For the Love of Halloween
My dear friend Scott Lenig wrote a guest post for us.
Scott lives in the South-West of the USA.
Enjoy his description of Halloween in the USA, right from the keyboard of a true Halloween lover.
Can you feel it? There is something spooky in the air. That spooky feeling is only aided by the constant gray of the sky and trees slipping into dormancy as the leaves brown and fall to the ground, almost as if nature wants to take part in the spookiness that is coming.
This is a time of year I get so excited for. Halloween time! Now, I admit, I am unsure just how popular Halloween is in other countries, but here in the US, it is one of the biggest holidays of the year, rivaling only Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This time of year, scary movies play non-stop on Television. Haunted House attractions pop up seemingly over night, with people lined up around the corner, ready for a good scare. Spooky decorations line the houses and special stores open out of no where just in time to sell you the latest gory and bloody props, costumes and make up.
There are a number of traditions for Halloween in the US and I figured I would share some of them with you, seeing as how it is my favorite holiday. Where to start though? Perhaps, with my favorite aspect of the holiday, Pumpkin carving! This is a tradition that is so much fun! It is one of the few things I am actually half way artistic at. I have won two pumpkin carving contests and hope to win more.
The most fun part is scraping out all the gooey insides! It is messy, but some how exhilarating. Now, most people do not get as complex as I do when they carve a pumpkin. Here, you will find that a nice, simple but spooky face, will suffice. Me? Well, I love to challenge myself. To see just what I can really do. Take a look for yourself at just what I can do, in the picture left. That is one of the award winning pumpkins I carved myself.
Now, another aspect that I touched on is the scary movies that play on television. Lots of channels will have marathons of scary movies and being a scary movie addict, I find myself glued to the TV set, flipping between Freddy Kruger on his latest kill and priests exorcising the devil from a little girl.
Often times, friends will get together and have parties, gathering around the TV, watching scary movies, eating snacks and of course, wearing costumes. For you see, here in the US, Halloween is not just for the kids. It is fun for everyone.
I will get into the grown-up fun a bit later though. Let’s talk about the kids. Every year, kids dress up in all sorts of costumes. Some scary and some cute. Usually the little boys around here, dress up as ghosts, zombies and other such monsters. The little girls, in variations of princess outfits. But you do also see kids dressed up as their favorite movie or cartoon character.
I love watching them having fun as they run up and down the street, knocking on doors saying “Trick or treat”, hoping for a few pieces of candy. Now, let me tell you. If you want to trick or treat the right way, you have to bring a pillow case to hold your candy. There is plenty of room for lots of candy and the pillow case is strong enough to support it.
Of course, I am much to old to go trick or treating myself, though I admit, if it was acceptable for adults to go, I would. Never the less, I have tons of fun, handing out candy to the children as they come to my door. Seeing the smiles on their face as their bags fill up and of course, hearing the occasional scream as some one plays a trick, scaring them.
Now, we adults have our fun to and it does not simply involve handing out candy. As I said, we have parties. Costume parties, with drinks, snacks, music and dancing. Just do not drink too much. It is inevitable that some one will play a trick on you, should you pass out, at least among my friends.
At the end of the night, when all the children have gone to sleep after a long night of trick or treating and the adults have sorted through the candy, to make sure it is all safe to eat, this is when the teenagers come out for their fun! As you can imagine, their idea of fun, is based heavily on the trick portion of trick or treat. They like to sneak out, cover peoples trees and houses with toilet paper, egg houses and cars, soap windows and pull just about any other prank you can think of.
Now, I will never admit to taking part in such activity as a teenager, but I can tell you, one of the messier pranks, that puts a final cap on the night that is Halloween. When you wake up on November 1st, walk outside to grab the morning paper, you will find a street filled with pumpkins, all smashed by the teens in the neighborhood, the night before.
The birds love it, but the car drivers hate it. There are so many fun activities that take place here on Halloween and each of them bring out the kid in me. Just thinking about the fun I will have today, brings a smile to my face.
Have a happy and scary Halloween, but most of all, have fun!