Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bwah-ha-ha!!!! Happy Halloween!

by Jeanne Adams


Are you going Trick-or-Treating tonight? I hope so. I love Halloween. It's my favorite holiday. There's just nothing like being able to play dress up as an adult, not to mention watching the kids decide who and what they want to be. Its really a study in psychology, in some ways. Do they want to be a powerful wizard? A diminutive fairy? A princess or prince? An Army Man or a baseball player? I think it shows what kids love and what they fear, both of which often show in the choice they make. Then again, sometimes, it's just fun.

Same thing with pumpkins. My older son and I always carve pumpkins together. We have seven this year, lining the walk. It's the most fun I have all year, dragging out the carving tools, deciding on faces, arguing about whether the face is scary enough or not. I haven't mentioned to him that one of the reasons people started carving scary faces on gourds, turnips, and various members of the squash family was to scare evil away from the door and protect the dwelling place from harm. He probably wouldn't care even if I did tell him, he just likes carving the pumpkins and so do I. Same thing with the apples we cut and cook for Halloween dinner, reading the seeds to see if fortune favors us for the coming year. They were originally symbolic of the harvest, of plenty and of the fertility that carries through to spring, culminating in the birth of lambs and calves aplenty, hopefully. Now, they're just great fare on a cool night.

Off they'll tramp, my Baseball Guy, my Dalmatian, and their Dad to knock on doors and ring bells, laughing with their friends and delighting in their loot. As writers, we conjure up images, and people, some scary, some not. We create demons - inner and outer - and divas with the proverbial stroke of the pen. Just like Halloween, our characters can be anyone or anything we choose.

What would you choose to be, on Halloween, if you could be anything and anyone? Would you be a sorceress or a wizard? A queen or a peasant girl? Was there ever a costume you wish you could have had, just for ONE day, that you didn't get? What was your favorite Halloween as a child?

Success guru Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame does an amazing thing in his workshops. He throws a Come as You Will Be Party. He has people invision themselves with all their wishes fulfilled, arriving at the party as they Will Be. If you could have three Halloween Wishes, and go to the party as you Will Be, what would you be?


Caren Crane said...

I've got a Golden Rooster! I've got a golden twinkle in my eye!

Cassondra said...

Hmmmm. Good holiday post,Duchesse Jeanne.

When I was a kid my mom worked pretty hard at making my costumes. I was a witch several years--but then you couldn't buy cool witch hats just any-old-where. Now they have great hats at Kroger and WalMart. Then? No. Ugly itty bitty plastic ones. An ugly hat would not do. So I was a hatless witch several years running.

And there was the year I was an angel--but I REALLY wanted feather wings. I'd seen them on a costume on tv, and darn I wanted wings with real feathers. I settled for wire covered with bridal mesh, sprayed with glitter spray. It wasn't bad, actually.

I'm so impressed nowadays at the variety of craft items and costume patterns available--none of that when I was a budding fashion/costume designer. Careful here, or I'll give away my age....

Oh, and I've been looking for YEARS for some of those red and white striped tights to wear under a witch outfit. Can't seem to find those anywhere......

Happy spooking everyone!

Oh, and ....Boo!

Beth said...

Happy Halloween! I would choose to be a gypsy - although I never dressed up as one :-( I loved having Halloween parties as a kid -always did pin the nose on the scarecrow and of course, we bobbed for apples *g*

Right now I have 5 disorganized teenagers who are in my basement trying to figure out their costumes. Not sure what they'll up as - and isn't that half the fun of Halloween?

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, if I went to a Will Be party, I would be a tactful, charming NYT bestselling author. See how much I'm going to change? *eg*

I have no recollection of any good Halloween costumes from my youth. Just lots of hard plastic masks you couldn't really breathe through. My son, when he was little, had the greatest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume ever. He also had a couple of counter-terrorist costumes as a teenager that were great.

But his best was when he went to a costume party last year as Oscar Wilde. Oh, my!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, and my dream costume as a child was to be a Sugar Plum Fairy. My friend Cindy was a ballerina and she got to be a Sugar Plum Fairy in our first grade play. Believe me, this was a Big Deal. I had to be a toy in Santa's workshop. That was a Pity Part. So, the dream of the Sugar Plum Fairy stayed with me.

Of course, she had glitter in her hair for weeks.

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, great post! Happy Halloween, everyone!

Caren, congratulations on that rooster. Clearly Joan's gladiators are keeping me busy and that's how the GR got to your place! I need to put a lock on that chookhouse door! Dimitrius?

Donna MacMeans said...

Cassondra - My daughter has a pair of red & white striped witch knee-highs. They're not tights, but then again witch costumes are not known to be short - unless you are a very BAD little witch *g*

Jeanne - What a fun post. I loved the skeleton with the bell. Hmmmm...I'd come first off as someone without weight issues ;-) then I'd wear an elaborate period costume. I don't really care which period, but the person had to be able to afford the good stuff. I'd be the grown-up playing dress-up.

