Halloween is fast approaching and all the excitement that has been building all month is finally going to come to a head on Wednesday, Oct. 31, a night of trick-or-treaters, Halloween parties, monster movie marathons and haunted houses. I admit I'm a total Halloween freak, everything about it excites me and I look forward to it more and more every year.
When my cousins and I were kids, we used to thrive on the anticipation of Halloween, we'd start planning our costumes in August and debate over it until the end of September, because like most kids, we changed our minds a thousand times and because it had to be mutally agreed upon, there was always a holdout and the other two would have to gang up on the third to change his/her mind. The holdout was usually me because I wanted to go as either the cast of The Addams Family with me wearing Morticia's costume, or go as Elvira with Freddy Krueger -- something fun and outrageous, but we had to go as a theme, One year it was aliens, another, vampires -- and not the sexy kind, because who's sexy at 12?
The pain in the ass one was when we went one years as Star Wars characters, I was Princess Leia and my cousins went as a Wookiee and a Stormtrooper. Trying to wear a heavy dress with cinnamon-bun-style hair in the middle of a warm New England October night, I sweated off my makeup before I left my aunt's house and spent most of the night scratching my head because the wig was driving me nuts. Plus, I look more like Princess Lia with glasses after a trip to the land of Chips Ahoy. Combined with a Stormtrooper who couldn't see out of his helmet and kept bumping into kids, fences and anything in his general direction.
It was that Halloween that we agreed no more group costumes. We still dressed up, we just didn't bother with a theme and we had more fun. When we got older and did our own separate Halloweens, it was like the end of an era.
We loved coming home after a long night of trolling for candy and my aunts would go through our bags with us and for us to tell them what happened, there was always a good laugh or sometimes an argument, especially if one of us took longer than necessary.
Every year from the time we were little, my father used to love showing us Rocky Horror Picture Show, and nothing's scarier to a 5-year-old than a 6'2" guy in a bustier and curly wig. For years I had nightmares and couldn't understand why, but like my father, I love the music and the costumes. I even got to go to a live show this year, and It was one of the most amazing thing's I've been to.
Traditions have always been a part of my family, we used to spend every Halloween together. We eat, laugh, trick-or-treat, watch Hocus Pocus and feel a sense of sadness when we realized the magic was over again for another year. My aunts made it special every year and we thrived on it.
This year, I'll go to a party dressed as Lucille Ball and have fun, but a piece of me will always miss past Halloweens traditions and that excitement that can never be redone.
Did you have many Halloween traditions as a kid? What were they?