I LOVE Halloween. Absolutely love it. The kid who knew stranger danger a little too much and yet, Halloween has an opposite effect on me; sure I’ll go out and beg for candy at a stranger’s house. That’s not odd at all. As a kid, I remember dressing up as an angel and at some point, my cardboard wings got ensnared in a neighbor’s faux spider webbing. That was probably more terrifying than greeting strangers in our neighborhood and I don’t know why. We had a young girl who lived in our neighborhood who was abducted (and sadly, killed). I feel, in the interest of protecting that family’s privacy, it would be important to not share her name and possibly bring up painful memories for them. I was so young when it happened in 1991, I do not recall the neighbor although she was someone who attended my elementary school. There are ground rules in my home now though that are directly tied to this tragic event, but still, Halloween is one of those occasions I drop my guard around strangers.
Both my family growing up permitted us to trick or treat and for awhile, my husband and I allowed our daughter to trick or treat. One of the things I’ve enjoyed seeing over the years is the concept of “trunk or treating” since it is easier to supervise kids (both from possible predators and being hit by cars who don’t see kids in dark costumes as they cross the street). Trick of treating is a fond memory from my childhood and I like that in different ways, we’ve provided some semblance of that experience for our own child. My siblings and I used to take our haul and set up shop in our bedroom, perusing each other’s stash. Deciding the value of fun size snickers versus a fun size bag of M&M’s or a few Tootsie Rolls exemplified our biggest decisions to make each year. Being an only child, our daughter does not get that same experience, but we find ways to make the holiday special. This year, in lieu of trick or treating herself, she is passing out the goods (with our supervision, of course). We may not have candies set up for kids with food allergies, but we crafted some goody bags with bubbles and stickers as a safe alternative–also making sure to nab a teal faux pumpkin to place on the porch so those allergy prone kiddos know we have something other than snacks to offer.
I wanted to share today I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a milder version of Halloween. I was willing to watch (or as much as possible) scary movies like “Poltergist” and “Cudo” as a kid, but the adult me likes mild, like I like my taco seasoning. Surprises don’t sit well with me. I don’t want the faux blood and mannequins, the witch that pops up when you walk by, and I absolutely don’t want to see the fake entrails falling out onto the floor. I powered through as much of “The Northman” recently that I could–drawing the line at the point where a guy is shown on screen with numerous organs cascading everywhere. I was DONE. My kid-like Halloween festivities are zen inspiring (mostly). A lot of my decor screams I’ve read all the Marie Kondo books I could get my hands on and found the things that spark joy, and only joy. My mild side is also budget mindful.
The past few months we’ve paid an additional $700 per month towards the mortgage principal and if I go too Halloween decor crazy, I sacrifice a larger goal for a short term experience. To make up for the modest spending, I am soaking in all the Instagram love for the fun side of Halloween I can. Lately, I’ve found a number of amusing ghost posts. These two are pretty great finds:
My plan this year had been to dress like Jessie from Pokemon this year. Will I go through with it? I don’t know. I might need to look for one of her vacation outfits to recreate the look and I’m still wondering how to craft that crazy long hair (and how to keep it in place). For now though, I leave you with a photo of me dressed up in high school with two of my siblings. I wanted to find a few little kid Halloween costume photos I know exist, but those must still be at my parents’ house. And before I forget, a little thank you to my current readers. My choice to deviate from talking about student loan forgiveness this month is entirely related to the fact nothing has happened at this point. I’ll treat you all to a discussion on what my student loan forgiveness looks like when it actually happens. Let’s hope it actually happens and is a treat, less a trick. I don’t care for pranks.