Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Halloween: The Rising Horror

Five years ago, Halloween for us was a bowl filled with candy. Kids knocked on the door, we complimented them on their costumers, jammed some candy into their plastic pumpkins, and off they went.

I was good with that.

Then we had Eli 4.2, although he was Eli 0.01 at birth. His birthday is July 31, and for Halloween that year (Eli 0.3), he put on special pajamas.

Eli 1.3 went as a bat. We found some Halloween yard signs (ghosts and tombstones and such) and put those in the yard. Gloria also hung up some paper skeletons in the windows.

Eli 2.3 went as Captain Feathersword from The Wiggles. That was the year we started a party in the cul-de-sac for all the kids in the playgroup. We put up the signs, hung pumpkin lanters in trees, strung lights around the door, and had refreshments for everyone. Stray kids came by and just hung out for a while. Gloria wore a costume for the first time--she went as a witch. I went as a rested father.

Eli 3.3--a dragon. We put up the signs, hung pumpkin lanters in trees, and strung lights around the door. She carved pumpkins with Eli. She also bought Halloween candles and electric pumpkin lanterns We had the cul-de-sac party for the second year in a row, with refreshments and food and activities, including a little parade. Gloria went as an Asian princess in full kimono.

Last week, I came home from work and there was a ghost in the front yard. The inflatable kind. That's right--an eight foot inflatable ghost, Halloween signs, a scarecrow on a stick, carved pumpkins on the porch, and lights around the front door.

"Our yard's been vandalized," I said. "Someone inflated a ghost and left it as a prank."

"I couldn't help it," she said. "It was so cute."

Inside the house we have three different strands of Halloween lights (Frankenstein heads, skeletons, and pumpkins), ghosts hanging from the ceiling, witches, bats, black cats, and Halloween candles. There's a little tomb with a candle inside hanging from a light in the kitchen. I think she may have dug an actual grave in her study, and I'm pretty sure there's a crypt in the exercise room. There are about forty people coming for the cul-de-sac party, and half the food in the house has masking tape labels with skulls and crossbones drawn on them and the official notification "For the party. Do not eat." Eli 4.3 is going as Buzz Lightyear, and Gloria is going as a space alien chick (think Space Channel 5).

I'm going to get a cup and four pencils and go as a pencil salesman.

Next year, I expect to walk into the house two weeks before Halloween and have Gloria say "Honey, meet Dracula. He'll be staying with us for a few weeks."

"All right," I'll say grudgingly. "But if I see him feeding on anyone, he's gone."

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