It’s September 1. The weather is still nice and warm. We are enjoying the last days of summer - soaking in the sunshine, enjoying long days - and all I can think about are....HALLOWEEN COSTUMES!! I have a very strange obsession with dressing up for Halloween. I can pretty much say that Halloween is my least favorite holiday of the year. I absolutely DETEST scary things and I don’t really appreciate the darker side of this holiday. And yet, it is one day of the year I really look forward to simply because I love coming up with new costume ideas!
I was thinking about this the other day as I was scrambling around, trying to get everything together for costumes at the last minute. I had spent the previous month preparing ideas, gathering materials, and meticulously assembling our attire. And I asked myself, “Why is this so important? Why do I spend so much time on a holiday that I don’t even like?”
I think there is a two-part answer to this. The first part is that I have always loved to imagine. I love to dream and create, and dressing up gives me a chance to do this in a “grown up” sort of way. But the other part is that I am upholding tradition. My mom is the original costume creator in my life. I don’t think she made our costumes every year, but my most memorable Halloweens were those I spent wearing my homemade outfits. And not only did my mom take the time to make our costumes, but they often went with a family theme. One year my brother and I were both little Native Americans. Another year we were Luke and Lea Skywalker. But my favorite was the year our whole family went as The Wizard of Oz - my dad as the Scarecrow, my mom as the Lion, my little brother as the Tin Man, and me as Dorothy.
Just like me, my mom was always putting these costumes together at the last minute. But they always turned out perfectly. And they turned what appears on the outside to be a dark and fear-filled holiday into an opportunity to spend time together as a family. So while you won’t see me decorating my yard with spider webs or watching scary movies this Halloween, I will be enjoying the day, watching my children develop their imaginations and spending time with those I love the most.