From HELLoween to HalloWEAN!

notohalloween

Halloween time has become hell for my family so I’m weaning us off of celebrating. Here are 12 reasons from previous years to justify why I’m doing this. Note: They’re listed in the order they always occur on the calendar.

September 23 —  While shopping in Costco, an innocent little voice whispers in my ear, “Be organized this year and buy this economy, ginormous fun-sized variety bag of candy!” And then (because Costco doesn’t sell matching sized bags of discipline or willpower) I pull in the driveway and a much louder voice shouts, “Kids, get downstairs this instant and hide this bag of candy from your mother until Oct. 31. And don’t cave, no matter what!”

September 28 — My period begins = The Four C’s begin. (Coercing, Coaxing, Convincing, and Cajoling) But the children stay strong and refuse to tell me where the bag of sugar is stashed. Courageous kids I’ve raised.

September 29 — I ransack the house.”Listen,” I say. “I’m a grown-up. I don’t have to take this nonsense from you brats. I can just get in my car and buy more cancer, err candy.” When I return from Walmart, my sister waits with outstretched arms. I shamefully hand the sweet package over to her and cry, “Put this where you know I won’t come across it.” I also hint that she should hide all my children as well.

Oct. 1 — The annual masquerade party invitation arrives from my well-meaning sister-in-law. Immediately the “S or S” dilemma begins. “Spooky 0r Sexy?” Should I be something frightening that either grosses people out and scares them off?  Or something seductive that (let’s face it) will be even more terrifying! The costume companies have solved this issue by sexualizing everything creepy anyhow. Witches, ghosts, devils, skeletons, mummies, brides of frankenstein are all sold with garter belts and black fishnet stockings.

Oct. 15 — My kids begin to pester me for unusual items to construct creative (and by creative I mean elaborate and expensive) homemade costumes so they can win their school’s contest. Why don’t I have plastic butterflies, metal rivets, black pearls, gold spray paint, white feathers, a sarape, and a pirate hat in our garage? What was I thinking tossing out the cardboard box the new refrigerator came in?  Am I the meanest mom EVER?  Yes, I think I’ll own up to that. It’s a great costume idea, actually!

Oct. 16 — I start tossing out suggestions for no fuss, no muss (cheap!) costumes. Note: they all hinge heavily on wordplay. 1. Wear a fancy dress and draw whiskers on your face. You’re a “Party Animal!” 2. Don’t shave and carry around bowls you threw on the wheel in ceramics class (You’re “Hairy Potter!”)  3. Glue a bunch of sponges and rolls of paper towels on your body. You’re “Self-Absorbed!” 4. Write, “Yay Ceiling!” on a tee-shirt and carry pom-poms. You’re a “Ceiling-Fan!” 5. Wear really dark pants and shirt and stick postage stamps all over your clothes, threaten people a lot. You’re “Blackmail!”

Oct. 24 — We only have one week left. Why isn’t our house decorated like the rest of the neighborhood?

Eldest Daughter: Can we at least stick pumpkin decals on our door and hang spiderwebs in our trees?

Me: Sorry kids, we’re Jewish remember? And Halloween was originally a Paganistic holiday and we’re against Pagans.

Youngest Son: But they’re so cute waddling their black and white bodies.

Youngest Daughter:  Are we against Madagascar and Happy Feet too? Those movies are also about penguins.

Oct. 29 — While doing a once-a-year, heavy-duty, deep housecleaning, I find BOTH large packages of candy inside the vacuum in place of its usual bag. As I flush the last empty wrapper down the toilet, I realize I have an unbelievable bellyache — but if I recover in time, I’m thinking I can just go to my sister-in-law’s party dressed as an Insulin Shot.

Oct. 31 — Replenish candy at supermarket at 5 pm. The doorbell rings incessantly, triggering my dog’s ADHD.

Oct. 31, 5:15 pm.  — Place sign on door, “Sorry, out of Candy. Please don’t egg house while I’m at a 12-step meeting finding a sponsor.”

Nov. 1 — Hide kid’s pillowcases of Trick-or-Treat loot from them so they can’t eat it without asking me for permission. Think this over. Request they hide it from me instead, but this time somewhere I’ll really NEVER find it!

