There’s candy all over my house. In bowls and bags, in the fridge and freezer, upstairs and downstairs. My kids carried their separate candy stashes around with them all day on Sunday, from room to room, inside and outside. I’m not sure why they do that. They really don’t eat the candy all day. Their Halloween stockpile takes weeks to get eaten and they often throw a lot of it out after a while because they get sick of it.
I suspect it’s a way to hang on to the excitement of the night. The fun for them is in the actual trick or treating, more so than the sugar high. Some neighborhoods go all out for the holidays, with neighbors competing against each other to see who can put up the most lights and decorations. In our neighborhood, Halloween is the big event of the year. The preparations begin weeks in advance. Giant spiders menace rooftops. Dead bodies hang from street lights. Graveyards take over manicured lawns.
There are fog machines, creepy movie music blaring from sound systems, and animatronic creatures. People pop out of full-sized caskets and copious amounts of candy is given out. One set of neighbors combine their two lawns to create an impressive “haunted house” featuring multiple rooms of horror, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, and other terrifying surprises. People drive over from all around the city to enjoy the thrill. There’s always a long line and plenty of screams.
Now, I’m a big scaredy cat. I never go inside the haunted house, despite the flow of people exiting with broad smiles and exclamations of “That was awesome!” But every year, I admire the dedication the families put into planning their attraction. It’s a labor of love, something they offer for free to anyone who wants to enjoy the show. Every year it gets bigger and more elaborate and most likely more expensive for them. It’s the heart behind the endeavor that I think is awesome. The celebrating of a personal joy and the gift that it is to the neighborhood and city.
I remind my kids of that every Halloween. That they should always nurture their inner child and give themselves license to indulge the odd whims that bring them happiness. Why not? You’re never too old to be a kid at heart.
I hope your Halloween was a great one and that you remembered to set your clocks back an hour. What will you do with the hour you gained?
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