The Boring Word About Halloween

October 30, 1985

Ghosts with their sheets dragging, witches with hats askew, and little clowns too tired to smile – that’s Halloween to me. After 19 years of dressing trick or treaters I’ve come to the conclusion that Halloween is the one holiday where the kids really rule the day.

What other day can kids play in their mother’s make-up, get Dad to hide behind the neighbor’s bushes and collect enough candy to open their own store.

At our house the discussion on costumes began when the first jack-o-lantern showed up in the stores. For the first two or three years I was in control. As a result we wore costumes that doubled as pj’s. However, once they could voice their opinions pj’s were out.

Over the years we’ve been the traditional fairy princess (in Mom’s evening gown), football player, Indian and witch. But there always comes the year when one of your offspring decides to “make his own”. There was the year Chip wrapped himself in computer tape – and it rained; and the year David dressed in garbage bags – and they tore. A hint to new parents: always be prepared with a sheet in case you need a replacement costume.

Each year Wade and I would discuss who was going “to take” the children and who would stay home to pass out the treats. The loser started out at 6:30 with three little goblins so excited they couldn’t stand still. Living in a rural area we drove. Everyone should experience getting three costumed kids in and out of a car every five minutes. In addition you (and the car) are expected to stay out of sight so the neighbors won’t know who’s calling.

Now after all this work our children came home with their bags of goodies and we began the great divide. As each child placed his candy in his special bowl the unwanted pieces went into dad’s bowl. In those early years our kids were very fussy about their candy. One would not eat nuts, another would die before coconut crossed his lips and another turned his nose up at peanut butter, so Dad made out pretty well. But as the years have gone by tastes have become less discriminating and Dad doesn’t get as much anymore (just as well since we can now pinch a good deal more than an inch). They also learned that if you kept the stuff you could trade. Since then we have developed a whole economic system based on candy bars.

This year our guys are going to stay home and pass out the treats. That is if I can find time to get out and buy something that doesn’t cost a fortune, and doesn’t have nuts, coconut or peanut butter (we have to eat the leftovers).