Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Homemaking Tip—to ‘ween or not to ‘ween

I’ve gone from one end of the pendulum to the other with Halloween. I loved it as a kid. I can still remember what it smelled like to open a tightly closed trick-or-treat bag and be hit by the apple, chocolate, popcorn ball combination smell. I wasn’t crazy about trying to find a costume out of the costume drawer (you can only be an Indian, clown, or dog so many times), but I did like fall and pumpkins and candy and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and trick-or-treating.

Then, I was mom of middle-aged kids and it bugged me that we could celebrate witches and devils at school but we couldn’t baby Jesus. It just didn’t seem right. The more I thought about it the more Halloween bugged me. In fact, that was back when I sold crafts to supplement our income and in my boldest Halloween protest, I took the dozen wooden/fabric ghosts I had made and ready to deliver to the store to a dumpster and said, “Be gone.” (Pretty big move for me. It was $120 worth of profit. But I had newfound Halloween principles, don't you see.) Since we seldom (meaning almost never) went to the movies or dinner in restaurants, I suggested to Calvin and the kids that instead of spending money on Halloween we went to a movie and supper instead (Mighty Ducks and Pure Country were the options that first year). The kids were game, so we celebrated Halloween at the movies for a few years.

When my friend heard our Halloween plan she suggested that instead of going to town we come to their home. Since they lived where no trick-or-treaters dare go it was so far off the beaten track, we went to their home for a video and baked potato bar (that is where Jurassic Park made its debut). We enjoyed doing that for a few years, too.

(Are the details derailing you in this story?)

A few years later the Church started a trunk-or-treat on Halloween evening so we participated in that and then went to our off-the-beaten-track-friends’ home for a movie and supper. The Halloween pendulum began its swing back.

Today the ball is dead center. Stuck. It isn’t on one side or the other. I neither detest nor embrace Halloween--it's like a cartoon and Frosty, the Snowman.


This past weekend Calvin and I went to Utah and Idaho to see Trevor and Trent, our two oldest boys from Calvin’s first marriage. When we got to Trevor’s home, Lacie (Trevor’s oldest daughter) was making this mummy for me. It has electrical tape around the neck of the bottle for a black rim, two squiggly eyes stuck to the middle and gauze wrapped around the rest and slightly tacked with glue. It’s so cute. She said she got the idea from a daycare that she cleans for. She filled it with orange and black jelly beans and pumpkins and candy corn.

While Trevor and Calvin went to try the sight that Calvin had made for Trevor’s gun, Michelle and the girls and I went to the scrapbook outlet. They had darling vinyl Halloween paper and a pattern for making Halloween sacks so we got the supplies to make some. We came home and while Trevor and Calvin grilled buffalo burgers, we made the sacks. In theory, they’re a ten minute project and they’re easy and cute. I filled one sack with candy and took it to Ande when we saw her the next day.

I left the sack-making directions at Trevor and Michelle’s and my technical writing skills are poor at best, but in story problem fashion this is what you do to make a sack:

Take two 12” x 12” pieces of paper. Cut two inch squares out of both sides of the bottom of the paper. Crease and fold the paper to make the sack sides and bottom (two inches in from both sides and two inches up from the bottom). Glue the flaps together with a glue-stick. Ta-da. Paper sack. Embellish with ribbon handles. I'm excited to make a few from Thanksgiving and Christmas paper and fill them with popcorn balls.

Where does your Halloween pendulum swing?


Whidget said...

I recall loving it as a child. I think I will get my kids in costumes for photos and take them trick or treating but that's about it. I actually have a lot of decorations I haven't gotten up yet. In my opinion, the Fall is the BEST TIME OF YEAR HANDS DOWN!! Halloween is like when they say, "On your marks, get set, go". It's just the gun at the beginning of the best race of the year! I could go with or without it--Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and Easter are all higher on my love of holidays list! :-)


hennchix said...

