Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trick or Treat!

Only a real witch would hate Halloween.
I hated Halloween. I can say that now that I don't have to dress up for the Halloween parade at school. What a Scrooge, huh? Don't get me wrong; I'm not going to ruin any little kid's fun dressing up and going door to door for candy. I just don't like to pretend to be something I'm not. (Unless we're talking about hiding our bad habits from those we love. But I digress...)

When I was little, Mom made me the cutest bunny costume. Kind of like the bunny costume made for Ralphie in The Christmas Story

It was ADORABLE. The hours she must've put into that thing. It was also EMBARRASSING for me to trudge around the neighborhood dressed as a rabbit begging for candy, most of which I would try to trade to my brother for the candy I actually liked.  

Way back when, people didn't have to pass out wrapped, store-bought treats. They could make their favorite recipe of "apple-raisin disgusto cookies" or whatever, and just hand it to you from their plate to your grubby little hand. My candy bag would be a mess of crumbles in the bottom by the end of the night. Unlike MOST children who love Halloween candy, I disliked any candy that wasn't CHOCOLATE.  I had a discriminating palate, even then. Don't give me any suckers or especially any of those weird red candies covered in a strawberry-looking wrapper. YUCK.

We had a brief period of store-bought costumes with those infernal plastic masks that make your face feel like it's in a sauna, and that make you feel like you're going to suffocate. The ridiculous baggy costume with the hospital gown-style closure in the back was such a far cry from the picture displayed on the box in which it came.  

Every Halloween, we would dump our stash of goodies on the carpet, and quickly retrieve the good stuff to set aside to consume ourselves. Then we would begin the not-so-gentle bartering of the undesirable candy.  By the time I was in my early teens, I finally terminated my trick-or-treating tradition. It was just too much hassle for the measly pay-out.

Fast forward to my early twenties. I became a teacher. Nobody celebrates a holiday like a teacher, right? I didn't mind putting up some pumpkins on the bulletin boards or a little banner that says "Happy Halloween!" I have to admit I balked when I was told that the teachers participate in the Halloween parade, though. We marched not only up and down the halls of school, but up and down Main Street for all the community to see. And the WHOLE community sees; believe me. I swear, I wish we could get that kind of support for PTO events and conferences. Maybe they should combine the two events; come in your Halloween costume for a little conference before Trick or Treating. We'd get 100% participation! (Just kidding...that is a HORRIBLE idea. Let's take one crazy school event at a time.)

During my first years as a teacher, my costumes were pathetic. They weren't even costumes. I wore a seasonal t-shirt those first few years; you know, a pumpkin face on an orange shirt, or a glow-in-the-dark web on a black shirt. I coveted the t-shirt that said, "This IS my costume," but I just couldn't bring myself to stoop THAT low. When I wore my seasonal shirts, I could see the disappointed looks on the parent's faces. I had let them down; I had let their kids down.

About nine years into my career, I finally started getting into the spirit of things. I saw Halloween for what it was, a fun holiday that allows kids to dress up and live a fantasy for a few hours; a chance to pig out on candy for a night; a fun celebration that meant a parade and a party at school. I could do this. I could be a professional, and pretend to like this silly little holiday.

My first year in fifth grade I went as the Reaper. Okay, you're probably thinking the GRIM Reaper complete with black hood and a scythe. No, the other woman on our fifth grade team did that. Our local newspaper is called The Richfield Reaper. I went as THAT. I was covered from head-to-toe in Richfield Reapers. We went as THE REAPERS; get it?  I admit; no one made the connection, so it still counted as a pathetic attempt at a costume. I promise, I got better. I even have proof here to show you.

In case you're stumped for some good ideas (or at least a decent, mediocre idea) for a Halloween costume, you can check out these pics of our awesome fifth grade team, and a pic or two of our awesome fourth grade team. Our grade level teams actually coordinated with each other, and used our creativity together to come up with some pretty fun costumes. People in the community actually told me they were anticipating what our costumes would be as Halloween approached. That's some pressure right there! We aim to please at our school.

Halloween isn't about teachers and administration. It's about KIDS. And when I realized that, I felt good about stepping out of my comfort zone and having a little fun with the kids.

My last year
The Witches of Fifth Grade
Grease.  Ha!  I dress like this every day...minus the poofy hair and cuffs on my jeans.
Characters from Louis Sachar's book Holes
Three Blind Mice and the Farmer's Wife

For more Halloween costume ideas, go HERE.


  1. I loved the Holes costumes!

    (I'm boggled at the idea of hating Halloween. We love it here! Wait until you see what Anna made for her costume...! There will be FB pics.)

    1. Anna's costume was great! Her corset is very pretty, and I guess, from what you said, pretty uncomfortable. Ha ha. I don't mind Halloween any more; I've just never been gung-ho about it.


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