Friday, October 31, 2014

The Many Faces of Halloween

One of the things I love about Halloween is its versatility. It does not restrict itself to certain mandatory activities like opening presents at Christmas, shooting fireworks on July 4, or cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving.

It also allows itself to be celebrated on gorgeous October days other than the 31st. That is especially helpful if distance and family schedules don't always allow Googie to see her kids on that particular day.

In past years the kids and I have embraced the Halloween spirit in numerous ways. When they were smaller, the older ones sometimes trick or treated on our subdivision, or we moved the festivities to the farm for a family wiener roast. Three years ago Sooby, Pooh, and I resurrected "Scarecrow Man" (see the post from Sept. 24, 2011) for the first time since my own children were younger.

This year our Halloween celebration took its spooky, fun-filled place a week early. When the kids got to Googie's last weekend, this is the list they found posted on the pantry door, giving them a variety of Halloween-themed activities to choose from:

Following is a pictorial chronicle of some our accomplishments. First, the foam Frankenstein crafts, followed by the poster-making, aptly demonstrated by Bootsie:

Then, on to the anatomy lesson afforded by our skeleton puzzle, a new-in-the-package garage sale treasure I snagged earlier in the month:

Our "spooky dessert" was a duet of chocolate cake and orange sherbet, but, sadly, it did not last long enough for me to capture digitally. The veggie skeleton, our contribution to a neighborhood wiener roast, fared better:

Finally, in time-honored Halloween tradition, we carved a pumpkin (facial features designed by Sooby and Bootsie). Although it wasn't on the list, Sooby decided a spontaneous toasting of pumpkin seeds was appropriate. (I had forgotten exactly how to do this, but we washed them, put them on a cookie sheet, sprinkled them with olive oil, shook on some seasoned salt, and baked them at 350 for about 13 minutes, turning once.)

The one thing I was looking forward to that didn't get done was wrapping the kids up like mummies in toilet paper, but we can always save that for next year. For several years I have also been saving a plastic jack-'o'-lantern leaf bag for the kids to fill--but I forgot to put that on the list, and we ran out of time anyway. Maybe next year.

Tonight my little spooks will be trick or treating in their home neighborhoods, and I will be home by myself dispensing candy to other little goblins--but that's OK. We have had a large dose of Halloween fun for this year, and October 2015 is just eleven months away.

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