"Hate" is not a strong enough word for how I feel about Halloween! One year, I must have been about 7 or 8, we were trick or treating. Suddenly, we were running for the nearest house,with the Mom's in the lead. Turns out, someone with a gun and dragging a leg was on the streets. To this day, I don't know if it was a prank or real, but that did in Halloevil for me. And by the way, I hate that the wards do Hallowevil parties/trunkortreats as well.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

I swing toward the not liking halloween side. i liked the trick or treating as a child and dressing up as fun fairies and princesses, but when it comes right down to it i HATE haunted houses, or anything haunted, i HATE face paint and maska, I HATE scary movies yadda yadda yadda. I do LOVE fall just could skip the whole halloween hubalou. I hate dressing up now too! I will let my kids trick or treat and all that, but they won't be allowed to be anything scary. you could say halloween is my least favorite holiday!


WOW...Some pretty deep thoughts and a lot of unhappy memories. I LOVE any holiday that means people come to my home and we enjoy laughing, bobbing for apples and playing games. I only do "HAPPY Halloween stuff” No skeletons, blood or gory stuff. I have watched Nicole suffer with pressure to go to "Thriller" with her dance team...she wouldn't go! Tonight for mutual they are at a corn maze and she is pretty scared. They promised her it isn't scary. I know there are a couple young men willing to help her thru and she will be fine. So it's NO to the Horrors of Halloween and yes to a Fall Celebration of harvest and friends! Any excuse for a party at my house!!! :)

deidra said...

I was anti-Halloween in high school and the two years of college I was single. I'm still not a fan of the holiday, but fun parties help sway me in its favor. Without a party to host this year, it's a toss up!

Lori said...

Any excuse to dress up in anything you want and eat as much candy as possible is a good day in my book...shallow I know, but at least I admit it.

Susan said...

Bring on the Halloween!! I love it! I loved trick or treating as a child, I love the fun of taking my kids trick or treating now, I love decorating, I love making fall treats, I love it all except one thing. I hate kids that trick or treat when they are too old for it!! Trick or treating is for kids, dressing up for a costume party is for teenagers. That is the one thing that irritates me.

And I love to go boo-ing too!

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

I don't make a big deal out of it. I look at it as another way to deliver more education with a Halloween spin to it! (Shhhh)
In fact...we have a few home-made ghosts hanging from our tree with the letter G/g written on them. My kids loved it and Dylan can look at the letter G hanging outside our window everyday!

Ande Payne said...

And I'm even still eating the candy out of my bag! Thanks Mamma.

Ryan and Haley Krumblis said...

I"m just trying to think of a costume that makes me look younger than I am so I can still participate in trick or treating! I remember mom use to put the tail gate down and we would run to a house then jump on the tail gate. Now a days we pray for trick or treaters, though never get any! We rent scary movies and carve pumpkins.....and can't forget the hot cider!

Julie said...

I dislike Halloween only because it's a pain to find costumes for kids. Lazy I know. Also, when the kids were little they would sneak the candy haul to their beds and by morning one of them would have thrown up in their bed. Chocolate throw up is GROSS! I put up my fall decorations and am happy with that. Lucky for me Norway doesn't do Halloween!

Placido Domingo said...

I am no Halloween fan, but I hate being the scrooge because my boys get such a kick out of it. But, I think it's the most retarded holiday ever, and fiercly refuse to spend more than a day celebrating it. I do not understand having black cats, ghosts and creepy tombstones decorating your yard for a month. BAH!

Alisa said...

I like it all. I enjoy getting out the fall decorations- but I will say that most of them are more "harvest" than Halloween. I love the fun songs my kids sing around Halloween. I love that our school does not do anything with Halloween. I enjoy doing the trunk'r treat at church so we don't go visit neighborhoods. I enjoy planning over and over with the kids what they want to dress up as, and then having those costumes to use over and over again.
My parents divorced on Halloween and I give my mom a ghost for each anniversary. They are always cute/ non-spooky types.
I enjoyed this post and everyone's opinions.
A side note: Have you ever read the children 's book: The Scarecrow's Dance?
My mom picked it up at the library and I thought of you when I read it.

Carolyn said...

I want to celebrate Halloween with Sister McConkie! Fun! I'm pretty sure I liked dressing up and having fun when I was little. Grandma and Grandpa's was always the best place to stop.
I do remember going trick or treating once for April Fools day and that was pretty exciting!

angie said...

Love love love halloween. Dressing up in costume, eating candy, carving pumpkins, parties...all great things!