Halloween is my favorite holiday. There are no gifts to buy. No cards to send. (Well…I guess you can send them, but people don’t expect dozens of envelopes stuffing their mailbox.) No halls to deck or hundreds of errands to run. You just need a costume, a few scary movies, a couple of bags of fun-sized candy and you are ready to celebrate. If you were to rate holidays based on preparation to fun ration, Halloween would come out on top every time.
Perhaps it’s not a surprise that the performer in me loves a holiday that involves costumes. During my childhood, my mother would ask me and my brother what we wanted to dress up as months before the holiday. No matter what strange or crazy thing we dreamed up, she would find a way to make it. Over the years, I was Strawberry Shortcake (shocking, right?), a nun, an English bobby and, perhaps my favorite costume, a monkey trainer complete with a stuffed monkey who was dressed in a costume that said he was a people trainer. Every year, we’d don our costumes for school and stay dressed in them until long after the candy was counted. We would join forces with our friends, ring doorbells, eat snacks and even watch a scary movie or two. We laughed. We screamed. We had the time of our life.
Now that I’m a mom, I have found the joy in watching my son experience the thrill of Halloween. His costume choices thus far have been fascinating—Mickey Mouse, a Blues Brother, and this year a Wiggle. He approaches the choosing with great joy and can’t wait until its time to race around the neighborhood ringing bells and shouting Trick-or-Treat.
Unlike most kids, however, mine doesn’t want the candy. He collects it in his bag because he knows that’s what kids do. Once he gets home, he pulls out the pretzels and Goldfish and the fabulous mini-containers of PlayDough and ditches the rest. He has no interest in the Snickers and Toostie Rolls that are given away in droves. He’ll freak if you attempt to give him an M&M. (But he’ll happily take broccoli from you….don’t ask. I don’t know how this happened!)
Perhaps it is my son’s lack of interest in all things candy that makes me fully appreciate the holiday that is Halloween. Yes, a lot of kids love the candy, but I would argue that they would enjoy themselves if everyone handed out stickers and PlayDough. Because even though Halloween is supposed to be filled with all things scary, what it is really filled with is fun. And fun is something we can never have enough of. It’s no wonder, as adults, Halloween still holds magic.
So…in the spirit of Halloween I ask—what is your favorite part of Halloween? The candy? The scary stories? Or the costumes?