Halloween is my favourite holiday.
While I can admit that a snowflake-dipped red coffee cup filled with nutmeggy goodness puts a spring in my step, there is nothing that quite compares to the festivities of dressing up like your worst nightmare and dancing the monster mash.
Every year I dream up big plans for my costume. Much to my boyfriend's dismay, it never involves cleavage or animal ears. Instead, I tend to go for the gore or a good sharp wit. This year was a strange compromise: I had planned to make a Mummy costume from scratch. We're talking hand shredded and tea-dipped old bedsheets for a yellow, rotting effect with some ghoulish makeup to boot.
BUT I had a friend drop in from New York for the night which totally hampered those plans. Instead, I went as one of Lichtenstein's 'pop-art' damsels in distress. While the makeup was somewhat time consuming, the costume on the whole came together in a snap.
Unfortunately it was lost on a number of less imaginative friends (which was not unexpected in a sea of catwomen and slutty Disney characters).
I think I will try something more straightforward for the kids when I give out Candy tonight...
We live on a dead-end street where not many trick-or-treaters with any level of strategy would bother coming. In the glory years, the CEO of a giant confectionary company lived down the way which put us on the map. After all, the basic breakdown of trick-or-treat strategy is as follows:
1. Type: I'm disappointed to admit that we made the mistake of buying into the classic crap-mix of halloween candy. Nobody is thrilled by another mini aero or coffee crisp. Show me the Reese cups, or Wonderbars! At least we're not the house giving out apples, or worse yet RAISINS (never make this mistake), but I hang my head nonetheless.
2. Size: If you are able to spring for a deal on REAL sized candy bars, you will forever be known by the neighbourhood kiddies as a must-hit. Thanks to our past neighbour (who had boxes of king-sized bars) we benefit from the run-off. This is a level I hope to reach someday, but in the struggle to feed neighbourhood children corn starch and put food on my own table...I await a higher paycheque to proceed to this level.
3. Decorations: There really is no excuse here. The dollar store has incredibly cheap and disposable decorations to toss across your steps for pennies. In fact, the more messy they look the better. In leaner years, my brother used to just lie motionless in the garden dressed as a scarecrow until kids walked up and he scared the living bejezus out of them. Now we have blinky-eyed skeletons and wireless speakers with spooky soundtracks tricking out of the potted plants. It's an investment, that's all I'll say.
4. Density: Last, but most critical, density. The real trick or treater is looking to crush as many candy hotspots as possible before bedtime. It's an efficiency model. If you live in an apartment building or have scrooge neighbours that don't even carve pumpkins, you're in for it. I have three old ladies on my street that live alone and turn their lights off, or worse yet, just put a box of raisins out on the stoop instead of a jack'o'lantern. If this is the case, you will have to work hard on the aforementioned list, but there is hope.
Have a spooky night!