Starting October 1, Zachary figured he had carte blanche to begin Halloween preparations.  He had been scheming about his costume for months, and I had finally given in and ordered the one he wanted, but there was ever so much more left to do.

            First, he needed several trips to the party store to stock up on skeletons and fake gravestones, not to mention one creepy looking two-foot rat.  Second, he needed to pull out all the decorations we had in storage from back in the day when the adults were allowed to choose the slightly more dignified orange lights and smiling ghosts.  And, third came the pictures.

            The Halloween pictures.  The ones he has been drawing, painting, and stickering for almost a month now.  Every single afternoon.  We have a collection of something like thirty pictures that he intends to distribute around the house.  Our nanny, having some compassion for her employers, has suggested that perhaps we could string them together, rather than taping them floor-to-ceiling in all of the rooms.  Personally, I am campaigning to hang them outside.

            Zach has also been cruising the neighborhood on a regular basis, surveying the competition and, I presume, gathering inspiration.  Now, every time either child sees so much as an orange streamer, they cry, “Mommy, look at the Halloween decorations.”  Since four syllables are a bit much for Benjamin, the last word requires a bit of context, but after the thirty-seventh time, we are pretty clear on what “Hallowdations” means.

            Two weeks before Halloween, we went to the “pumpkin patch,” which isn’t an actual patch but rather a parking lot with a wide selection of pumpkins and a bouncy castle.  Zach wanted six.  His father limited him to one large pumpkin per child, plus a couple of small ones for good measure.  Of course, pumpkins require carving, and there was much discussion of how and when to begin the process.  Yesterday afternoon, the pumpkin massacre commenced in my kitchen.

            With less than a week to go before the big night, Zach moved on to the next phase: the candy purchase.  For an entire week prior, he told me every day: “I can’t wait for next weekend.  Daddy says we can buy our Halloween candy.”  They came home with five bags.  Who do they think is going to eat all the leftovers?

            My fear, of course, is that the actual night cannot possibly live up to the hype.  Except – I think it usually does.  Birthdays, vacations, and of course Valentine’s Day are pretty much doomed to be let-downs, but as far as I can tell, Halloween is usually all it is cracked up to be.  There’s very little that can be disappointing about people handing out free candy.

            November 1, on the other hand, may really piss him off.

12 responses to “Hallowdations

  1. This is really cute, Emily.

    Bean feels compelled to shout “Rawr!” to any and all ghosts, bats, vampires, spiders (AKA “Spibers”) etc. he sees, and also to point out all the pumpkins along any route we take. He also refuses to let us carve his large pumpkin, which he lovingly greets after any absence from the house.

  2. All mine talk about is Halloween. Frankly it’s nice to hear how excited they are; and it’s way better than listening to all adults discussing politics all the dang time.

    Halloween and Christmas tend to win, the rest I agree with you, it’s never as fun as they build it up to be.

  3. Nothing is as cute as a kid getting excited for a holiday–any holiday.

    And truth be told, I still feel pretty let down after Christmas.

  4. How fun! And you are such a good sport!

  5. I think Hallowdations should totally be a new word.

    Halloween is my least favorite holiday…but don’t spread it around. I don’t want eggs on my house.

  6. I agree! Well. For the most part. The only thing that can put a damper on Halloween around here is the crazy Wisconsin weather. They said there was a possibility of snow later in the week. As far as I can see it looks okay so far.
    Fingers crossed, and YAY Halloween! 🙂

  7. Hallowe’en is one of my favourite holidays – I love the festival atmosphere as the children run from house to house, delighted to be allowed out after dark and to get treats! I love how cute they all are, dressed up in costume in the school parade.

    Sadly, Australians don’t really celebrate Hallowe’en and they have the worst misconceptions about it, based on Hell Night news reports from the U.S. There is a general “Boo Humbug!!” attitude about All Hallows Eve – I find it very odd, considering Hallowe’en has Anglo-Celtic origins – just like the dominant Australian culture. So for the past couple of years, our family has missed the fun of Hallowe’en.

    So please have an extra mini-chocolate bar for me!

  8. Love it, Emily! Boy after my own heart!

    Our boys were OBSESSED with Halloween, that is until we visited a house in our neighborhood where some maniac was walking around and up to people with a real-life chainsaw!!!! Yeah, they are pretty much cured.

  9. How cute! I love Hallowern– but due to my pumpkin allergy, there is no Jack O’lantern carving for me. :-(. We have a costume for the baby, but she’s too little, of course, to notice. So I’m looking forward to when she is old enough to want ‘hallowdations’ herself!

  10. Aww, cute and funny, too. And we’re right behind you – yesterday my 14 year old insisted we go to the shop to stock up on Halloween candy, but I was forbidden from buying the pumpkin (get it all done in one go, I had thought) for fear it might collapse on itself before we reach the end of the week. I wish I could tell you it gets better…..

  11. That last line pretty much says it all.

  12. I really really wish halloween was bigger over here. I so loved it all my life… we’re taking the boys out to a halloween ‘thing’, but it’s not the same.