This post originally ran on October 28, 2011, but it still perfectly captures my thoughts about this season.
Nobody I know is lukewarm about Halloween: they either love it or they hate it.
There is a lot about Halloween that I don’t like. Its got a shady past, for starters. And all the scary decorations my neighbors have in their front yards—which have been on sale at Target since August 1—have me driving home with my kids in a weird, fuel-inefficient, zigzaggy pattern so I can bypass the seriously scary yards in favor of the relatively innocuous ghost trees and giant inflatable black cats.
Costumes for kids are generally cute and fun. But costumes for adults range from the objectionable to the awkward (I am shocked at the number of people coming to my site searching “matching girl and dog Kate Middleton costumes.” What does that even mean?) Top choices for women this year include “sexy queen bee,” “sexy pirate,” and “Jersey Shore.”
And the candy! My kids have a fair number of food sensitivities, and I’ve spent hours answering questions like “Why can’t we have twinkies? Why can’t we eat skittles?” Am I really going to send my kids out to canvas the neighborhood for smarties and laffy taffy by the bucketful?
Well, yes. Yes I am.
Because Halloween is the one day of the year where our neighbors come to our doorstep, and we visit theirs. And I love that about Halloween.
We don’t live in a real tight-knit neighborhood. We know all (well, most) of our neighbor’s first names, but not their last. I only have a few phone numbers.
But on Halloween, the kids love to don their costumes. They’ve been planning for months—this year we’ve got a football player, Little Red Riding Hood, a princess of some sort, and a puppy dog. We’ll ring the doorbells and take it slowly and chat with the neighbors, and we will make sure we visit the families who’ve only recently moved in. It’s tricky—because we try to avoid the super-scary decorations—but we’ll do our best.
And at my house, we’ll be ready and waiting with our porch lights on and good candy (or glowsticks) in our bucket.
Because there’s only one day a year when the neighborhood comes to our doorstep, and it’s Halloween. I love that about Halloween and I don’t want to miss it.
Where do you stand on Halloween? Love it or hate it?
photo by Halloween Haunt