Ghosts of Halloween Future?

Domo with candy corn for Halloween.

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We had an odd Halloween in the O’Hara household – one I didn’t see coming, even though it might only have been predicted for the last fourteen years. I mean, kids do tend to grow up and become independent. They hit the stage where they tolerate their parental units for the basics, like food, clothing allowances and X-box games. It’s just that somehow I didn’t expect Oct. 31 to come and go without one child donning a costume or plotting to maximize the candy haul.

That’s what happened last night, though. Frank was at a sleepover with a friend and Molly worked, then came home to put her nose in a physiology text for the evening.

So the ToolMaster and I spoke of life after kids and tried to sound enthusiastic. We were extra perky at the door, with the princesses and Harry Potters and the bumblebees. We handed out more candy than normal. We stretched our cheeks in wiiide smiles and laughed gleefully and with full heart.

But at a certain point in the evening I may have added some Bailey’s to my  decaf and smelled pipe smoke wafting up from the basement. 

Now understand the ToolMaster doesn’t smoke, but his dad did. The year we lost my father-in-law, my husband tracked down the exact mixture of pipe tobacco he associates with his childhood home. I always know when he’s feeling tender or nostalgic; he uses it like incense.

Sentimentality aside, I figure we had no more than thirty kids for the evening. We have enough candy left to put on five pounds apiece – a source of immense joy to Frank when he called specifically to ask. I guess some things haven’t yet changed. 😉

Oh, and I did have one moment of pure genius, if I say so myself. It was prompted by the sight of the Christmas decorations and gift certificates in the stores. You’ve seen them too, I’m sure. Alberta can’t be the only place they retailers get a jump on the seasons.

What do you think of my proposed tree decorations? With the artificial trees most of us have these days, we could decorate once and have it work from mid October right until New Years. Efficient, yes? Maybe the ultrasonic mister could add a little ambience to the nativity scene we put on the piano. Put some extra curl in Mary’s hair for a change.

How about you? How was your evening? Did you get a lot of kids? What was the best costume you saw all night?

8 thoughts on “Ghosts of Halloween Future?

  1. No trick or treaters came to my door, which is okay. I’ve only seen one kid in my building.

    I saw a dog with a fairy type of costume on. It was cute.

    I watched scary movies, blogged, and read. So, nothing special.

    I should’ve had some Bailey’s like you, though.

  2. Medeia, we never had kids in our apartment building either. That definitely makes for a different Halloween experience. Of course, in those days I was in university and we were poor, so the Bailey’s was non-existent as well.

    As for scary movies, meep. I’m excessively timid when it comes to theater.

  3. I didn’t have any trick-or-treaters either, and I was glad, because I was gambling that I wouldn’t have any. LOL I can see where the change in the Halloween routine would be harder on the parents than the kids. 🙂 Although I remember when a co-worker told a group of us at work about informing her kids she was NOT doing the annual Easter Egg hunt for them anymore, and they were CRUSHED. She said, “They were 22 and 25!” LOL

    1. Halloween is a big deal in our family. Dave and I used to throw an annual party. The kids’ costumes were often Major Productions involving sewing and papier mache. (My favorites include DD going as a hot dog, and DS as a giant pair of pants.) And as they grew out of trick-or-treating, I stepped into the spotlight, making our house a destination with the candy-breathing dragon.

      This year we had about 300 trick-or-treaters, many from neighborhoods where it’s not safe to go knocking on doors. I’d spent the last few days overdoing everything, finishing the castle costume for our house while juggling life stuff. So our town’s 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. trick-or-treat time opened with me sweating and swearing (quietly), wiring the castle topper into place and, unfortunately, cracking the attic window. By the end, it was, as usual, a blast.

      But the future? I dunno. This year DS had to work, so Dave and I did the entire production. And for the first time in 25+ years, we didn’t have pumpkins. I can see us easing out of the whole deal–because really, 10 years from now, do I want to be leaning out the attic window, wrestling with a 19-foot bamboo “curtain rod” with a bunch of castle-painted drapery hanging from it?

      On the other hand, the dragon’s papier mache head is now 10 years old, and I have some cool ideas on what to incorporate in a new head…

  4. *falls over* LOVE the multiholiday tree!

    Oh, Jan, don’t say they’ll stop! Though my daughter confessed to me Monday, this was her last year trick-or-treating–she is 15 and went with her boyfriend and another couple–I guess being asked ‘are any of you over 18’ (even though the answer is no) dampened the fun a bit. Son was a pimp. (I’m so proud) but at just shy of 12, I am hoping we have several more years with him.

  5. Donna, were you glad because you got to keep the candy for yourself, or relieved because you hadn’t bought any? 🙂

    MJ, your house sounds like such fun! I’ve always admired people who go all out like that. (The ToolMaster does for Christmas, but never for Halloween.) I do notice, though, that every so often those people take a year off. I think they burn themselves out, rest, and then decide they prefer the chaos to the quiet. I do want to see pictures of your house!

    Hart, *snort* about your son. He’s definitely a character. As for stopping…mine haven’t entirely, but as with the rest of their lives, I’m not necessarily part of it. As is right. I can see why people are so gung-ho about grandchildren, though. I personally love having little people around. Even bigger little people, but you know what I mean.

  6. That IS a different Halloween, though we’re marching in that direction ourselves. I must say that I quite liked my daughter’s costume (popcorn box), but the best one I saw outside of the family was a pumpkin-head thing — the boy had a real carved, hollow pumpkin on his head. That’s a smell that may remain for weeks. We had about 200 visitors, and VERY little candy left to pass out (sigh).

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