Monday, October 25, 2010

Thoughts on pumpkins

I could make some novel jack-o-lanterns this year. If I were to favor a Halloween tradition for my family, that would be one. I'd carve the pumpkins up, industriously make pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie with the insides, roast the seeds, and carve an interesting face into the shell. Then I'd insert a candle and show it off on the front porch.

Last year I carved a bear. Or was it two years ago? Before that... I don't remember. I carved something.

I don't know if it's going to happen this year. I'm behind on household projects - there's a pot of Ban Lu food in the fridge waiting to go into the food processor, and the list of unfinished chores just goes on and on. I spent the morning cleaning up toys and strewn laundry, but the results are disappointing.

I guess I like Halloween well enough, as holidays go. I think two sets of parents ruin it - the Type A overachievers who turned it into an elaborate mega-party-fest, and the paranoid moms and dads who obsess over safety to the detriment of everything else. Seriously, nobody has ever been confirmed to hand out toxic treats to strangers' kids. There's not one confirmed case of that. But the stories persist, and the people who tell these stories expect me to care, and I don't.

What can really be dangerous is when the kids get older and take Halloween as an opportunity to do something stupid. But I'm not there yet.

I'm also dismayed to see the proliferation of costume shops and candy displays. Who buys all this crap? In my opinion, people buy too much. Halloween is the perfect time for recycling and reusing, as kids and parents get all innovative with old clothes and cheap materials. Admittedly, the stores are selling much nicer costumes than they ever did when I was a kid. But I can't see that as a good thing. I will not encourage this trend by actually buying any costumes. Ever. Hey, I can sew. I can innovate. I can make costumes with some durability, to be reused for years. Like my mad scientist costume, which I've worn (or not worn) every year since we released Zephyr & Reginald: Minions For Hire and am wearing (or not wearing) again this year.

And I'm quite proud of my husband's costume. He got it all from thrift stores. I only have to add some finishing touches made of felt, and then I will show it to you.

Kiddo's costume... well. We have two hand-me-down costumes that are quite nice, but which one we choose, and how, remains to be seen. You see, the tiger costume is apparently too fluffy. Fluffy is apparently an issue. Okay. I can respect that. He's gonna wear something; whether it be tiger or no.

My real "rampant consumerism" rant is about Christmas, though. For Halloween, the trend toward greater spending adds nothing to the pleasure of the event, but it doesn't quite ruin it either. Thing is, I like chocolate.

I can enjoy myself and keep it quiet and not do any more grumbling until it's closer to Christmas. And even then, I have my favorite holiday to lighten things up a bit - Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. It's all food, nothing else. Nobody has added any crazy extra stuff - pseudo-history and football are easy enough to ignore - and they hopefully never will.


  1. My daughter is Alice in Wonderland. I am the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp version). I got all my costume pieces at thrift shops or just rummaging around my closet. The insane hair? It's naturally growing on my head. I just have to add some orange dye. Store bought costumes are a waste of money.

    As for Thanksgiving? Maybe it's just the sports fan in me, but it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without football!

  2. Hey, somebody's gotta like football! You can take care of that part so I don't have to.