Halloween: Costumes, pumpkins, candy and more

Tintin, Pumpkin, Candle
Tintin, Pumpkin, Candle

I love Halloween.  I like the preparation more than the event, but I’m finding that with regard to holidays more and more.  Anticipation has value in and of itself.  First off, we go to the fabric store for inspiration.  The boys look through the pattern books, sometimes finding what they want and sometimes sticking to their own idea.

Indian
Native American

Lucas usually had very specific ideas about what he wanted to be, and they usually involved fur of some sort. (Caveman, dinosaur, leopard).   Max liked to be something round (M&M, pumpkin, yellow skittle).  Asher would be more obscure. (Dollar bill, a Candle, the Golden Gate Bridge).  And Ben has been mostly hand me downs. (Native American, Vampire Witch, Robin Hood).  The costumes have been fun to make, so fun that I don’t let the kids wear store bought ones.

Asher as the Golden Gate Bridge
Asher as the Golden Gate Bridge

Sometimes we will take an old costume and renovate it.  Lucas’ leopard became Puss n Boots for Asher, adding a cowboy hat and cowboy boots.  At a certain age or size I find trick or treaters to be too big.  I don’t like the teenagers who don a baseball hat or a mask and call it a costume.  Max wanted to go trick or treating one last year at fourteen.  I told him, I thought he was too big, but if he really wanted to go he had to have a “real” costume.

Easter bunny, Puss n Boots, Lobster, Cowboy
Easter bunny, Puss n Boots, Lobster, Cowboy

“I want to be the Easter Bunny.”  He said.

“That sounds good.  The Easter Bunny has white fur?”

“No.  He’s pink with a yellow tummy.”

Even as he towered over most of the neighbors who opened the door, he was greeted with smiles and, “nice costume.”

Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin carving is another favorite activity.  The boys are so much better at it now and not limited to faces or Halloween themes.  One year we carved pumpkins with friends and took them to the freeway overpass, lighting them for all to see.

Atop one of the platforms at the Petaluma corn maze
Atop one of the platforms at the Petaluma corn maze

We always try to make it to the corn maze up in Petaluma.  The maze is huge, has a map for those who get lost and three platforms inside so you can see where you are within it.  There is also a giant corn sandbox, animals and of course a pumpkin patch.  I think the maze is open at night as well, and the teenagers use flashlights to find their way through.

The corn sandbox
The corn sandbox

The candy.  I remember running from house to house trying to collect as much candy as possible to fill my pillowcase.  At the end of the evening, my siblings and I displayed our stash and the trading session began.  The accumulation and presentation was probably the highlight of the evening.  We slept with our candy and I remember hearing the crinkle, crinkle, all through the night as my sister and I ate our fill.

Now, I let my kids have their candy for two days.  “Go crazy, eat all you want, feel sick.”  Then I take it away.  I have tossed it, used it to fill a piñata, and given it away.  Anything to get it out of the house.  I did buy it from my kid one year, but now have decided they have enough.  We all do, more than enough.

Favorite Halloween books:

John Pig’s Halloween
Room on the Broom
Monster Soup: And Other Spooky Poems