Halloween decorations

When I was a kid Halloween was very low budget in my house. We lived in the country so there weren’t a whole lot of houses around, which meant my siblings and I weren’t overly invested in donning costumes to visit a dozen houses. But we knew we wouldn’t be successful gaining access to the candy stashes if we didn’t at least put forth some effort. So my costumes usually consisted of my dad’s oversized suit jacket, some charcoal rubbed on cheeks and chin for a beard and a stick thrown over my shoulder with a bandana hanging from it. Not the most inventive, but hey, it got the job done at 4:00 Halloween night.

When my children were young we lived in a neighborhood by the elementary school. LOTS of parents and children roamed the streets. It looked like the trick-or-treating scene out of ET (one of my favorite movies of all time). I was the one who stayed home and doled out candy … in costume of course (a witch dress and hat that slipped on after dinner with no hassles and served me for many, many years). The pumpkins the family had intricately carved were lit up in the front window. But still … it was all for one night and low-tech. The pumpkins were recycled the next day. No fanfare. No hassles.

NOW it seems Halloween has gone the way of Christmas. What’s up with all the decorations people put on their front porches? Everything from blow up pumpkins to witches stirring cauldrons (a mere $160 at Wal-Mart thank you very much). Seriously? I can barely get decorations up for Christmas and then they stay there until nearly Easter. Do neighbors actually expect people to put the cornstalks up around the porch posts and fall leaves in the window boxes?

Lord help me if that’s the case. I’m soooo not into that. When did Halloween become this crazy commercialized holiday? It seems to have snuck up on me like last year’s extra weight and I’m not very happy about either situation.

Even costumes are crazy. Rarely do I see the sheet over the head costume of my youth. (Hey, don’t knock it. If four other siblings do this it means everyone can hit the same house several times to get the good stuff … who would know?) Now, babies show up at my door dolled up like pea pods and cows. Yeah, they’re adorable, but we all know it’s not that 18 month old who’s snarfing down the candy. And don’t be coming to my house with the four year old sibling who’s holding a second bag for baby sister. Cut me some slack. If you can’t eat it … you don’t get to trick-or-treat for it.

I know. I’m the Scrooge of Halloween. I’ve completely lost the spirit. The Grinch of Samhain who’s heart just isn’t in it. I just can’t help myself. I’m feeling the pressure to keep up with my neighbors and I don’t like it. Hey, the mall is decorated for Christmas. Maybe I’ll just put up my Christmas decorations as well and call it good for the year. What do you think?

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