It is Halloween, and I have never seen so many pumpkins and spiders, along with other yard decorations, in my life. It seems everyone has jumped on the holiday celebration with great gusto.
Mom and I were talking about our experiences with Halloween when we were kids back in the dark ages. Halloween was a one-day event, geared strictly toward the gathering of candy. That’s it. We spent days working on our homemade costumes and planning our route. I never thought about the dark side of Halloween, as it was just a kid’s day where we became characters dressed up for the night.
One particular Halloween, probably close to my last trick-or-treat, I decided to dress as a gypsy and wear all the jewelry I could muster. I collected out-of-style necklaces and bracelets from people who had long stopped wearing them. I restrung the necklaces and made my own creations then layered the jewelry on until the weight was too much. Come to think of it, I really never saw a gypsy! I just decided I would be “glam gypsy.” Then the final touch was getting into mom’s makeup drawer and applying really heavy makeup.
Looking back on those wonderful days, the fun was making your costume and walking around with your friends and family. When we all got home, we had to pour out our candy so mom could inspect and then we made ourselves sick from eating all the candy we could stand. Many neighbors made homemade candy and popcorn balls. Can you imagine?
Making our costumes was so much fun, and comparing our stash of candy was hilarious. I think my brother, Keith, and his friends went around the neighborhood several times as he always had a pillowcase full of candy. My sister, Janice, and I had a good bag full, but Keith always won.
I think it would be so wonderful to see kids make their own costumes and create something from scratch. I miss the innocence of Halloween and wish that my grandchildren could experience that time where most people could be trusted and neighbors knew one another.
This year I will participate in the office costume competition! Last year, three of us dressed up as the women from Downton Abbey. Of course I was the Dowager Countess Violet complete with lace jacket and hat! I went through my closet and found all the pearl necklaces I could and proudly wore them. Not so unlike those childhood days as “glam gypsy,” now that I think of it.