Sunday, October 31, 2010

That's a Nice Story, Grandma: Halloween Edition

My dad. This would be my first Halloween. I am a little less than a month old. Awww...

I have always loved Halloween. It's not like it was when I was a kid though.  I loved going to school and anticipating all day that when lunch time came, mom would be there to pick me up and take me home to eat and change into my costume.  Then back to school and the rest of the day would be a party.  Chubbuck Elementary knows how to do Halloween right (and from what I understand they are the *only* elementary in the district that still allows Halloween parties. Sad).  We would have individual classroom parties with things like cookie decorating or bobbing for apples. I think one year we carved pumpkins and I'm pretty sure that's where I memorized the movie "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

My sister Valeri is the clown. I'm the poor gingerbread man.

Throughout the day the grades would take turns parading through the school around to all the other classrooms to show off costumes.  I loved watching what costumes other people came up with. I always thought the kids who wore plastic store bought costumes were cheating. Mine were all homemade (hand-me-downs yes, but still homemade) For the longest time I was always a witch. My mom made a black nightgown-y costume for my oldest sister and it got passed down through all the girls and finally to me. I wore it at least three or four times. There was also a clown costume that got passed around the family and the little kids wore a gingerbread man suit.  In fourth grade I dressed up like a Cabbage Patch doll. My mom made me a yarn wig and a dress to match my homemade Cabbage Patch baby.  One year the sixth graders turned their "team" classroom into a haunted house.  They had different booths where you would put your hand in and feel something gross. One thing was like, peeled grapes and they called them eyeballs- or cooked spaghetti noodles and said it was brains. Eeeew.... The next year I was in sixth grade and we did it again. My job was to jump out and scare kids.

After school we'd get home to the house smelling of awful homemade chili (sorry mom).  It was tradition in our house to eat chili on Halloween and we could not go trick or treating until we ate some.  To this day I am not a fan of Chili (but I ate some today- canned- just for tradition sake).

Dressed appropriatly, no?

It was/is usually cold this time of year in Idaho- so more often than not we had to wear a coat while trick or treating.  *Had* to. The choice was "wear a coat, or don't go." No one wanted to cover their costume, so we'd wear our coats under our costumes. I was always a skinny kid- but on Halloween night I turned into a very fat little witch.

We would take pillowcases and head out with Dad to do the neighborhood rounds.  None of this Trunk or Treat, or trick or treating at the mall crap- Halloween was an actual community event. If the porch light wasn't on- then we knew not to go to that house. But everyone else was fair game.  It was awesome when the Fosters moved into town because they gave away full size candy bars. SCORE! When our Pillowcases were about... oh... half full (these are standard size pillowcases, people, not those lame little pumpkins they use these days) we'd go home.  We'd pick a corner and spread our loot out on the floor. Mom got first dibs at the Bit o Honeys (which was no loss in my book), those gross peanut butter nougat-y thingies that are wrapped in black and orange paper (do they still make those? bleh)  and the Tootsie Rolls (we had to negotiate those ones).  Then we would barter amongst ourselves. "I'll give you two Pixie Stix for a Kit Kat."  Then we'd put our stuff in a bowl and usually mine would end up "hidden" under my bed where it would stay till Christmas then get pulled out to share with everyone else.

Dad always took us trick or treating. I remember the first year he couldn't. He was sick.  We came home at the end of the night and he was sitting on the porch with a bowl of candy and a headband of bobbly stars on his head looking more forlorn than I've ever seen. It was sad. Honestly.
Move over, Elphaba. Here I come!

I have many more Halloween memories, but I should have started recounting them earlier. I'm weird about celebrating holidays that are past. Now it's time to start thinking of Thanksgiving stories.


Camisetta said...

This is a fun post! don't mind me if I have no creativity and do the same thing for Thanksgiving! I've already done a Christmas one, once upon a time. And I agree - too bad for trunk or treating these days. Where are the good ole' days? PS - do you even follow my blog at all?! Rude! Just kidding!

Camie Marie said...

I love your posts because so many of them bring back such great memories. Chubbuck was THE BEST place to enjoy a great Halloween. I think one of the reasons I hate it so much now (other than the cuteness of dressing the kiddos up) is that it just doesn't feel like a real Halloween without the School parades and actual neighborhood trick-r-treating. Great post, Heather - even if it was a year ago. I loved those awesome memories!