Day 33: Halloween

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Taking part in the Ann Dee Ellis 8-Minute Memoir Writing Challenge. This is Day Thirty-Three.

I don’t particularly like Halloween. There are isolated happy memories from childhood, running down neighborhood streets with our heavy pillow cases amid a pack of girls in 4th grade. A scratchy home-made princess costume that left my neck chafed and raw while I peeled the glued-on sequins from the want my mother must have carefully crafted. A polyester puppy costume with painted white spots that were stiff and made moving uncomfortable…

I never had a store-bought costume in my life. Just as I wanted to trade my homemade bread and peanut butter sandwiches for a mass-produced Ho-Ho, I also wanted a plastic-masked, cheap Halloween costume from a box. It never happened. Years later, when I caved and bought my own child a costume from Costco, I felt the tiniest bit as though I had failed as a mother. But then, I don’t make homemade bread and fruit leather and my kids have absolutely tasted a Ho-Ho. (They don’t like them, ironically.)

I’ve kind of given up on Halloween at this point in my life. I just don’t care. I don’t decorate for it, and I cannot see the appeal of scattered death and debris around my house and yard. The year is dying, and it doesn’t need my help. I like fall. I like the season changing, the leaves turning, and the days getting colder. I even like the idea of All Saints Eve, when we may honor our dead. But I don’t like to glory in the horror.

Frankly, I’m relieved that my kids are too old to trick-or-treat anymore. They can answer the door and hand out candy—a task I am more than happy to pass on to them, while I get out my knitting and start on the Christmas socks.

There will be pumpkins on the porch, and maybe someone will even carve one—it won’t be me. Pumpkin guts gross me out and I don’t care enough to spend the time doing something I find vile. The closest I’ll come to decorating will be some orange lights on the porch. They look homey more than anything, and I like the warm glow they give on the autumn evenings, as we move through the brownish holidays toward the rebirth of light.

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