Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Am I Too Old for Halloween?

The other day when I was subbing in Kindergarten, one student asked me what I was going to dress up as for Halloween.

"I think I'm too old to trick-or-treat," I assured the young boy. He disagreed and told me you're never too old to get candy.

The last time I dressed up for Halloween was when I was a sixth grader and my best friend and I ventured out for an evening of fun. That was....well....that was several years ago, and my opinion of Hallow's Eve has changed for a few reasons.

When I was young, I enjoyed the holiday. My sister and I would make a list of friends' houses we wanted to go to and usually dad would drive us to those spots. Mom would greet trick-or-treaters at our house. For a few years, we carried white cardboard boxes, collecting donations for UNICEF. When we returned home, it wasn't an all-out candy fest. We were allowed one treat per day.

When I turned 22, two important people in my life passed away within hours of each other on the day before Halloween. My sister's fiance, a utility lineman, was electrocuted on the job. Emma, who had been our babysitter when my parents were at work, succumbed to cancer. Hallow's Eve didn't really matter anymore; instead, this time of year reminds me of death.

When I had children, I usually made their costumes. Ok, I at least did the makeup. :) One year we had a witch, a cat, and a mouse. The next year, they were the California Raisins. And one year, when the Halloween blizzard hit and trick or treating was postponed for two days, I thought I'd never hear the end of the complaining. But did they dress up in their costumes two days later? No, but they did go trick or treating with their classmates, bundled up in winter coats, scarves, and mittens.

I still believe I'm too old to dress up for a holiday and I'm sure I won't go trick or treating. We'll only have two visitors - the two nieces who live a mile down the road - and we'll make sure they get some kind of treat, although maybe I should require them to show a trick first.

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