As I think mom has already made clear, we’re kind of fans of Halloween at our house. That means even five days later we’re not ready to let it go. So when election day reminded me of one of my favorite halloween traditions, I seized the opportunity to wax poetic.
One of the great things about the holiday is everybody’s quirks come out in costumes or traditions. No two people ever celebrate it quite the same. This year I couldn’t spend Halloween at home, but the upside is I’ve gotten to learn about (and participate in!) so many great new traditions – even within a pretty tiny sample size. Here is a wrap-up of all my favorite halloween traditions, old and new, that are sweet, quirky and all around awesome.
- Candy Marketplace
This is not the name for this tradition; it doesn’t have one. Until a year or two ago, there wasn’t a single Halloween I didn’t spend with Ellie, one of my bestest friends in the world. After collecting candy and rocking the vote (see below), every year until we were… gosh, 18, maybe? we scurried upstairs and dumped out every piece of candy and traded and bargained it. I usually ended up with Reese’s cups until July and if I wound up with a single piece of non-chocolate candy, I could consider the night a complete failure. Ellie wrote an actual essay for school on this one once. It’s a big flipping deal.
- Political Pumpkin
Also not the real name. This one started in 2004, when L and I decided it was our civil responsibility to tell everyone in the neighborhood to vote. We threw in our candidate if they had a supportive lawn sign or bumper sticker. As 12-year-olds go, we were cool cats.
- Mummy Food
Halloween is not about real food. If it’s not processed, it’s not allowed in the house. Over the years I’ve seen my fair share of awesome halloween recipes (witch hats, pretzel fingers, graveyard cake) but my favorite was always the mummy food. My mom was a big fan of the mummy dog (hotdog in Pillsbury crescent roll) but last year I was first introduced to mummy meatloaf, with criss-crossed noodles on top. This, friends, is why you babysit.
- Secret Santa
I brag about my internship a LOT because I really, really love it. I love it for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the yearly secret halloween draw. Everybody in the office is secretly responsible for buying somebody else a costume. We exchange a few days before, and at lunch on Halloween, we all go down to the park and frolic. Not much gets done. It’s a good day.
- Tricky Treats
I know a really wonderful mother (other than my own) (the same one, in fact, behind the mummy meatloaf!) who told me last Halloween that back when their family was living in London, the grownups used to take along Diet Coke cans filled with champagne as they took their kids trick or treating to the city’s finest townhouses. This one sums up Halloween perfectly – pushing the rules, treats for the whole family and (lets face it) spying on the rich and fancy neighbors.
Hope everyone had an awesome halloween. Only 360 days left until the next one – plan your costume before it’s too late 😉