By Judy Reiss
When I was young there were lots of holidays that I loved but there was none that I liked more than Halloween! Now things were much different then than they are now. No one that I knew had “Store bought” costumes but no one seemed to care. We all had costumes and I think that we all thought that we looked just terrific. I don’t think that I ever had a costume that was much better than a sheet and a mask and the mask was really weird. Everybody’s mask was made of what looked like gauze that was covered with some kind of wax which held the face into place. and truthfully none of us knew where they were made except every single mask had very strange eyes and small slits for nostrils and, of course some kind of mouth. But what I remember most was starting out to go Trick or Treating with a gang of my friends all of whom were neat and clean and thrilled to being able to go out without our parents and collecting as many treats as possible. We all started out about 5:30 and kept walking until it got so dark that we knew it was time to go home. But the main signal that it was time to go home was the melting of our masks. And what that meant was that the more tired we got the harder we breathed and the harder the mask began to melt around the nose and mouth. And by melt I really mean MELT. The wax started melting early in the evening and by the time the wax really took hold, all around the nose and the mouth the mask actually melted and what was a smooeeeeth face had transformed into a saggy, baggy nasty looking wet bandage! Did any of us mind? I am not sure any more. I do remember blowing through the mouth hole and seeing it flap back and forth and understanding that my frightening costume was not the same one that I started out with early in the evening. But since we all had the same mask and homemade costume, no one really cared.
When my children were young I did try a little harder to make them a costume that would hold up a little longer when they went out Trick or Treating And I believe they did. I also let them decide how and when to eat all their loot! I’ve always thought it was a dumb idea to dole out the candy one piece at a time. My theory was to let them eat it all at once, feel a little nauceous and be done with it. I do know parents who only allow their children to have one piece a day and what happened is that they sneak more and more, finally get sick and the happy Halloween memory ends up bending over the toilet bowel.
Now that Halloween is coming again try and remember that it should be a fun time for little children. It is not for the high school kids to swarm around the little ones and scare them to death. It also shouldn’t be an opportunity for the older kids to take the candy away from the little kids who are actually having a wonderful time pretending to be someone else! Nothing is more fun for a little person to pretend to be The Flash, Peter Pan, Wonder Woman and all sorts of imaginary creatures and parents should allow the children to enjoy every single minute of the day.
So, enjoy Halloween at your house and allow your children and other children to be someone else and have a wonderful time doing it. Remember, it only comes once a year!