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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ugh! Halloween

I really dislike halloween.
I don't like being scared. I don't think it is funny to scare people. I am easily startled. My husband knows to start banging on the wall of the hallway before he gets to the laundry room. Otherwise I jump out of my skin when he simply just shows up and starts talking to me.

No this is not some result from a traumatic halloween as a child. In fact my mom always made it fun. But it was more about candy and dressing up than about being scary. These days, walk into any elementary school and there will be more than several kids dressed up with blood oozing from their mouths or heads, etc. UGH!

Another reason I dislike halloween: creating the costumes. Even by making them myself it still costs more money than I want to spend on something that will be worn for only a few hours. And money being as tight as it is this year, it is even more irritating. So this year our costumes are things that can be worn more than once.

Samantha is a fifties girl: poodle skirt (reusable), white t-shirt (reusable), a scarf and some sunglasses (reusable). Rachel is a gymnast: a leotard from last year's cat costume, tights (reusable), and slippers (reusable). Hannah is a doctor. I am making her scrub pants and a scrub top (reusable) and she is borrowing my stethoscope. Nathalie is an Indian. Her costume is the only one that really isn't reusable. Abby can't decide. She is either "too old to dress up" or she wants to be Abigail from the Bible. If she decides to go with the Bible character, a sheet will work nicely for her costume (reusable if I don't cut it!)

The third reason is the hype. The public schooled kids have been counting down the days for the last two weeks. This is worse than the Christmas hype. Yesterday the children were informed that if I heard another discussion about how many hours and minutes to the school's halloween party, I would keep them home for that day!

Then of course there is the whole, Christian versus halloween debate. I fall somewhere in the middle. In my opinion, letting children dress up in costumes and beg for candy is not inherently evil. It is the humans who have made this fun day into something devilish; those who use the day as an excuse to run wild and create all kinds of mischief.

So I will make the costumes. We will lock our animals in their barns and leave the dogs loose in the pastures. We will drive 26 miles to visit my fourth grade teacher. A few years ago I learned that my kids were the only ones to visit her and she looks forward to making them their bags of fresh popcorn every year. I now view it as our act of kindness to visit her on halloween. At Christmas she'll send me a card telling me how much she enjoyed the costumes and talking with the girls.

At my mom's we'll have a nice dinner, cupcakes, and tons (and I mean that literally) of candy. We'll bring a movie for the girls to watch and mom and I will drink tea, eat way too much candy, and solve all of the world's problems.
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