Friday, September 04, 2009

Swinging Wake

When the crypt goes creak,
And the tombstones quake.
Spooks come out for a swinging wake.
Happy haunts materialize,
And begin to vocalize.
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize.

-Grim Grinning Ghosts, Theme song from The Haunted Mansion

Yesterday I mentioned Halloween at Disneyland a couple of times. While we were there Josiah tried on the top half of a "Woody" costume. This one minute  event has set off a need for all things Halloween in Josiah's life. He must have "TRICK OR TREAT!" Yesterday we watched several Disney cartoons that involved Halloween (Lonesome Ghosts, Trick or Treat, The Mad Doctor) we also watched Tim Burton's short film, Frankenweenie. This morning the madness continues. He woke up and instantly said TRICK OR TREAT, MOM!

Josiah doesn't know that he's still got almost 2 months to wait until he can officially TRICK OR TREAT and that most people don't start preparing for All Hallow's Eve until about 2 weeks before. The problem with Josiah is that he has Halloween in his blood. Mwahahaha!! I love October 31st. I have two or three Rubbermaid tubs full of decor to prove it. I decorate for Halloween about a month before. I do this for Christmas also... I'm really gung-ho about holidays in general. Oh, but Halloween, you wonderful, magical, horrible night! I love dressing up, I love scary  movies, I love fall time, I love candy. The feeling of it all just makes me tingle. Over exaggerating ? Nah, not me.

Shall I clarify something before moving on? I'm not a blood thirsty, demonic, Satan worshipping Halloween celebrator. I know that many of my Christian friends might be a little taken aback by my brazen enjoyment of what some call "The Devil's Birthday". Dear friends, a little spooky doesn't take away my salvation. In fact, as an adult I see Halloween as giving the devil the ole' middle finger. Dangerous you might say. Nah, I've got the big Man in the sky on my side. I'm not going to shy away of a few black spiders, Vincent Price movies and fake cobwebs because some people have decided to make Halloween truly evil. I do realize that people take Halloween too far and I know it's origins. I take precautions for my children and for our home that night. If you as a believer aren't comfy with the holiday, fine. I don't have a problem with that. I've just always had a problem with people who try to condemn me (or my family) for enjoying Halloween in probably the most sanitized way possible.

Phew, with that off my chest I can reveal all the secrets of my love for this holiday...

My parents deserve kudos for many things in our childhood. You want to know what they were best at? HOLIDAYS. Whether it was my mom putting curlers in my hair for Easter morning, my Dad climbing ladders for Christmas lights or Mom staying up all hours of the night putting finishing touches on our killer Halloween costumes. Even we didn't have tons of moolah, us kids weren't aware of it. My parents were creative and we had fun no matter what. We always attended our church's Harvest Carnival (aren't they always called that or "TRUNK OR TREAT"?).  We didn't dress up as anything scary, but we always had awesome costumes. We would watch every terrible movie on AMC during Monsterfest. I was also introduced to Hammer Horror films starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Nothing says Halloween to a 12 year girl like a British horror film! I grew up watching classic horror, all the Universal movies, silent films with Lon Chaney, Alfred Hitchcock movies, etc. As we got older we watched "newer" classics like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th. Most of them are terrible, but perfect for the season. We never watched anything gruesome or blatantly gory .  That's not what Halloween was about. It was about fun. It was about creating a feeling during a short season. One of my favorite memories was when we were allowed to go to Pic N Save (remember that place?) and pick out scary costume make-up. We came home with gobs of green face paint, Dracula fangs,  spirit gum and Wolfman hair. That night we were transformed! All six of us looked like the Munsters long lost relatives!  That one night is one of my most cherished childhood memories.

I could almost name every character, princess, & person I've been on Halloween. Among my favorites: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Egyptian Queen, Poodle Skirt girl, Peter Pan, Fairy, Lydia from Beetle-juice, pirate and of course, Wayne from Wayne's World. Best. Ever. Talicia and I dressed up as the titular characters for my first College Halloween. We stayed in character while working the Church Carnival. Man, we looked good pulling into the church parking lot in Talicia's old car blaring "Bohemian Rhapsody".

As a parent I've tried to make sure that my kids enjoy any holiday no matter their age. Josiah had all the fixins' on his first Christmas despite being 3 weeks old. Kids are people that are so much more aware of everything then we give them credit for- make it extra special for them on holidays! Josiah's first Halloween was a blast, we dressed him in green tights, Peter Pan costume and took him out for a night on the town! Last year he was a dinosaur and his sister (a scant 2 1/2 months old) rode along as a spider. Halloween was a full day last year. I took the kids to Babies R Us first thing and had them Trick or Treat in store. We watched fun movies and baked cookies. Cameron came home early and we packed up the stroller and headed out into our neighborhood. Then we packed up the car and drove to my parent's house to Trick or Treat. I was fried by the end of the night. Cameron and I fell asleep on the couch watching some old movie. It was the best ending to the day.

Halloween isn't truly upon us yet, but I'm counting. I'm actually going to make a calendar for Josiah to count down the days because he keeps asking me when he can Trick or Treat. I'm already planning their costumes and getting ready for the big night. I love being a Mom and giving my kids every opportunity to be kids and use their imaginations in every way possible.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="453" caption="Halloween 2009. "]Halloween 2009. [/caption]

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