I can't think of any great costume I wore as a trick or treater. I don't think we had storebought costumes in those ancient times. I'm afraid my homemade concoctions just didn't leave an imprint. Now ask me what kind of candy I collected and I could give you a detailed recap *g*,

Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT post, Jeanne! And I LOVE that bell-ringing skeleton!

I remember going trick or treating as a gypsy several times -- long skirt, gaudy scarf around my head, tons of my mom's rhinestone jewelry. I had a Peter Pan costume I made for myself as an adult that was lots of fun. And one year the DH and I went to a party as Laurel & Hardy and we won a prize!

And I'm with Caren, my As I WILL Be costume is NYT Bestselling, uber-wealthy and benevolent author. Hmmm, why am I looking more like Stephen King and less like JK Rowling or la Nora???


Susan Seyfarth said...

Great post! I love dressing up for Halloween! Lately I've been into puns on my name. I've been a black eyed susan, a lazy susan, etc.

Since the kids came, however, I've just been wearing my black & orange stripey tights with a black dress & witches hat. (The tights were at one of those specialty halloween stores, BTW, Cassondra. One size fits all.) It's cute. I look like somebody should drop a house on me.

I like to cobble together odd costumes for my kids, but since our trip to Disney, they're refusing. They've gone all disnified. One's Belle from beauty & the beast, the other is Minnie Mouse. I hate the commericalization of it, but I have to admit they're darn cute. :-)

Happy trick or treating, everybody!


p.s. If I were to dress up as something I want to become? A well-dressed, well-rested, balanced-meal-eating sane person. And published, of course. :-) But that's after a full night's sleep on my wish list right now...

Susan Seyfarth said...

p.p.s. WTG on the Golden Rooster, Caren!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for coming over to play on what is a busy day for everyone! :> Thank PoshT for the bell ringer at the bottom. He's charming, isn't he?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I heard Jack Canfield talking about this party and it made me think...hmmmm...NYT bestseller, commercial blockbuster, movie deal. What am I leaving out? Hmmm. Oh, yes. Action figures. Which then lead to Halloween costumes. You see? It all comes back to playing dress up!

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, that bell-ringing skeleton is almost as awesome as a GOLDEN ROOSTER!! Bwahahahaha....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

The Golden Rooster would make a cool Halloween costume would Dimitrius...Snork. And Cassondra, I love the witches hats they have now too. None of this paper cone and a cardboard brim stuff! now it has feathers and glitter and actually FITS! :> What's not to love?

Helen said...

Happy halloween everyone.
If I could dress up as someone I wanted to be it would be a nice witch perhaps Prof McGonigal from Harry Potter.
Great post
Have fun everyone

Joan said... THAT'S where Dimitrius hied off to! He has been a naughty gladiator. tsk, tsk.

This year for the first time in a long while I was invited to TWO costume parties. I went as the Roman Goddess Sangria :-)complete with long curling brown hair and gold bangles.

It kind of freed that inherent arrogance I fear I have but it was a lot of fun to glare at people imperiously and say "What? You have no ambrosia?"

As to Will Be. Definately a multi pubbed author who no longer works at the hospital. A landowner in Ireland and forty pounds lighter

Now off to hide the Twix bars from the goblins (In my stomach LOL)

Caren Crane said...

Joan, when you find a really good hiding place for the candy, please let me know. I will soon be the shape of a Reese's peanut butter cup if no one stages an intervention!

Joan said...

Ah, Caren....I just looked up the POINT value for Twix (sigh)

But isn't it true that candy ON Halloween loses all its calories?
Huh? Isn't it?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yes! Slicing the cake or breaking the Reeses releases the calories to the Ethers on Halloween. Indulge, my prettieeeeees.....bwah-ha-ha!

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, the real question is, what are you going to dress as tonight? Surely you wear a costume to pass out candy...don't you?

I recall a few years back, the teenagers of our neighbors were having a Halloween party. The mom dressed as a scarecrow and sat in a rocker near the door. She sat perfectly still, then as people approached the door, she would move and yell at them. We heard screaming all night long!

Not sure I would have the tolerance for that. If I dressed as a scarecrow, I would want to dance around like Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. *g*

Anna Campbell said...

Joan, when you say naughty, you have NO idea! Snork!

MsHellion said...

I am currently dressed as a pirate wench. I've dressed as Harry Potter before; and Marilyn Monroe. Eve and simple bar maids. I dressed as the little girl from Monsters,Inc; and also Little Red Riding Hood.

Other than the Harry Potter and Little Girl outfits, mainly I enjoy being "sexy"--and I love making my costumes. I pour over Simplicity patterns, watching the trend and picking the movies they're from. This year Pride & Prejudice influence the crop--and there were some lovely patterns for an Elizabeth Bennett dress--as well as an Elizabeth Swann dress.