Nov. 2 — Get a strong urge to finally fold the 8 baskets of clean clothes that have been cluttering laundry room since last Halloween. And BINGO! Now I have to Google, “Dentists who weigh your trick-or-treat candy and buy it back from you for five bucks a pound.”

3 weeks before next year’s Halloween — Decide that it’s really a pretty good holiday after finding what my children made:

candy-bar-poster

Leave me a comment about this and if you can’t think of anything to say, tell me your favorite costume!!

 

 

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Boo! (Or is it Boo Hoo?)

watermelonThere was always a lot of crying around our home come Halloween night. I come from a long line of Harrowing Halloween Haters, so my disdain is justifiably genetic.

Two weeks in advance, my own mother would buy the mandatory bag of Hershey’s fun size bars only to partake in a little too much fun. She would then need to replenish the bag before All Hallows’ Eve arrived. Six different times. When we’d run out of candy by 7 p.m. on the night of the actual festivities, mom simply tacked a sign on our front door stating, “At store buying Snickers.” And then another notice beneath it, “Please don’t egg our house … haven’t you heard of binge eating?”

Now that I have children of my own, there’s always the same conversation regarding this holiday and it always goes off in some bizarre tangent.  Listen . . .

Daughter: Can we decorate the outside of our house for the holiday?

Me: Why certainly.

Feeling organized, I proceed to put up exactly one pumpkin, one gobble/gobble turkey, and a token Santa Claus. Why not? Stores do it.

Daughter: But we wanted scary and evil looking things on the front door.

Me:  Sorry, Halloween was originally a Paganist celebration.  We’re not into Pagans.

Youngest Son: But I love Madagascar and Happy Feet! They’re so cute when they waddle their black and white bodies.

Huh??

And don’t get me started on overtly sexy costumes. Why does a wicked witch need garter belts? To hold up her black lace fishnet stockings, of course. I think the holiday greeting needs to be changed to “Trick-or-Discreet!”

We're DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

We’re DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

Costumes are also quite costly. I’m as creative as the next Martha, but shelling out $120 at Party City for a cowgirl outfit (with six-inch stiletto heeled boots, mind you!) or spending major money at Michaels craft store for supplies to make an iPhone costume is ridiculous. Anyone can do that. As far as I’m concerned, the real “Trick” in “Trick or Treating” is convincing your child they already own a fantastic costume. In their closet. And it’s free.

Last year, I had my children shove heavy textbooks inside their backpacks, announcing they were dressed-up as Straight-A Students. This season I’m trying a different tactic.

Me: Hey son, wear your black and white striped shirt to the party and be a referee. And as for you sweet girl, remember that white flower-girl dress? You’ll be a perfect Angel.

Daughter: (stamping feet) I want an Elsa costume from Frozen and I want it now.

Me: Oh good, it’s settled. You’ll go as Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka, you spoiled little brat!

As for me?  My lovely sister-in-law throws an annual (and elaborate!) costume party, refusing to let me in if I just wear a tee shirt proclaiming, “This IS my costume.” She insists on something different each and every year. Seven years ago, I bought a frilly (and versatile) little pink dress and so far I’ve been a little toddler girl holding a lollypop, Little Miss Muffet holding a tuffet, Little Bo Peep holding a sheep (alright a stuffed lamb) BUT then I gave it new life by adding a veil and calling myself a child bride! The following year, I stuck a pillow in my abdomen and became a pregnant child bride. This year I’m wearing red contact lenses and I’ll be the Evil Little Girl who comes out of elevators. I love repurposing.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you're trying to be Little Miss Muffet.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you’re trying to be Little Bo Peep.

What a difference a veil can make - - instant Child Bride!

What a difference a veil can make – – instant Child Bride!

But next year (In keeping with my true feelings for Halloween) I’m going as a mash-up of Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch and uh….Gretel.  Why Gretel? Because I love alliteration and it works with my “Gr” theme.  But I’ll be a sultry, sexy Gretel with mini skirted, low cut bodice rags.  Watch out Hansel!

Happy Halloween.  What’s been your most creative costume?