by Suzanne Reisler Litwin
Last month I had a serious reality check. I woke up on October 31st and realized it was Halloween. I got a tingly nervous feeling of excitement in my body. I felt like I was 7 or 8 years old again. I know this sounds so silly and juvenile but it was so. I felt the excitement of Halloween running through my body. Sort of the same feeling you get when you wake up and realize it’s your birthday. It’s a good, special kind of day.
During this day I was giddy, but I kept these feelings to myself. I suppose a 51 year old woman giddy about Halloween is completely immature. So, I proceeded to cover the outside of my house with Halloween decorations. I strung pumpkin lights around my front porch railing. I connected two giant lawn blow-up creatures to electricity and watched them inflate with glee. I felt like a kid again.
By noon, the front of my home was welcoming for all trick and treaters. Then I prepared the 700 pieces of candy which I annually give out. There are very big crowds of people on my street during Halloween.
The last thing to prepare was my costume. Then it hit me! I’m 51 years old! Isn’t it time to stop this nonsense? Isn’t it time to mature and grow up? My kids don’t trick and treat anymore. Who am I doing this for? Why am I putting on a costume? Why is my home decorated and why am I feeling so giddy? Is there something wrong with this picture?
I sat on my bed and thought about this. I asked myself, why am I doing this? Isn’t it time to close the lights and move on to being a mature adult? I sat for a while and questioned all the preparations I had just done. I kept on asking myself, why am I doing this?
Then my son casually walked into my room and asked me, “So, what are you going to be this year?” As if to say, what will be my costume? I proudly rose and said, “I’m going to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle!” Then he asked, “Which one?” I said, “Donatella – female for Donatello”. He said, “Cool” and left my room.
Just then I realized something. Halloween was a simple foolish pleasure I wanted to participate in. I did all these preparations in order to invite people to my home and provide them with a great treat. This was about welcoming, giving, and being happy. It was a silly foolish pleasure I wanted.
I got into my costume and within 5 minutes my doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a cute little unicorn with rosy cheeks who said, “Twick or Tweet”. How can I not give a “tweet” to someone so sweet?
The candy giving went on for another 4 hours, hence the 700 pieces of candy. I saw amazing costumes on little and big kids. It was priceless entertainment.
The most wonderful part of the night was seeing first time parents carrying their babies dressed in their first Halloween costume. The parents said trick or treat for the babies while carrying little plastic pumpkin buckets. I gave them each a chocolate. They were so proud of their child’s first Halloween experience. How can I not participate in this celebration of giving and happy?
Another joy I experienced was watching people take pictures of their children standing in front of the giant blow-up creatures on my lawn. I placed the blow-ups close to each other so as to create an excellent backdrop for pictures. I loved watching people position their children in front of the blow-ups and take family pictures.
Win. Win. Give. Give Situation.
At the end of the evening, I was sold out of candy and I was an exhausted ninja turtle.
So what did I extract from this evening?
I decided that I will not stop decorating my home for Halloween. I will wear a fun costume each year. I will encourage people to come to my home and receive treats. I will continue to indulge in this foolish pleasure for as long as I can. And most of all… I won’t grow up! COWABUNGA!
My suggestions from this experience:
Occasionally indulge in foolish pleasures. Why not?
Step out of your comfort box and try new things.
Fun + Silly = Happy
Spend some time with children; they are so refreshing and interesting.
Once in a while, put on a costume or a funny hat and make someone smile.