Halloween has always been a fun holiday for me. As a child, it was exciting because I got to dress up in a costume that allowed me to look and act silly. Add to it all the candy from our night of trick-or-treating, and what could be better?
When the teenage years came and I became too “old” and too “cool” for dressing up, my friends and I would still go out, carry around a can of shaving cream and make messes out of each other. Sometimes we’d stop by a house or two, whip out our just-in-case candy bag and yell, “trick-or-treat!” If someone asked what we were supposed to be, we would have an answer ready: “Giant marshmallows.”
Candy and fun, that’s what it was all about. Now that I’m an adult, the definition hasn’t changed for me, except that I’m not the one who is dressing up and getting the candy anymore. I now get to relish my children’s good time, which has become just as enjoyable.
We live out in the country where the houses are too far apart for trick-or-treaters. So I’ve never had the opportunity to stand at my door and see all of the costumed children ask for candy.
On the one hand, I would love to see all the cute little boys and girls in their scary, pretty or fuzzy costumes. On the other hand, what if I lived in one of those houses where the pack of children swarming in never ended? I suspect it would get tiring, not to mention expensive.
I suppose I would always have the option of shutting my lights off and becoming that bah-humbug the kids sneer at. But who wants to be that parent?
Since I don’t have to make this choice, there has never been any fighting over who has to stay home to man the door and who gets to take the kids out. Instead, my husband and I have always been able to enjoy the night with our two daughters.
We help them into their costumes as their smiles of excitement light up the night. We take them to town and walk with them through the village as they excitedly race up to each door screaming, “trick-or-treat.”
While we’re out, as I’m watching my girls and keeping an eye on the traffic, I can’t help but notice all the other children dressed up, giggling in their costumes of the night. This is a happy time for them – kids being kids. And I love being a witness to it all.
The fun doesn’t end there. At home, we’ll sift through the goodies our daughters worked hard to collect. One of the great things about taking our kids trick-or-treating is that they get more than enough candy, and they are usually willing to share it with Mommy and Daddy. They may put up a little resistance at first, but they eventually take pity on us and allow us to indulge in our favorite treats.
Excitement and smiles – that’s what Halloween is all about. It doesn’t have to be about ghosts and goblins and being scared. It can just be about kids enjoying themselves. These are memories in the making, ones I have already come to cherish. After all, one day my girls will turn into teenagers who are way too cool to go out with Mom and Dad. My oldest is 10 now, and I can already feel it slipping away.
That’s when Halloween will be just another day for me – so I’ll enjoy the fun while it’s here.