Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007 - 8:30 a.m.

Hallween is All Good!

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Halloween used to be my favorite time of year, next to Christmas.  Looking back, it has to be the dressing up part.  As a little girl I had a huge bag of my mom's old clothes in my closet and loved to play dress up.  I had pants, and shirts and old dresses (a couple of which I am steamed she later gave away after I went to college:  yes, that is how long I kept them.)  Its that way with all little girls, yes?  But, that sense of fun never really left me as in high school and college I always donned costumes when I could.  And now, with my theatrical life, I can put costumes on at any time of the year.  Too bad Cosplay wasn't around when I was young and carefree or I would have been all into it.  But Halloween was always fun for me.  Pity I was always such a goody two shoes and never really used the occasion to engage in bad behavior, but yet always availed myself to be designated driver (even won a special award on a band trip for my ongoing services in that regard when I was a senior in High School) for any of my friends who felt the need to indulge, as teenagers are wont to do.  Still, one can have a good time when one's head is in the game and unencumbered by chemicals.

Trick or treating when I was a kid was something we did all over the neighborhood and you could hand out anything back then including apples and popcorn balls.  Granted, it was best that you got those things from people you knew, but, you could still do it.  However, I remember that we were not allowed to eat the Pixie Stix we received because back then, the tubes were not sealed shut and Ronald Clark O'Bryan had recently killed his son with cyanide laced Pixie Stix.  We also collected money for UNICEF with little cardboard boxes we picked up from church.  Only rarely did you happen upon  a house with a sign on the door stating that they were a Christian family who did not participate in the Satanic or Pagan goings on that was Halloween so please do not knock.  Funny, I grew up in a Christian family as well (granddaughter of a Methodist minister to be exact) and WE never saw it like that.   It was just a night to dress up and get candy, and have fun.  I think it was as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids.  One of my most vivid memories of Trick-or-Treating happened when I was about 5.  We knew our next door neighbors very well (its just not like that anymore unfortunately) and dad took us there straight away to ring the doorbell.  She answered the door dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West, complete with green face and black pointy hat, and I SCREAMED and ran off to hide behind my dad who was standing some feet away watching.  I don't remember if he was able to talk me into going back up to the door to get the candy though.  It was pretty traumatic.  I was only 5 after all.

It used to be the most hooliganistic behavior on Halloween night was the annual neighborhood shaving cream fight that occurred at our intersection in our subdivision around 9 or 10 that night amongst the teenagers, but who were probably still too young to drive.  A lot of this happened in our front yard much to the chagrin of my parents who were none too keen on having shaving cream settling into the grass.  There was probably toilet paper involved as well but I suppose mom and dad just sucked it up and went and hosed down the lawn in the morning.  I don't recall ever participating in this activity, most likely because I was not allowed to do so, or by the time I was old enough, it didn't happen anymore.  Oh were that all the bad behavior that happens now on Halloween.  A massive shaving cream duel is nothing, NOTHING compared to how some use the night to be assholes.

Halloween eventually became more and more a night of rioting, vandalism, and law breaking by many who saw it as an excuse for bad behavior, but has never been a night that many religious fundamentalists would claim a night of Satanic happenings.  But, I am happy to say that I perceive that this has gotten better and now that I am a parent, I am excited to have my kids continue this time honored tradition.  Last year we tried to get Travis to go out Trick-or-Treating, but as soon as we were done taking those pictures, he started throwing a fit, so we had to abandon the idea.  This morning when he woke up, I asked him if he knew what today was, and he said, "Halloween."  I asked him if he knew what he was going to be for Halloween, and he said "Harry Potter."  So there it is.  My kid is going as Harry Potter tonight, and the wee one will be dressed in some Halloween jammies to go out.  I am really excited.  I can't wait to see them all dressed.  Hopefully they will get as much happiness out of it as I once did.

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Hallween is All Good! - Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007