Celebrating Halloween

Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays.

Sure, I did trick-or-treating with My Favorite Domer when he was little, and we decorated the house and enjoyed candy corn.

But too much mischief takes place at that time, all under the disguise of “harmless fun.” And too many adults try to take over the dressing up from what should be a kids’ occasion (something about seeing a “witch” behind the teller’s counter at my bank doesn’t sit well with me!)

But my fondest memory is when Domer was little and in day care. There, they learned by heart a darling story by Erica Silverman called Big Pumpkin.

“Once there was a witch who wanted to make pumpkin pie. So she planted a pumpkin seed. She weeded and watered, and after a while a sprout poked through. And then a pumpkin grew. And it grew. And it grew. And then it grew some more.”

The witch tries to yank the pumpkin off the vine but fails. Along come, in turn, a ghost, a vampire, and a mummy. All these characters try to remove the pumpkin from its vine, but they, too, are unsuccessful.

Finally, a tiny bat appears, acknowledges the size of the pumpkin, and volunteers to help.

The witch, ghost, vampire, and mummy survey the size of the little bat in relation to that of the pumpkin and start to laugh.

“I may not be big and I may not be strong but I have an idea,” the bat says.

By holding onto one another and working together, the creatures are able to remove the pumpkin from the vine. The witch makes pumpkin pie and invites the others to her place to have a slice.

Then she takes one of the seeds and plants it for the next time.

The story’s not scary, the rhyming is age-appropriate, the lesson is reasonable and something most of us want our kids to hear.

So, instead of competing to see who can dream up the scariest costume or get away with the most mischief or gorge ourselves on the most sweets, perhaps we might consider curling up with our little ones and introducing them to a good book.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

15 thoughts on “Celebrating Halloween

  1. What a cute story! From the time Cole was about 2 we always has a huge Halloween open house-Chili was our traditional food along with plenty of treats. Everyone brought me a roll of TP since I’m known for running out of it (Horror). 50 witches hung from my ceiling and the house was decorated in mostly cut-out decorations that I had inherited over the years along with a witch, a vulture and Halloween snow globe that were/are cherished gifts. Last year Cole and I realized we were tired of having the party. We might have outgrown it or maybe it wasn’t the same without Joe and were going through the motions. So this is the first year we haven’t really had a planned Halloween.. i made State Fair food over the weekend–Corn dogs (Sat), Funnel Cake (Sun) and today we will try Cider donuts-its has been fun but I have been tossing a lot of batter 🙂 Not sad about the changes…perhaps a little wistful and in way of Samhain we are a little betwixt and between. . .Happy Halloween.

    • Aw, Katybeth, big hugs to you and Cole! I imagine you both ARE betwixt and between. Sometimes a special person’s death doesn’t hit us all at once but creeps up to catch us unaware. Your Halloween party does sound like fun; so does the State Fair food (I love funnel cake!). Thanks for sharing your Halloween traditions!

  2. Hi Deb, I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween either but I did enjoy it as a kid when we’d go out in gangs two or three nights before Halloween to different sections of our small town.When I had my own kids, I enjoyed watching their excitement but dreaded dealing with rationing all that candy. Now I am getting excited again watching my grandsons in their costumes. In fact, tonight I am accompanying them trick or treating and I’m dressing up as a Grandma 🙂 Happy Halloween!

    • That sounds like fun, Kathy! I enjoyed going to Halloween parties when I was young — scavenger hunts, bobbing for apples, scary stories by candlelight, etc. Maybe it’s just become too commercialized now. Hope your grandsons get lots of “loot”; dress warmly, ok? Did y’all get a bunch of snow??

      • We only got a few inches. Most of the snow was south and east of us. We are grateful we dodged the bullet this time! Halloween night was perfect, cool,crisp,dry and lots of fun watching my little astronaut and Mr Incredible race to the doors for their loot 🙂

  3. Pingback: November 1st: Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, Fried Clams Day

  4. I used to like Halloween a whole lot more when I was a kid and when my own kids were younger. But now I feel like it’s been hijacked by adults. Not because they’re celebrating it with their own kids, but because they have taken it for themselves and it’s become the biggest moneymaker, second only to Christmas! Plus, each year, I get fewer and fewer kids stopping by (probably for safety reasons), which makes me sad. Oh well.

    By the way, today I mention (and link to you) in my post. Hope you check it out!

    • I’m heading over for a visit right now, Monica — thank you in advance for linking to me! Yes, it’s rather sad how the adults have turned Halloween into an excuse to drink and dress like tramps.

  5. Debbie, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story in your post! Why is it that most things were better in the past? My daughter called me today and told me only one child came by trick or treating. I remember when my children were young, my greatest fear was always that we would run out of candy! Year after year, we’d looked forward to this magical holiday that allowed the children to be Superman, Batman, a fairy princess, a gypsy, and even a puppy dog! I miss the good old days!

    • You’re absolutely right, Bella. Sadly, it’s probably a sign of the times — more crime, more meanness. We, too, had very few trick-or-treaters (sure, there are fewer little kids in the neighborhood, but even pre-teens used to dress up and participate!) Now there are more organized activities — trick or treating at the mall, costume contests, etc. Thanks for your comments and for visiting — please know you’re welcome any time (now, I’m coming over to visit you!)

  6. I’m not a fan of Halloween myself, but my kids love it – especially my older son. (Not fair that he was getting over being sick, but we still dressed him anyway!)

    I don’t normally decorate for Halloween, but last year, I bought some glow in the dark window clings and put them in our front window. Well, I forgot about them and they melted into gooey streaks down the window! (We have shutters over the window and it turns out we couldn’t see them from the street because of our sun screens.)

    I finally got them cleaned up yesterday, but there were several dead flies in the goo. Disgusting…and perfect for Halloween.

    That was a cute story you described. Thanks for sharing it!

    • As we usually have cooler weather by Halloween, I tend to forget those parts of the country that are still baking (and I guess you’re in one of them!). When my son was little, we used lots of window clings to celebrate the different holidays, and I remember our St. Patrick’s day pot ‘o gold left all kinds of nasty streaks on the front storm door — no flies, thankfully! Hope your son is feeling better now (and that you managed to avoid catching it!)

    • Thanks, Suzicate — I read to Domer all the time when he was little. Silly me, I thought I was nurturing a love for reading, as the “experts” advised! Turns out, the little imp preferred “reading” video games. Go figure!

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