Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Great Halloween Frenzy

For us, Halloween is over. Yes, it's mid-day on October 31, but our neighborhood chose to celebrate Halloween and trick-or-treating last night instead. The decision of Saturday vs Sunday has been a big bone of contention for many in our Knoxville community, but the decision was quite simple for us. A few mentioned a preference, we put it to an email vote, and Saturday won. We'll probably still have a few outsiders show up tonight and I will happily oblige them with treats. And we could take our kids to another neighborhood tonight, but I think enough is enough.

The nice thing is that I can sit back and relax on this Sunday, reflecting on the frenzy of yesterday and try to gain some perspective on this holiday of costumes and candy. I raced around all day Saturday preparing for all the festivities. I had to gather all the parts to their costumes strewn around the house and ensure they were clean from previous parties. I made "aliens" and "monsters" with the boys out of toilet paper rolls and egg cartons for our spooky tunnel made of pop-up-tents for the neighborhood party in the cul-de-sac. I had to find the playdough and chocolates I had stashed away from the kids for the trick or treaters. I loaded the car with all the supplies for the party and set them up myself. I prepared my cards for the reverse trick or treating. And of course we (well, mainly hubby) carved two awesome pumpkins: one an intricate dragon and one of Wow Wow Wubzy.

Where are pictures, you may ask? This is where the frenzy begins. I'm so mad at myself for not being able to find our camera on one of the biggest festivities of the year. I'm sure it will turn up, but it's all over now and we don't have a single picture.

As the party neared, I felt I had it all together. But then I forgot my great plan of making this a trashless event. I was going to be diligent with gathering recycling, even compostable trash. Alas, I just forgot and ran out of steam to make it happen. Instead, I just enjoyed the fellowship with neighbors.

We then had one hour to get home and eat dinner before starting trick or treating. In the middle of dinner, the doorbell rings. Not yet! "Mom, we're late! They're starting! We gotta get out there!" As we scrambled to finish dinner, get costumes back on, find flashlights and bags, and light our pumpkins, I was breathless before we left the driveway.

"Devin, here's your mask and tail for your bear costume!"
"I don't want to wear them!"
"But you're just a burglar in black without them!"
"I don't care!"
"Where's Brooke's headband?"
"I don't know."
"Devin, you had it last. Where did you put it?"
"I don't know."

We even left without her adorable wings; she was a barebones butterfly in a yellow and black tutu. Bobby took off with his buddy Aiden like race horses. Devin, Brooke, and I scrambled to keep up with maneuvering the wagon, letting her walk some, and prompting "trick or treats" and "thank yous" from Devin. Seven-year-olds do not want to hang with younger siblings. A few times, I found myself yelling their names, barking like a drill sergeant about safety, and yet trying to keep it fun for everyone. With the driveways in our neighborhood all being on a hill, I can safely say I got my exercise for the day.

At the second to last house, it hit me: I forgot our reverse trick or treating cards! "Are you kidding me?!" I exclaimed at myself. Nothing had gone right tonight. But that, of course, wasn't true. When we returned home at 8:00pm, the kids were digging through the candy and talking about how much fun today was. From the crafts to the pumpkins, from the party to the trick or treating, it was a fun day. It's tough at times when the frenzy is at top speed to see that.

So to most of the country who will be trick or treating tonight, I encourage you to not worry about the small stuff and just enjoy the thrill of the holiday. Even without a single picture, I can say it was the best Halloween yet. And this afternoon, I'm going to take all three kids on a leisurely walk through the neighborhood to distribute those fair trade chocolates in mailboxes. Won't they be pleasantly surprised tomorrow?!

Happy Halloween!

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