Halloween recap – How was yours?

Photo of my daughter dressed as a vampire witch, consisting of a black witch's costume, pointy hat, black and red shoulder cape and a purple velvet face mask.

For several of our Halloween activities my daughter dressed as a witch. On Halloween night she decided to combine her witch costume with a bat cape and velvet masquerade mask to become the Vampire Witch Super Hero.

To criminals, she casts the illusion of being a helpless victim. When bad people approach, she bites them, releasing a paralytic agent into their system that immobilizes them until police arrive. At the same time, she drinks some of the criminals’ blood to keep up her health. That’s essentially what she told me in not so many words.

Our Halloween activities included:

1. A theatrical play festival last weekend, an annual tradition for us.

2. A costume parade at the elementary school… several hundred students attempting to dance to The Monster Mash.

3. A city-organized party, oriented toward toddlers who don’t really need all the candy they were being given. But hey, my son won an apple pie.

The city event ended on a downer. I was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, with floral leis around my neck, and a grass skirt (actually pink plastic, but purchased in Fiji by a friend). So I’m standing there when three 8-ish-year-old girls approach me.

“What are you?”

“I’m a tourist.”

“Tourists don’t dress that way.”

“I’m a tourist from Hawaii.”

“People from Hawaii don’t dress like that. They wear jeans.”

“I’m wearing a skirt.”

“Yeah, Hawaiian skirts aren’t plastic or pink.”

After that, my memory is a bit hazy. I remember waking up in a pool of my own blood. I totally let these punk girls intimidate me! It was only later, while leaving the event, that I realized I should have thrown it right back at them and critiqued the validity of their costumes. Dracula doesn’t wear black lipstick!

What the heck is it with people thinking you have to be something? At another event I wore a black hooded robe and had to tell other parents I was a robe salesman as some sort of excuse for having a lame costume. Next year I’m going to wear an overcoat and be a watch salesman, with a ton of watches lining the inside of my coat.

Anyhow, there was still time for some trick-or-treating on our street. Although, a great many of the houses had porch lights on, but no one answered the door and it was only 7:30 p.m.  It confirmed for us a common suspicion about grow houses. Everyone knows a lit porch light means candy! But this is Humboldt County, Calif. One of our less-savvy growers keeps his porch light on 24 hours a day.

But the worst house was populated… decorations outside, porch light on, curtains open, and a person sitting in a recliner watching television… and the woman didn’t answer the doorbell or our knocking. She just kept on rocking. My daughter decided the woman doesn’t like children and was tricking them.

Tomorrow we’ll coerce a forced relinquishment of my daughter’s harvested candy, converting it into a toy purchase. Last year we bought Chop Chop Chicken.

Photo of several children acting underneath the glow of Christmas lights strung through the branches of a tree.

This scene is from a 12-skit theatrical Halloween performance we attended last weekend. Most of our friends turned down our invitation, I think because the event was organized by a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and people expected some funky religious thing. They missed out on completely common popular stories, from a Beatles skit (all you need is love) to The Lorax. In this scene, a cat and dog underwent some conflict resolution with the dog resolving not to chase the cat, and the cat deciding to share some of her candy. Too often, kids miss out on something really special because parents are skeptical and/or weary of doing one more activity.

Photo of a small wooden bridge light by Christmas lights two two actors and a third figure dressed in white carrying a handing candle lantern.

This was a shortened telling of Two Billy Goats Gruff, except in this version no one gets eaten. The ghostly white figure at left led our group from skit-to-skit over the course of an hour.


6 Responses to “Halloween recap – How was yours?”

  1. Katie says:

    At least half the houses with lights on in our neighborhood didn’t answer the door, including a few with decorations. As a pregnant lady doing her best to keep her toddler from running everywhere, it was kind of annoying to keep walking up to each house just to have the little toddler disappointed. I don’t blame you if you don’t want to participate in trick or treating, but the least you could do is turn off your light! (We live in Colorado and I highly doubt all those houses were filled with drug growers.)

    November 1st, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  2. adrienne says:

    At dusk yesterday we decided to leave the house. I (barely) remembered to switch the dusk to dawn lights off. When I walked back in to turn them off,

    I decided to leave the lights on and put all the candy on our porch in a big basket. I had no idea if even the basket would remain at the end of the evening.

    People in our neighborhood must be pretty cool because we return home hours later to find the basket and remaining candy on the porch.

    November 1st, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  3. anastasiav says:

    Yeah, just so you know, here in Portland, ME it was a very traditional trick or treat experience — we came home with a full bucket of candy (which we will let him eat ALL of, over time), a tired child, and a great experience.

    I don’t get this whole “trade candy for a toy” thing. I mean, I do, but…. One of the kids who was trick or treating with us, her parents do that, but she has a milk allergy, so it makes a certain amount of sense to trade something she can’t use for something she can. At our house, though, we let him gorge himself last night and today in the old-fashioned way, and what remains (and there is quite a bit) will be dolled out slowly as a reward for eating a complete supper. Last year, combined with the Christmas stocking candy, the halloween-treat-bucket rewards system lasted until May, so you get a sense of our reason for bribing him to eat his veggies.

    November 2nd, 2009 at 12:36 am

  4. grouchy mama says:

    Adrienne, what a great story!!

    I agree, anastasiav, I don’t get the trade the candy thing, either. We let the girl have some candy, in moderation. Shouldn’t you teach your child moderation?? Not trick her in to thinking there is yet another fairy/santa character.

    Lucky for us, though, past Nov. 1 she forgets all about her goody bag. Even at age 6…amazing. Good for her mom, who tends to gorge on the sugary stuff over the next two weeks.

    I didn’t learn moderation as a child, obviously.

    Hope y’all had a great Halloween. Ours was interesting and fun!

    November 2nd, 2009 at 10:45 am

  5. Kristabel says:

    I love your daughter’s creativity!

    November 2nd, 2009 at 7:14 pm

  6. Isi says:

    Halloween Rocks.

    @anastasiav – I agree with you about the – gorge themselves on candy comment – we do the same once we pick through the bits we don’t want them to have (things that remove fillings and such) – other than that the candy is their for the taking – assuming dinner is still eaten and chores get done.

    We had a lot of houses in our neighborhood that kept the light on but didn’t answer as well. I wonder if that is something that is slowly fading as a tradition. Much like needing to be *something* vs. just putting on a costume and having fun.

    I am curious though – what age are all your kids. We have a range of 2, 4, 6 and 8 with the 6, and 8 being our boys. Do you let them go through the neighborhood alone or do you go with them? I think the boys are likely old enough and smart enough to run about but that parenting devil sitting on my shoulder tells me to hold on tight to the lease. What do you all do? When (if) did you let them go on their own?

    Merry Christmas…Oh… I mean Happy Halloween – all the sudden and drastic changes in every store around Atlanta to the Christmas holiday, one day after Halloween, had me confused. :-)

    November 3rd, 2009 at 1:38 pm

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