I am a Halloween Scrooge. It was fun when my kids were little because Halloween was cute. I sewed all their costumes, took them to every community Halloween event and took a million photos. Somewhere along the line it got really old, probably because they got old and didn’t like cute costumes anymore.
I don’t like scary movies or bloody body parts and I really don’t get the whole zombie obsession that’s infected everyone lately. I don’t like having to put up decorations or find costumes or fight the crowds at WitchFests and Halloween carnivals. Corn mazes are cold and frustrating, pumpkin carving is slimy, messy and time consuming. And I only stay at the school Halloween parade long enough to see my kids. (Actually, let’s be honest here – I only stay long enough for them to see that I showed up.) I know it’s everyone’s favorite holiday, but I think of Halloween as the hair in my butternut squash soup – it ruins an otherwise perfectly lovely October.
But this week I went all in. I did lots of Halloween things and I was determined to have a good attitude about every activity. And it worked! I told myself I had to have fun and because I’m very obedient, I did have fun.
I usually hate making the trek to go out and search for pumpkins, opting for the quicker grocery store trip instead, but this week I took my younger boys to a pumpkin patch. It was a lovely sunny day and I went through a hay maze, on a tractor ride, got dirty and ripped a hole in my new shirt and I still had fun.
I’ve hated haunted houses ever since I went once as a child. It seems so strange to pay money to have creeps jump out at me. But I went with some friends to a haunted forest at a local scout camp and walked through the woods at night without flashlights where there were scary deer everywhere and teenagers jumping out at us. And yet, I still had fun. (Really, besides the deer, the scariest part of the whole evening was this sink in the scout camp trading post.)
I usually hate doing anything that makes me feel like a teenager again, but this week I went to a party where we were sent on a video scavenger hunt while wearing witch costumes. I had to do pranks in public, search through a graveyard and participate in a seed spitting contest with slimy seeds taken out of a fresh pumpkin. As crazy as it sounds, I really did have a lot of fun.
Halloween costumes became less fun the year I dressed up as Miss Yvonne from Pee Wee’s Playhouse in junior high and nobody knew who I was supposed to be and the dress was too big and annoying. I usually don’t dress up at all any more, but this week I went to the trouble to put together couple’s costumes to wear to our family Halloween party and I had so much fun (mostly because my costume was super easy and my husband’s was so incredible.)
And tonight I’m even going to carve my own pumpkin. Even though I hate the mess and I am not at all artistic or crafty and mine will probably be lamest jack-o-lantern on the porch, I’m sure I will have fun doing that too. And if I don’t, I can just drown my frustrations in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Because really, when it’s all said and done, isn’t that really what Halloween is all about?