Friday, October 30, 2015

The Cowboy-Hobbit-Pirate Cycle and Other Musings about My Least Favorite Holiday

Confession: I really dislike Halloween. I know this is the favorite holiday of many of my friends, but for me it is just a lot of stress and pressure.

1. I kind of hate carving pumpkins--out of all the holiday traditions, this is by far my least favorite, but year after year this task falls to me as my husband is always busy at work. For one thing, I'm pretty sure I have some sensory issues, so scooping out pumpkin innards is not my idea of fun. For another, I find it hard to spend money on a pumpkin just to cut holes in it and then throw it away a week later when it starts to decay on my front porch. Also, because of the aforementioned money spending issue, we usually only get one or two pumpkins. I have four children. You do the math. There are always disagreements as to what the finished Jack-o-lantern(s) should be. My kids don't usually go for the simple, traditional triangle eyes, and nose--they want things like "the Eye of Sauron" or a dragon that shoots real flames from a flame thrower that is rigged up to it (not making this up--it was actually discussed a couple of weeks ago).

I am kind of proud of our chunky Cyberman pumpkin from a couple of years ago, though.

2. Pressure for great costumes--my favorite way of doing costumes is to pull out the costume box and tell my boys to go to town. I can totally relate to Charlie Brown's costume.

 I see all these darling, family coordinated costumes from my friends on Facebook and Instagram and I think, "there is no way I can think of something that creative/pull something like that off without a ton of time and money".  I just can't compete. We suffer from what I'll call the "Cowboy-Hobbit-Pirate Cycle." I've tried to come up with some great things in the past with limited success. To be fair, I have had some great ideas, but getting everyone in a family of 6 on board with coordinated costumes is not the easiest thing to do. There are a few costumes we always return to though--army guy, greaser, cowboy, hobbit, pirate.

3. Creepy things--I'm just not a huge fan of spiders, demons, monsters, dismembered hands and other creepy things. I love a good suspenseful movie, but I've never had much appreciation for gore. I usually close my eyes if I'm watching something and blood or gore is involved.

4. Giving candy away--Who wants to spend a ton of money on candy just to give it all away? If I'm going to spend money on candy I want to consume it myself. Just being honest here.

Lest you think I am a total party pooper, there are a couple of things I DO like about Halloween.

1. Seeing how excited my kids get.

2. Halloween food--I can get behind a themed dinner. I have a friend who did a Great Pumpkin dinner--Charlie Brownies for dessert? Brilliant.

Graveyard cake from a few years ago.
Candy Corn themed dinner from a few years ago.

3. The mom and dad candy tax--I have dibs on any Snickers Almond bars!

4. Seeing how clever and cute other people's costumes are. I can totally appreciate a clever costume. I just don't want to go to the work myself.

5. I know I'm kind of contradicting myself, but even though I don't love spending the money on candy to give away, I love handing out candy to all the kids who come to our door. I also like taking my kids trick-or-treating because some people are so nice I feel a little bit of faith in humanity restored and I feel more connected to my community.

6. Spooky music. I use Halloween as an excuse to listen to Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor by Bach every year.

7. Cemeteries. I know they aren't really a Halloween thing, but people seem to think they are. I just love visiting cemeteries. I find them both peaceful and fascinating--so much history in these places.

From a cemetery in North Molton, Devon, UK.
8. Pumpkins in general. Just not the carving them part. They are so pretty!

So, I guess technically there are actually more things that I like about Halloween than things that I don't like. I'm thinking this will be a holiday that I appreciate a lot more when I am a grandparent and someone else is doing all the work and I just get to enjoy seeing the cute kids in costumes.


Heather Oxborrow said...

I laughed and cried reading this. I can totally relate in all of it, so glad I'm not the only one. Love to you all!

Ida said...

Fun post. Some people love the holiday and I'm one of them. Although I must admit that as I've gotten older it's becoming less exciting for me. Still I enjoy putting out the decorations and seeing the kids in their costumes and such.