Monday, October 31, 2011

Ghosts of Halloween Past

My First Halloween
In my family, Halloween was always thought of as a fun holiday where you went trick-or-treating and got candy. My dad (a civil engineer) always carved the Jack-o-Lanterns. Since there were three kids in my family, we had three Jack-o-Lanterns. You better believe that every one of Jack's features was perfectly aligned! Check out his handiwork! :)

When I was little, my mom always made my Halloween costumes - as in bought a pattern and material and sewed them! I wish I could say that I did the same for my children, but my abilities as a seamstress are pathetically limited. I can sew on a button, but that's about it. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, as my sister is an excellent seamstress. She made her kids' costumes (as well as curtains, pillows, cushions, etc.) I did not inherit (or learn) that talent. 

The first costume that my mom made for me was a leopard. It was made of a soft, lined fur. I still have the costume (and it still smells like it did in 1973). Alana wore it too! Chase never did, though, as the year it would fit him was way too hot. It was clearly made for a New Jersey Halloween. Even Makani has worn (though, not willingly) the head part of the costume. He doesn't think being a cat is funny. Another year, my mom made me a beautiful witch costume with decorative fringe around the edges. She even made the pointy hat complete with green yarn hair. It was awesome.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but (at the time) I didn't really appreciate the beautiful costumes that my mom made for me (and all the hard work that went into them). I wanted a costume like everyone else had! I finally got my first store-bought costume when we moved to Florida when I was six. My mom took me to Lionel Play World and I picked out a Barbie bride costume that I thought was beautiful. There are no pictures of me in this costume (I wonder why!), but if memory serves, it consisted of a white plastic dress (similar to a party tablecloth) and a plastic mask that, no doubt, made my face sweat profusely in the Florida heat. Still, I finally got to dress like everyone else on Halloween. Looking back now, I realize how cheesy that costume was and how much nicer my homemade costumes were!

In the years that followed, I was a tennis player (I still remember going to the iron-on t-shirt store and picking out a sweet glittery tennis iron-on for my shirt) and a cheerleader (neither of which I EVER was in real life). After elementary school, I stopped dressing up (except for fun - hence the lovely photo to the left). I think I was trying to be a punk rocker, but really just looked like an idiot. But look, my niece Ashley is holding my LeSportSac clutch (refer to earlier blog post about the 80s). 

I also dressed up for Halloween when I worked at Kay-Bee Toys in Pompano Square. The photo on the right shows me with my niece and nephew, Ashley and Matt - both wearing costumes made by my sister. :)

Rob has always loved Halloween, and still dresses up if he can get away with it. Our first house was right down the street from Dan Witt Park in Lighthouse Point where the big Halloween party and costume contest is held every year. Rob (the great husband and dad that he is) always took the kids to the park while I answered the door for 150+ trick-or-treaters. (The crowds at Dan Witt scared me more than any ghost or ghoul could!) Our first Halloween at our house in Pompano fell a few days after Hurricane Wilma hit the area. We had no power OR trick-or-treaters that year. 

Alana & Chase
Halloween 2010
The past few years have been fun in our neighborhood, though. Rob and I sit up on our balcony with Makani and lower a spider bag down for the trick-or-treaters that come up our driveway. (Note: Makani, despite his James Earl Jones bark, is a tender little guy. His first Halloween, a kid with a "Scream" mask walked up to our glass front door, and Makani was so terrified, he immediately peed on the floor. At least on the balcony, we can hose it off!) 

My own kids have reached the age where they no longer want to trick-or-treat, and I'm a little sad about that. Our pumpkin is sitting on the front porch right now, completely intact. I asked both Chase and Alana if either of them wanted to carve it this weekend, but neither was into it, so I've decided to leave it out as a Thanksgiving decoration. I look forward to seeing all the little ones who visit us this year (many of whom, in fact, live nowhere near our neighborhood).

Happy Halloween with love and aloha to all (and thank you, Mom, for the beautiful costumes you made for me)!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there...
    It's a really amazing story about your Halloween. You can find just a few Bar's who celebrate Halloween and where the people wear costumes. I was invited at a friend's Halloweenparty and it was really funny. I'm from Germany and it's interesting to read, how you celebrate Halloween. I like it.