Halloween is here, again, and my brain seems haunted by past Octobers…MUAHAHA!
I remember going out to collect Halloween treats as a seven-year-old and having my candy stolen by older kids; I was devastated. As an eleven-year-old, I remember receiving a bottle of pop from our town mayor. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. While attending university, I went to Halloween parties with Gord, “the boy,” from the Get a Bigger Wagon books. That was romantic. As a young mom, I loved making costumes and taking my children out to trick-or-treat. The best part was coming in from the cold and curling up under a blanket to watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I hope it’s on Netflix this year.
As our children grew, they went to parties with friends, and my costume making skills were in demand. I felt useful and accomplished. My husband and I spent Halloween evenings answering the doorbell to little trick-or-treaters, sometimes 400 or more.
Then, there were years when our costume-clad ageing parents, grown-up kids, and babies would join us for a spooky dinner party. We invited a few neighbours, too. I enjoyed preparing easy, make-ahead dishes, giving them creative names, and plating them in unusual ways.
As our grandchildren grew older, we dropped by their houses to see their outfits and give them gifts but returned home to celebrate quietly.
As our parents aged and became more dependent, we went to parties at various assisted living facilities or care homes. Some of my favourite Halloween photos of my dad were taken at The Franklin and Prairie Springs Care Home. My mother-in-law always enjoyed Halloween at Stonebridge Crossing Retirement Community. During celebrations, young kids and the elderly have a great deal in common, and I cherish the memories.
This year, although it is unusual, my husband and I will be attending an all-day business seminar on Halloween. We haven’t made plans to wear costumes, because it is a serious affair. However…we have been known to crash meetings while clad in costumes. MUAHAHA!
When we return at dusk on Halloween eve, we will quickly don our masks, put on scary music, and light a fire to cast eerie shadows on the walls. Whatever age you are, honour your inner child and have a memorable and happy Halloween.
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