Another Thing I Don't Get

There are many things I do not understand but I really don't understand when exactly Halloween became such a huge freaking deal and why I wasn't consulted about it before it happened.

There is a guy on our street who has an inflatable Halloween CAR on his yard. I don't get the significance of that, either. But I shudder to think what this means for his yard at Christmas. When we were on Long Island, we noticed that Halloween is HUGE there. Every house had some serious Halloween decorations. It looked like people had hired services to decorate for Halloween, like some people here do for Christmas.

(As an aside, just so you know that I'm not being discriminatory, when I was growing up, there was a house on our street where the people put up a HUGE, I mean, ENORMOUS Star of David every year. But that's really the only time I've seen other faiths do something so over-the-top. Until now, that is. At Halloween, which is sort of the opposite of religion, right? Or maybe it's a new religion: The Church of Orange Consumerism.) (Oh, I'm sorry. Am I letting the prospect of the huge dental bills in our future make me cynical?)

I don't decorate much for Halloween, mostly because once I put something in the attic, it's easier to just go buy new than to try to find it again. So, we HAVE some Halloween decorations, I just don't know where they are. If I could find them, though, they would not be inflatable. Because (I hope I'm not hurting anyone's feelings) I think they're really huge and um, ugly. (I'm sorry if you have an inflatable Halloween car in your yard. Really. I'm sorry on very many levels.)

And as long as I'm being the Halloween equivalent of the Grinch, may I just complain about something else? ("Oh SURE you can," you say, "we stopped listening long ago, you Communist.") Who invented this new "Ghosting" thing? Do you know what that is? Someone comes and anonymously (or at least that is how it started) leaves a little bag of treats on your doorstep with a sign that proclaims that YOU'VE BEEN GHOSTED. Now you have to post a cutout of a ghost on your front window, so that no one ghosts you a second time, but you have to try to find two people in your neighborhood who haven't already been ghosted and then take them treat bags and instructions.

Try finding someone in THIS neighborhood who hasn't been ghosted. (And if you find that person, I get first dibs.)

Worse, though, it's the day before Halloween and someone just rang our doorbell to do something NEW. We got "Booed."
Actually, we got "Boo'd" which is even more offensive since now I have a sign on my front door with a punctuation error front and center.


Maybe I'm just feeling grumpy because for the first time ever, the girls didn't ask me to make their costumes. Ana is going as a (store-bought) Ninja and Jane is going as Hermione from the Harry Potter series. Nothing for me to make there, although if I had the right colors, I guess I could have knitted Jane a Gryffindor scarf but I think it's going to be about 80 degrees tomorrow.

Maybe it's just that I've been in a bad mood for, oh, a year or so now.

Okay, in order to ask for your forgiveness for being such a Halloween Scrooge, I present to you a Study of Two Girls in Pumpkin.

This one is entitled Classic Hippy.
He's a Classic Jack-O-Lantern but he has a ponytail. Hence the name.

This one is entitled Julia.

Knowing my kids as you do, can you guess whose is whose?


hokgardner said…
I am with you on this. I remember the thrill of Halloween when I was a kid was just being able to be out wandering the streets after dark and after bedtime. Now it's full-on consumerism. And I totally don't get all the "grown-ups" who wear costumes and go down to 6th street to get drunk. OK, I don't get grown-ups who wear costumes, drunk or not. We held a costume-free Halloween party one year, and it was a huge hit with our friends. Except for the one who arrived wearing an inflatable alien hat.

And Ella is dressing as Hermione, too.

And I'm on the verge of a migraine, so this may not make any sense whatsoever.
Stefanie said…
Hey, there's nothing wrong with having inflatable decorations. We so happen to have a giant inflatable snowman for christmas (itis just the best to jump onto!!)

I dressed as Harry Potter when I was about 8 or 9 ish... before the fad even hit America. Mom made our costumes and I still have them in the back of my closet somewhere.

I love halloween, but mostly because I get to dress up for school.
Anonymous said…
I totally agree with you. Honestly, it seems the whole thing is getting out of hand. Spend more! Do more! Out-Halloween your neighbors!

Bah humbug.
Ei said…
I never went over the top with Halloween...I think my ex is acting out against that because he suddenly has all that inflatable crap all over his yard, and dude, it is hideous. Sold me even harder on NEVER doing that.

Halloween, however, is not a religious holiday for is a secular celebration much like Christmas has become for many people. The Pagan holiday is Samhain, and it is actually the Pagan new year, and was a harvest festival. Just an FYI.

