Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This little Halloween trick-or-treater is yours truly! In 1954! (This is when I was naturally blonde) I was Little Bo Peep and my mother made my costume. I'm sorry this picture is in black and white becaue it's hard to see the detail. My dress, cape and bonnet were made from crepe paper. Yes, that's right! My mother pleated and sewed the layers of ruffles. She was a brilliant seamstress,
there wasn't anything she couldn't make. (When I viewed this photo in a large form, that wild "modern" chair jumped right out at me! Too bad it didn't go with the carpet! 1954-too funny!)
Years ago, when I was a small child, we would go door to door on Halloween with a parent (who was also in costume-my parents would take turns each year), only visiting the neighbors on our street. At each stop, the homeowner would ask us to tell a joke or do a little song or dance and then they would try to guess who we were. (I, of course, never realized they they already knew who we were!) We would choose our treat, which was usually an apple, or homemade cookies or a real popcorn ball or a small candy of some type and be on our way. We would make our rounds and be home in an hour or so, excited to see what was in our little treat bag. Halloween was a fun and exciting time.
When my kids were little, we followed the same tradition. They only went to the homes on our street and spent some time performing when we visited each house. As each of my kids turned 12, trick-or-treating came to an end. I always felt Halloween was for the little ones.
Flash forward to 1991, the first year David and I were in our current home in suburban Pittsburgh. I knew we would have a lot of kids for Halloween  so I had gotten enough candy for about 100 trick-or-treaters with plenty left over for post-Halloween snacking! Halloween in our neighborhood started at 6:00. By 6:30 the candy was gone! At first we panicked and taked about giving money or cans of soup but we finally decided just to close up shop for the night. 100 kids in a half hour! Insane! Of course the kids couldn't have only been from our neighborhood. Some kids were clearly older than 13 or 14 and came in large groups. We were totally unprepared and overwhelmed. Many of the kids didn't even say "Trick or Treat", they just stuck their bags out for a treat. I was crushed. That was the end of Halloween at 9010 for the next 18 years, until now. I didn't like Halloween! To me, the charm of the guessing and performing had been replaced by greed.  It wasn't fun anymore. Seriously, how much candy does one child need? Call me a scrooge. For years I decorated for "Fall" but not for Halloween. Then I started to see all of the wonderful handmade Halloween things people were making and I succombed! 
This year I have decided to once again throw open the door tonight and greet the kids. I have purchased little bags of pretzels, chips and cheese curls (oh OK, I ate the cheese curls!) and Doritos for about 85 trick-or- treaters. The neighborhood has evolved and the thoughts about Halloween have changed, too. I think parents are once more accompanying their little ones because of safety issues and I don't think there are as many kids in our neighborhood these days. (Most of our new neighbors
 are really young couples with babes in arms)
 Today is dreary and rainy. I hope it dries up so the kids can go out tonight and not get soaked. I would hate to have to eat all of the treats that are in a big basket in my living room!

(from Suzee Que at Flickr)
This is the pumpkin head image I used for my Halloween tag swap.

I don't recall where this cute little witch came from.
I hope there are cute costumes tonight like this little girl....
and nothing that will scare me.
NOTE:  It is 9 PM and the Trick-or-Treaters are all home in bed by now...or on a sugar high somewhere. Halloween was great! The little brides, princesses, pirates, monkeys and many more varieties were adorable, excited and happy. We were happy to wave to the Moms and Dads who were waiting patiently on the sidewalk and prompting, "What do you say?" Cute, Cute, Cute! This was certainly worth the 18 year wait. I guess we'll do it again next year! (I even found a bag of cheese curls I missed!)


Celestial Charms said...

Happy Halloween to you. I just love your childhood Halloween costume photo. You still have the same pretty smile. Interesting past Halloween traditions that you remember. We never had the pleasure of performing for our treats when I was a child. I think I would have liked that. We did always say "Trick or Treat," and thank you back then. Your right about that not happening much anymore. I always accompany my children and make sure they say both. I also try to instill in them, that it is more important to put a smile on someone's face by showing your costume, than by getting candy. Speaking of different traditions, my Dad who is 80, said when he was a child, they went trick or treating on Thanksgiving day...not Halloween. Strange but true!

mimi said...

Happy Halloween my friend!!! I hope you had more trick or treaters than we did. I think we only had 10. So what was I thinking when buying all those bags of candy. I can't stop eating those darn Butterfingers :) Hope you had fun tonight.

marie said...

Way too much candy left here too! The first few bunches that came through didn't even have costumes on...just back packs for candy! :(

But then I got several groups of little ones in cute costumes...and then my three special trick or treaters stopped by.

I love your bo-peep costume! I made all my childrens' costumes - but I can't imagine the amount of time that went into your costume. There's so much fabric!

Chele said...

I love that picture of you! Too sweet! Unbelievable what your mother did with that crepe paper. I get ansy when I stitch a small lenght of streamer.

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Oh, what a charming post. I loved everything about it. But first... about that amazing first photo of you!!! Your mother WAS an amazing seamstress. That's a costume to beat all. You looked so adorable in it!! And that chair...your parents were ahead of their times. Don't you wish you had it now?
I'm so happy you had a pleasant and happy Halloween this year. You're right, it was worth the wait! : )
Have a great week,

Creative Breathing said...

Joyce, This was such a wonderful post! The tale of Trick or Treating in your childhood neighborhood was wonderful! I am so excited that you found the K&Co. line. Today I returned to find long borders that are so beautiful, and the paper to match. Thinking caps on! Have a lovely week! E

fullofbliss said...

Oh Joyce! I just loved this post so much. The story of your childhood Halloweens sounded much like my own. I just adore the picture of you in the beautiful Bo Peep costume your mother made. I see being creative with paper was in the blood.(~.~) All of my costumes growing up were of the hand/homemade variety. I have always liked it that way. Then you know nobody will have the same costume as you. Even now, when I have bought my kids costumes, I end up adding to or ripping apart this, that or the other. I had a real blast this year, that's for sure!

I hope you are doing well my friend. Again, this post was just so wonderful I enjoyed it so much!
"Talk" to you soon. XO~Bekah

My name is PJ. said...

We are of the same vintage, Joyce! When I was little the neighbors made us all come inside on Halloween and would try to guess who we were!

Hi! I'm PJ,host of the Amazon giveaway. You're one of my new followers and I like to meet and greet those I haven't met and gret yet! :) Welcome!

I'm following along on your blog now too!

Creative Breathing said...

Joyce, It seems we are the lightening rods to keep each other informed about fabulous paper crafting! I do hope you will check out Paula Clare's Christmas book on my side bar. What a wonderful creator she is! E


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