It is October 30, and I just went out and bought a whole bunch of Halloween decorations for our front yard.
Why now, you say?
If you're asking why, today, would I go to Target and pay full retail when we all know that come November 1, all Halloween products will go on sale, well, it's because I needed some Halloween decorations NOW. Selections were already slim at the store, and I just couldn't wait, because Halloween is, um, tomorrow.
Why didn't I buy these things on November 1st a year or two ago, you say? I know -- I'm asking the same question.
If you're asking why, now that our kids are 12 and 14 and have pretty much figured out that Santa is not real and that tooth fairies pay more for molars, would I be decorating our front yard with Halloween trinkets as if they were still 2 and 4, well...that's more complicated.
This is the first time in years that I'm actually going to be home on October 31. Each year, I seemed to be singing for children at some Halloween- or Harvest-event or another, and I was always busy leading up to the performance. I thought a bowl of candy and a functioning porch light was enough to get Halloween rolling. Thanks, honey, for taking the kids around our neighborhood.
I know Halloween has lost much of its luster for our kids. It used to be the most wonderful night of the year (next to Christmas, of course), and we planned for weeks on their costumes. Every year, we obliged and ended up spending way too much for a store-bought costumes that are made cheaply and which every other kid on the block also had: Ariel, Woody, Cinderella, train conductor, Harry Potter, Jasmine, astronaut, mermaid -- we've done them all.
This year, my 12-year old daughter is dressing up as a makeup artist. What a stretch. The only "costume" I had to order this year was a makeup brush belt, mail ordered for only $19.99 from eyeslipsface.com. Actually, she was a hit at last week's Halloween party at youth group and won Best Costume.
Josh, my 14-year old, is not sure yet what he is going to dress up as. He's into the British TV show Dr. Who right now, so he might try that route. Just put on dad's sport coat. Whatever it is, he better decide soon, because his voice is about to change and I think you are disqualified as a trick-or-treater once you start sounding like a man. This is probably his last opportunity.
So maybe that's why I got all the Halloween decorations. Maybe I know that childhood is nearing the end at our home, and I'm trying to slow down that process. I'm hanging onto whatever childhood is left and trying to make up for lost time -- you know, the times I was out working on Halloween night instead of walking around the neighborhood with my own children.
I'm hanging onto the notion that I'll be able to use the same Halloween decorations again next year. I'll also go back to Target and catch a few more items on sale on November 1. But then I'll probably get tempted to purchase the cute Christmas decorations, ignoring the full retail price tag just because I'll want to hang onto the magic of Christmas this year.
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