I REALLY love Fall. I could live in this climate year round and be happy, happy, happy. I love stepping outside and being just chilly enough to wonder if you needed a jacket after all. I love opening up windows and airing out the house. I love the colors of leaves. In dying they turn beautiful. I like the house cool enough to need a sweatshirt but not the furnace. Fall is nature at it's finest. Except for one minor detail. I don't love Halloween.
I am tempted to say it is because of it's pagan roots, but I know that Christmas, Easter, the days of the week and months have pagan roots. So I'll just be honest here. I hate it because I find most costumes absurd. I don't understand how we tell our kids, "Don't take candy from strangers," but one day a year it's ok to beg. When my kids were little I rose to the challenge of coming up with the cheapest costumes possible, usually a hand-me-down or something we created with odds and ends from closets and the make up drawer. I did find it entertaining to walk up and down the street with three kids in tow. When Rachel was four, she would knock, yell trick-or-treat, thank them for the treat, then proceed to try and enter every house. I guess to a four year old, when you knock and the door is opened, you are automatically invited inside.
When I worked at Cheddar's, I dreaded having to come up with a costume that I could still move and work in. One year I wore a bunch of Christmas stuff. Santa hat, Christmas shirt, Christmas vest, Christmas broaches and pins, Christmas tie, jingle bell necklace and earrings. I was Christmas-Time. How many times do you suppose I was asked, "What are you supposed to be?" or "Are you an elf?" I would smile (on the outside) and say, "I'm Christmas-time!" "Idiot." (on the inside)
I like scarecrows, corn mazes, cider mills, and apples. I just don't like Halloween parties, costumes and kids rotting their teeth out on taffy. Isn't there something else we can give kids other than sugar? Remember how we hated the houses that gave out pennies or plastic rings? Yea, I guess I won't win that one. They only want the sugar.
Then there is the safety issue. If it's really necessary to take your bucket of loot to the cops so they can check it out for you, maybe you should just play it safe and skip begging and buy half price candy Nov.1. You would never eat an apple put in your pumpkin bucket because it might have a razor in it. But no one gives apples out anyway. It's kind of cool how the churches have their own trunk-or-treat. Even if you don't go to church there, they'll share their stuff with your kids, and you know you won't have to inspect every tootsie roll because, well, they are Christians.
We used to get pumpkins and make a big, sloppy mess carving them. They never came out looking great. More like someone took a chainsaw to it. The smile was lopsided. The triangle eyes looked like circle-squares. I might put a pumpkin on the porch. Uncarved. Happy Fall Y'all. And for those whom I haven't convinced to give up trick-or-treat, Happy Halloween.