Happy Halloween...

Phew! This has been a busy, busy month. I went on two trips, had a visit from an old friend, and frankly, haven't had time for much else. That's why I'm not doing a darned thing for Halloween this year. No costume, no party, no decorations, no themed treats, nothing.

All things considered, Halloween isn't even one of my favorite holidays, although many of the people in my life seem to love it. Maybe it's because I'm just not that into candy. I seem to remember Mom throwing away the remnants of my uneaten candy stash sometime around Christmas as a child, because I never got around to eating it all. Last year, the leftovers from my trick-or-treaters languished in a drawer for an embarrassingly long time. In high school, I was the first person in my circle of friends to recognize that I had gotten too old for trick-or-treating and give it up. I'll take baked goods over candy any day. I suppose I'm like the Ebeneezer Scrooge of Halloween.

However, this was not always the state of affairs. I used to get more into the Halloween spirit when I was a kid, especially because Mom always made it a special occasion. Mom was always really into Halloween, throwing Halloween parties, putting up seasonal decorations, assembling elaborate costumes for me, and she even volunteered to do a haunted house at my elementary school one year with some other moms. So, even if it's not my favorite holiday today, I thought it might be festive to look back on some memories of Halloweens past:

1992: As a child, I was always fascinated with ancient Egypt, which indirectly led me to my current career. My favorite museum in Chicago was the Field Museum, largely because of their interactive Egypt exhibit, in which you travel through a mock mastaba (the precursor to the pyramid) and engage in numerous activities such as drawing water using a reconstructed shaduf, and attempting to move a stone equal in size and shape to those used in the pyramids. My fascination with the Egypt exhibit fostered a life-long fascination with museums, and my personal favorite among my childhood Halloween costumes. Mom made every part of it from scratch, from sewing the dress, to attaching all the charms and gems to the collar, headband, and armbands. She also made all the decorations you see in the background, for the Halloween party we hosted that year.

1994: My love for musical theater goes back as far as I can remember, when Mom would play tapes from musicals like Les Miserables, Cats, and Phantom of the Opera in the car. I saw a live production of Les Miserables for the first time when I was merely five years old. Although Les Miserables still reigns as my favorite individual musical, I have a particular affinity for the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber. It wasn't until I was nine, however, that I chose to be the Phantom as a Halloween costume. This particular ensemble was so successful that I used it, and components from it for several subsequent Halloweens.

1995: Not one of my best costumes ever, but this society maven ensemble makes an important point about Halloweens in Chicago: it is always cold and often rainy. This costume enabled some genius practicality: faux fur-trimmed gloves, and an actual mink stole that Mom found at a estate auction. In fact, I can't remember a year when winter coats and layering weren't involved in my trick-or-treating experience. Even this year, after a week of temperatures in the 50s and 60s, it fell into the 40s just in time for Halloween. Thankfully though, I was so busy not celebrating today, that the drop in temperature had no effect on me.

So, even though I'm not doing a thing to commemorate this holiday outside this blog post, I hope all the rest of you had a safe, and ghoulishly good time. Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. Halloween is my least favorite holiday. I went trick or treating one year as a kid and someone put a piece of salami in my bag. I suppose if the bread was included, it would have been ok. That was the last year that I went trick or treating. If you like baked goods, you should try pignoli cookies.