Possibly my favorite outfit was my Harry Potter one. I was so freaking popular that year. I'd hear people scream across parking lots. HARRY POTTER! Awesome. It has also panned out for movies and book releases thereafter.

Marilyn Monroe was a trip. Men are funny when you dress as a sex goddess. Talk about a power trip. My second favorite in this category was when I was dressed as Eve. Seriously Blondes have more fun. They just do.

As a kid, I remember having a real storebought Smurf outfit...and I remember my mom made me an outfit to be a ballerina.

Obviously I've always wanted to be the star of something growing up...and now. *LOL* Nothing's changed. And if dressing sexy means simultaneously that I love sex and fear it...that's also possible. *LOL*

jo robertson said...

Jeanne, what an entertaining and fun post. I can see how exciting you make Halloween for your family!

My Will Be costume would definitely be me thirty pounds lighter as well as the NYT best-selling author with a movie deal! I'd go for the Pulitzer, but my books aren't high brow enough LOL.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

mshellion, I love that you did Marilyn. I'd love to hear more about the guy's reactions too...share, share! Heehee. And yes, Caren, I am indeed dressed up. Just sent the boy-o's out for their rounds and I'm hatted up in full Witch gear, green skin included. No warts though. I'm a saucy, wenchy kind of witch, complete w/ cast iron cauldron for my candy. (It was my Granny's!)

Nancy said...

Congrats to Caren on getting the rooster. Ya hafta move fast to win it.

I'd go to the party as the original Batgirl, librarian Barbara Gordon (comic book, not tv, version). She won her black belt, taught herself to fight crime, and kicked serious butt. A woman with whom to reckon!

doglady said...

Hmm. I would definitely go dressed as a svelte classy NYT bestselling historical romance author with a small stately home in Suffolk!!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Our trick or treat was last night and of all things I was dressed as a zombie (ewww) it was the only I had that I would fit into. I scared a cute little girl by accident and felt bad for hours. Her mommy said it was okay I offered to go wash my face and I sat down on the ground (yes, it was cold) so I wouldn't look so big but she stayed behind mom's legs until we opened a Reese Cup and showed her the chocolate.

Joan said...

Well, my trick or treaters have left the building...figuratively of course.

The little ones I got tonight were SO cute. Little princesses and lady bugs and soldiers. And I have to say all of them were well behaved and thanked me.

One little princess even helped me put the candy in ther teeny little sister's bag. I told her she was a good sister and she just smiled and said "Yes I am."

I've also been watching that Sci Fi channel's live broadcast from Waverly Hills Sanitorium which is only about 5 miles from my house. (I grew up across Dixie Highway from it).

So far...supposedly...they got a little boy ghost named Timmy to kick a ball 16 feet. But what cracked me up is that two of them in the chute got all excited about a "musty smell". Ummm....been deserted for decades.

They did show some cool footage from the last time they were there of a "entity" running across a hall.

Who knows?

Nancy said...

I wish I'd thought of the multi-pubbed, best-selling author angle! My favorite kid Halloween costume, as best I can remember, was Sleeping Beauty--the Disney version, complete with mask and blonde(!) hair.

This was the era of Miss Clairol and "Is it true blondes have more fun?" and Sandra Dee and Doris Day and Patty Duke. I sort of secretly yearned for blonde hair until I saw Zefferelli's (not sure about the spelling) Romeo and Juliet. Olivia Hussey as so gorgeous that I stopped thinking about being a blonde. But I did wish my natural semi-frizz would straighten out like her hair did.

Yeah, I know, I'm never satisfied. I like to think that's part of my charm. That outfit had a pink dress with glitter on it. I did love that costume and still have fond memories of it, but I now prefer the blue version in the movie. Maybe I'm just fickle :-)

Helen, MacGonagall would be fun, especially if the costume came with powers *g*.

When our son was two, he was seriously into knights, castles, and all things medieval. I made him a knight's tunic and cape out of red corduroy with gold braid on the cape and trim with red, green and gold on black around the neck and sleeve edges of the tunic. He had a little plastic sword, shield, and helmet, and his dad figured out how to glue a red feather on the helmet for a knightly plume. I love that picture of my little "red knight." It's probably my favorite Halloween costume ever.

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Nancy, I love your little red knight! I had totally forgotten that when my son was about 8, I made him a knight/prince costume. I don't really "sew", so it was just a felt tunic with a crest and a sash or something. But he had a sword and a crown and boots. He was SO CUTE! Now that he dresses like Oscar Wilde, the prince thing doesn't seem as appealing to him. And no, he isn't gay. *g*

Tawny said...

Oh Jeanne - I love Jack Canfield - and his books LOL. A Come as You Will Be party rocks.

As for costumes, I dress the same every Halloween. I'm a witch. :-)