I believe in Halloween
Growing up, Halloween was always my mother’s favorite holiday. Every year she would dress up in a long black satin-shinny polyester dress, complete with black fish net stockings, pointy black heels and a black witches hat. The accessories changed from year to year. Some years she would add a gruesome wart on her nose while on others she added a blond wig that would put dolly parton to shame. My mother’s Halloween rituals were constant year by year.
She would rush home from work and get dressed along side my sister and I. She would then prepare a fast dinner that we are at a rapid fire pace. While eating dinner, my sister and I were tortured by the rings of our doorbell and cries of “Trick or Treat”. We wanted to be among the children begging for treats. As soon as our last bite was swallowed, we were out the door with one goal in mind- to get enough loot to fill up a standard size pillowcase.
My mother went to work on her witches brew. She would put some wine spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves on the stove, which she would offer to the parents who were tagging along with their children. She would answer the door in a creepy witches tone, and then demand that the children burp for their candy. If she was thoroughly impressed with a particular child’s burp she would have no problem emptying the contents of her candy cauldron into the child’s trick or treat bag.
When the evening’s trick or treating festivities were over, my mother and a team of neighborhood “witches” would storm from house to house wishing Halloween greetings, offering the adults sips of my mothers witches brew and leaving black lipstick marks on the cheeks of the block’s eligible bachelors.
She would return home from the outing with the witches where she would tell of her favorite costumes and impressive belches.
As a young child, I was embarrassed by my mother’s antics. I longed to have a mother who wore sweats and viewed trick of treating as an interruption to her evening’s newspaper readings or television viewing. When new friends would come to hang out at my house, they would recognize my mother as being the witch that made them burp for their Halloween candy. I was humiliated.
Her favorite holiday was not one where countless hours were spent on wrapping extravagant gifts, cooking elaborate meals or rushing from one side of the families’ houses to the other. It was a holiday of giving, joy and laughter. A holiday where old neighbors reunite, and good friends stop by to say hello. Halloween is a holiday where you clothe yourself in outrageous costumes and remember the fun of being a child again. Looking back, I know my mother had it right all along. Now, I too believe in Halloween.
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