants are safe and empty on Halloween. Waitresses might have added a little witch hat flare, but that was more silly and less grotesque.

There were a few All Saints Eve parties at church. We were angels or Ruth and Naomi – My sister and I. My little brother was Joseph. There was some candy, but there were games and songs and always three ladies dresses as angels in silly glasses sing a silly song.

So Halloween meant going to church to watch silly angels dance or to a restaurant for dinner to order food from a witch.

On the other hand, my dear husband grew up with games and costumes and candy and visiting neighbors they never saw except this one time a year. It was a holiday – it was FUN!

Fast forward – Our children arrive and along with deciding how we will educate them and what instruments they will learn, we try to figure out how to balance the fear and fun of Halloween.

From the start, it was clear that we would design our own costumes. The first few were a bit interesting and when I tried to paint sweet Amelia’s face like a vulture, she looked quite freaky and grotesque and nothing like a National Geographic Vulture.

This year was the year of the dragon. After a week of spare time sewing, we had three decent dragon costumes. Now the trick or treat part. We live in a new neighborhood. I had visions of horrible bloody ghosts and skeletons and zombies wondering around the road screaming and moaning at my children. I envisioned lots of stapled together face-masks green and black and bloody. I hate blood. 


 The children were wondering what our trick or treat plan was for the evening. Of course it wasn’t an easy call. George had a midnight deadline. I am 33 weeks pregnant. There wasn’t a choice but to hit the horror of the neighborhood. We step into the street. The streets were empty. Our neighborhood friends are the only others out and in their homemade costumes – cute as buttons. We circle the block visiting with sweet old ladies and retired couples happy to dote on the children and dump piles of candy in their bags. We finally met our neighbors and none of them were bleeding.

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