I haven't made costumes since the year they picked Rufus (the naked mole rat from Kim Possible) and Shark Boy as costumes. I blamed my lack of desire to sew and glue and, and, and on the divorce and being a busy single mom, but honestly, those costumes undid me.
I like Halloween, because I like candy. And because the holiday can still be quite simple - costume, jack-o-lantern, treats. That's it. Everything else is optional. We duck all the Halloween party invites, etc, because trick-or-treating is the party. Duh.

Although, I sort of like the Boo'd game you describe (there's no difference between being Boo'd and being Ghosted, right?) - why? I don't know. I've always enjoyed secret Santa type things, and this is the Halloween version, I guess. And is it any different than tagging someone with a meme? Hmmmm....I have to go think about that.

You're having a bad day, Barb. But that's okay - you're allowed. And I remember someone I knew who had 4 kids before I had any telling me that sometimes she had bad years, but she still liked her life. That's perspective, now, isn't it?
Anonymous said…
We live at the end of a long street with no street lights. I haven't seen any halloween decorations at all, never mind the inflatable ones. I'd have noticed because it it Election Season here. This will continue because our representative to congress died (not that I'm holding that against her or anything) so our November elections will be immediately followed by November conventions and then December elections, after which we get to breath in a few times before primaries. Much more of this and I'm going to re-evaluate the concept of a monarchy. Anyway, back to topic, last year we got about two sets of kids all evening. The year before there were three, but one was a high school boy hoping to impress my daughter with his full gorilla outfit. She was Not Home.
Candy said…
You don't read my blog, do you? I will be posting pictures of our yard tomorrow night. We go ALL out. Our entire yard glows orange and we have a fog machine and strobe lights (although we don't use that anymore, it hurts my eyes as I get older). We don't have a ghost car, but we do have a blow-up frankenstein that goes between our bushes. LOL... and we have pumpkin stakes all around the yard... LOL... come see my blog in a couple of days so you can shake your head. We actually have more Halloween decor than xmas!
Candy said…
Okay Okay, you inspired me to go take pics of my yard... yeah, it's all done up and looks well... freakish, but Happy Halloween! Tom and I, for the entire 14 years we've been married have always decorated like this. I think we should come with a warning for all neighbors ;)
ckh said…
I like Halloween. I like to dress up and I like to eat candy. It plays into my whole not wanting to grow up thing that I'm going through.

I'm sorry you're grumpy. I've been like that for a week and I put makeup on this morning just to fool myself into a better mood. Surprisingly, it worked. Sort of...

Maybe you should dress up as something grumpy (a witch??) and stay in character all day tomorrow taking your mood out on everyone that you encounter. The silliness might help you get out of your funk or it might help you express everything under the guise of "costume."

Happy Halloween, Barb.
Anonymous said…
I am surprised at you! Don't get me wrong...I'm sure my house will totally get toilet papered because I'm giving out, get this, sugarless gum.

I don't think Halloween is about anything except having fun. It's fun when you're a kid, it's even more fun as an older single person and as a parent it's fun I think to just witness the excitement. Now, there's no way I'm letting Jessie eat or hang onto all that candy. We'll pick out her favs. and put them away for later consumption and the rest will come to my office. No harm done really. Sure it's a big, blatant cash grab for all the candy making companies but there's nothing saying you can't turn off all your lights and lock the door and go out for a nice dinner instead. Maybe some nice roast beast!
N. Maria said…
Those are so cute! I always cut mine like the classic.
I still have to go get a pumpkin or two and bake the seeds!
Happy 'Boo!' Day.
Anonymous said…
OK, guilty as charged! We don't have an inflatable car (although I saw one at WalMart), but we do have an inflatable motorcycle being ridden by a skeleton in biker leather. My husband found him about a month ago right after they put out all of the Halloween stuff at the store, and I thought he was cute. My kids have named him "Mr. Bones". My neighbors have an inflatable Frankenstein that stands as tall as their house, and it seems like everyone on my street has just gone nuts this year. I actually feel like I didn't do ENOUGH with only putting out Mr. Bones!
Anonymous said…
We don't get trick-or-treaters anymore - maybe the 1/2 mile driveway does it?
In the past DH loved to dress up as a hanged man and loll on the porch until the kids hit the doorbell then talk - there was lots of shreking. We didn't do more decorating than the spider webs.
The news said that Halloween decorating is only 2nd to Christmas decorating now.
DK said…
He he. I love that Jane's pumpkin introduces itself (Especially with "Helo, my name is..."). He he!