All Because of Chickens

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday Morning Musings: Halloween Traditions

Happy Halloween!

Be safe and have fun.

We're sharing our Halloween you have one?

Halloween has always been fun and special in our household. My husband sets up speakers outside with appropriate kid songs ("Ghost Busters," "They're Coming to Take Me Away," etc.). On our door there is a skull which is sound activates and flashes red eyes and does creepy music. The kids hardly notice, for they're eyeing the small table. I give them a choice - candy or toy. It's about 50/50 which is picked. They can't have both and I won't choose for them. It's my own little evening entertainment. If my husband opens the door, however, he holds out the plastic pumpkin full of candy and says, "Take a handful, and some for your mom or dad over there, too."

Besides pulling out my box of decorations every year, I have a stack of Halloween Books I leave lying around for the grandkids. I love to read Scaredy Cat SPLAT, Room on the Broom, The Witch in the Cupboard and others to the little ones or have the bigger kids read them to me. That's my tradition.

My kids are grown, so we lay in a supply of candy for the neighborhood kids. We might also haul out a few of the Halloween decorations (spouse is big on holiday decorating).

Every year we carve pumpkins (toasting the seeds, of course!) and we decorate the front yard with a skeleton coming out of the ground in a makeshift graveyard.

On Halloween night, we put the porch light on and usually dress in a costume to greet our trick-or-treaters at the door. Of course, Halloween isn't complete without watching IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN. We watch that Halloween night, along with at least one scary movie.

Nowadays, I take my niece trick-or-treating or pass out candy to the kiddos that come to our house. Nothing really special, but I do wear my elven cloak that my mom made me ;)

Our church has a Trunk or Treat where we decorate our cars and pass out candy.  I always pass out candy.  This is one of my favorite holidays.  The day after, El Dia De Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is my next favorite.

We don't do it anymore, but when the kids were younger we went pumpkin picking and then got all kinds of scary decorations and decorated our lawn. Also we had a jack o lantern. One year we had a big Halloween party and we made a scary room in our house.

After they went trick or treating I always checked the candy by cutting it open to see if anything was inside of them. Then I gave back half to my kids and doled out the rest slowly to them.

We've always celebrated Halloween, it's a super-fun holiday. My biggest disappointment when studying in England was how minor a holiday it felt, compared to the crazy commercialization of Halloween in the States. This Halloween will be particularly fun, because it's also the launch party for my wife's first novel. To celebrate both events, my wife and I are hosting a large house party, and will be dressed as Castle and Becket from the tv show "Castle" which features a crime-solving writer. We'll be talking up both of our books, since my novels, featuring grim reaping Deaths are a natural tie-in with Halloween.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday Morning Musings: Best Halloween Costume

Happy October and soon-to-be Halloween.

Have you found your costume yet? Do your parents dress up, too? Mine did a couple of years. Now we just wear crazy dollarstore hats.

We'd love to hear about your best Halloween costume, here's ours:

One of my daughters friend has four children. She does a theme every year at Halloween. One year they dressed up as Dorothy, The Cowardly Lion, The Tin Man and the Scarecrow. All homemade costumes. They were delightful!

I think the best costume ever was when my daughter went as half man and half woman. She wore half a suit jacket and I had sewed half a dress to it. So she also wore half a shirt too. She had on half of a pair of pants too. We put half a mustache on her and a scruffy beard with charcoal and on the other side of her face we made her up as a woman with red lipstick on half of her lips. She had long hair so she wore it to the side and we parted it in the center. Certainly this was the best costume I ever saw.

When I was a young girl my temple used to have costume contests at Purim. Purim is the day that Jews celebrate the execution of Haman the mean advisor to the King who wanted the Jews all killed. So he was killed on the gallows he built for them. He wore a triangle hat so on Purim we all eat Humentaschen which are representations of this. I won with a Queen Esther costume. She was the King’s wife and she told him about Haman and saved the Jews. My mother made it out of some beautiful shiny material and I was so excited to win. I also went one year as a matzoh and a latke. But I still think my daughter’s costume as a man/woman was the best I have ever seen.

The best Halloween costumes are the ones that you make yourself. It shows your imagination. Over the years I have seen some wild, creative costumes that people have made themselves.

One year, I made costumes in the spring for my husband and I to wear to a Renaissance Faire. I enjoyed it so much, I made a couple other Renaissance style dresses, including my favorite- a green satin gown with red, green, and gold plaid ribbon trim (and some green velvet, too!)

This wasn't for Halloween, but I made a green jerkin, a pleather (faux leather) belt and laced arm guards. Then I bought some brown boots from Goodwill, scrounged around in my closet, bought a blond wig (which I styled), and went to a party dressed as Legolas from the Lord of the Rings movies.

For Halloween, my favorite costume was a mime. My uncle hates mimes, so I went trick-or-treating at his house. Yeah, he totally slammed the door in my face. It was awesome.

When my offspring were younger and I had way more time, I raided a local thrift store for a green suede jacket which I then de-constructed to make a jerkin.  The sleeves became boot/shoe covers and I made bracers and a quiver out of faux leather. That took care of my Little Legolas.  I made a beautiful Elven gown for his sister n shades of silver and grey and a deep burgundy and silver gown for myself, as well as a rich purple cloak (which I still have). Got lots of compliments from the folks we visited in our little town. My son played with his costume until he grew out of it. (Considering he's now over 6 feet, it lasted quite a while).

When I was a young child (1st grade), my mom made me a costume based on one of my imaginary friends. It was sort of a superhero robot suit with working lights and a bright red cape- got thoroughly made fun of at school, but on the other hand, at least my creativity was being encouraged.  :-)

One of my best costumes was a Cinderella dress my mom made for me when I was about 6. It wasn't really fancy, but she did a great job with sequins and the puffed out part at the waist (I don't know what it's called!) and a matching headband. In later years, almost all my other costumes were bought, but I remember this one especially and it was one of my favourites.

I remember dressing up as a horse with my sister. The head was made out of a paper bag with ears, etc. stuck on, and the rest of the body was a big old blanket. I was the back end.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note: