Bring Back the Popcorn Balls!

Writer's Note: I wrote this article for LR Family for the October issue. Due to some miscommunication, it was not published there but I am posting it here because I love it with all its ridiculousness. I hope you enjoy it as well AND I will have an article in the November issue so - local friends - keep your eyes peeled for that!

Bring Back the Popcorn Balls!

There’s no doubt that Halloween is a bit more hopped up than it used to be. Mostly, as a Pinterest Parent (admittedly a hardcore fail of a Pinterest Parent) to small people, I find myself getting sucked further and further into the Halloween hoopla every year. In my neighborhood, Halloween tends to be a big party - we block off our street, our neighbors are out and about, and, one year, we even had a food truck and Halloween parade BEFORE officially trick or treating. I won’t discuss the hours of balloon tying I did that year - the children clearly needed a balloon arch at the start of their parade!

Tiger Kitty and Friend under the infamous Halloween balloon arch.

We’ve come a long way from my own childhood when a slim selection of costumes purchased at the grocery or convenience store sufficed. You know the ones - a plastic smock that tied in the back, eerily circular cutout eye-holes that you couldn’t really see out, a suffocatingly tiny slit for breathing and those flimsy rubber bands to secure it around your head.

Occasionally, we had homemade costumes as well though they generally went one of three ways - a sheet-ghost, a hobo or a gypsy, which, let’s face it, was basically the more girly version of the hobo. If you wanted to get crazy, you could craft your own but parental involvement was scarce if you went this route. One year, I vividly remember painstakingly pressing masking tape onto a black t-shirt in order to create a spider web effect. How happy must my mom have been? Here’s some tape & a t-shirt. Viola! Costume! Her hardest job was eating my popcorn balls and scouring my candy for non-existent razorblades and the oh-so-dangerous-your-stomach-will-explode Pop Rocks!

I am the tin foil crowned gypsy on the end.

Masking Tape Spider Web Costumes are all the rage.

Now, if my kids need a costume, we have entire stores dedicated to Halloween apparel. My oldest child, who is 8, has never had much of an affinity for creative costuming. He is happy to keep it simple - a pirate, a soccer player, the ever-popular Harry Potter. My five year old daughter has more unusual requests ranging from a Rainbow Kitten to a Tiger Kitty to a Dancing Unicorn. In my heart, I’m hoping for a zombie version of one of her costume requests soon. We have a new baby in the house this year - perhaps a 3-month old Vampire? Clown? Tiny ax-murderer? Suggestions for my trio or terror welcome.

Overall, I try hard to keep hopped-up Halloween somewhere in the middle of then and now - a mixture of store bought costumes with homemade elements. I let them candy overload but try to reign in it in before a full on sugar coma. As they get older, I try to let them roam the neighborhood a little more freely and party with the neighbor kids until they crash. As my kids age, I’m sure I will be reevaluating the whole Halloween situation - Halloween with pre-teens and teenagers? Now THAT, my friends, is scary.


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