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Friday, October 30, 2015

Trick or Treat!

Growing up in the country we didn’t really participate in trick or treating, couple that with the fact that it was my birthday and the holiday was all but ruined. Since we had only 3 neighbors within walking distance my mom always took us to the mall where my older sister worked. We would walk around holding out our sad little bags and collect a few pieces of crappy candy before we would head back home to celebrate my birthday. It wasn’t until I was nearly too old to trick or treat that I was able to experience the real version where you go door to door and beg strangers for candy by tagging along with my best friend.

I was oh-so excited when we moved into a subdivision and I could hand candy out to the kids coming through since by that time I was way too old to do anything else. After college I moved into an apartment and was so disappointed that no kids came trick or treating, I just knew that there would be hoards of them at my door since there were a ton of children in the complex. But I never had a single trick or treater. Even when I got married and bought my first house – no kids came that night. I sat with a giant bowl of candy with the porch light on watching the cars go by, not even slowing down to see what treats I was trying to give away for free.

It wasn’t until I had my first child that Halloween really became exciting. To see my daughters dress up and pretend to be anything they wanted in the entire world was so amazing. They were a ladybug, a monkey, a princess, a unicorn, a mermaid, a cheer leader, a cat, a cowgirl, and Spiderman. When they would put on their costumes their whole demeanor changed and suddenly they were plunged into a world where unicorns ran and mermaids swam.

It quickly became both my daughter’s second favorite holiday, not just because of the “free” candy (although that is definitely part of it) but because for one day a year they could be anything they wanted. There are no limits, they can be sweet, scary, spooky, mysterious, and adorable – anything they wanted and there was no judgment. Everyone would smile at their costume, tell them how much they loved it and give them a fistful of treats.

To the people out there that tell me they “don’t celebrate Halloween” due to it being a pagan holiday – you really should rethink it. It is a time of magic, a day to use your imagination and have fun pretending to be anything you want. It is a day where not only do strangers generously give treats but we also give treats to other strangers. It is a day to celebrate our freedom to be able to fearlessly walk the streets of our neighborhood at night and feel welcome on the porch of the house down the road

Tomorrow on Halloween I will join my friends and the kids of our neighborhood and will hand out candy to perfect strangers. I will act as if the little girl in the blue dress really is Elsa and her brother Superman. I will put makeup on my girl’s faces, help them into their costumes and pretend to be scared when they jump out at me. I will do all this and more, because one day they will think they are too old to dress up and I want to soak up all the magic while I can.