Living Out Loud

Eat, drink, be scary


Seriously, what has happened to Halloween?

I’m not one of these too-holy-for-Halloween types. I love holidays and I especially like ones that celebrate children, creativity and involves the community. And who doesn’t like candy? Every Halloween, millions of zombies, vampires and goblins take to the streets, looking to fi ll their plastic pumpkins with candy. On average, there’s easily 7,000 calories in each child’s buckets and I would “check” my daughter’s bounty of the night and I will admit to taking most of the chocolate candy for myself.

My name is Lorrie and I am a chocaholic.

Halloween was great when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. The kids got a day at school just to be kids, we got to enjoy films, share some delicious cupcakes, and other homemade treats. We were told about how the holiday originated and the infamous Salem Witch Trails. There were even contests between classrooms for the best decorations. My classmates and I dressed up from everything from ghosts (made from an old sheet) to mummies, pirates, hobos, vampires, witches and ballerinas.

Now in the 21st century, Halloween has been taken over by adults. Front yards have gone from more than the glowing jack-o-lanterns, scary noises and witches gathered around a big smoking pot. Now trick or treaters are walking over fake body parts, dummies hanging from trees covered in blood and adults with machetes and chainsaws ready to give away a few heart attacks along with the candy.

Let’s talk costumes. How many Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga costumes will be sold this year? Halloween costumes seem to get sexier and more expensive every year, but at the same time, many schools ban dressing up on Oct. 31.

Growing up I remember witches with warts, green faces and the basic black dress and not ever being all that sexy. Even Glinda, the only good and pretty witch I ever knew was in the Wizard of Oz - covered up. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, came on very late at night and was for the adult to get their Boo-on. But in recent years, the sexy costume trend has drifted into the kids’ aisle, and more tots and tweens are dressing up as sexy cats or scantily-dressed superheroes. Look at the costumes that are available in the big stores. Every year the choices become more and more gruesome for boys, while the girls costumes become more and more like street walkers.

I still look forward to Halloween, mostly for seeing first-timers dressed up and trying to remember to say “trick or treat,” the smell of candles burning inside freshly carved pumpkins, the taste of candy apples and hot chocolate, and experiencing bumpy hayrides while listening to scary stories. I enjoy seeing friends gathered around a fi re with hotdogs and s’mores and enjoying the magic of the night, reminiscing about past Halloweens where so-and-so got so scared.

I love to watch Hocus Pocus or an old wolf man movie and eat myself silly with popcorn covered in butter. But giving out the candy is still best to me. Whether you’re dressed up or not, seeing some great costumes and the smiles are priceless.

Who doesn’t smile seeing a beautiful princess or a tiny superhero?

I give candy to everyone, no age limit as long as they are dressed up. There are far worse things for teenagers to be involved in than trick-or-treating and we are living in a time where people are constantly saying that children are growing up too quickly, acting like adults long before their years. “A grownup is a child with layers on” the actor Woody Harrelson is quoted saying and Halloween, to me, is the perfect time to peel away a couple of layers, if even for just one night!