Don’t you just love Halloween?
It’s always been one of my favorite holidays. Christmas, of course, carries with it the excitement of church and school pageants, gifts and visits to family. But when we were kids, Halloween was just for fun. For using our imaginations, trying to scare ourselves silly. For stuffing ourselves with caramel apples, popcorn balls and home made cookies.
I remember the excitement of choosing just the right plastic mask and flimsy costume (the ones that tied in the back) from the dime store. Trekking through the lamp-lit streets of our little town with my sisters and neighbors, peering through the mask and lugging my plastic jack o’lantern for treats. I remember cutting through a pasture near our home and then running like the dickens to get away from the cows pastured there. They were just curious heifers, but in the dark they were BIG, SNORTING BEASTS. Very different from the friendly companions of the daytime, who would come and eat from our hands. On Halloween night, shadows held monsters, witches rode the skies and anything was possible.
When my boys were little, Halloween meant trips to the fabric store to find just the right pattern and fabric to make costumes – dinosaurs with removable heads and dragging tails, alligators (same costume with a little ingenuity and a different head), Ninja turtles, cops, firemen, ninjas, Frankenstein and army rangers. All the fun of planning how to make parts move, look kind of realistic, and keep growing boys warm on a Halloween night in the Rocky Mountains. One year we held a carnival in the school – the whole town came. We played games, and the children trick-or-treated around the gym.
Now that all of us are too big to trick-or-treat and schools are too focused on surviving The Test to have time for Halloween parties and parades, I enjoy the little princesses and space-ninjas who come to my door to yell (or mumble, prompted by a parent a short distance behind) ‘Trick-or-treat!’
And I still enjoy scaring myself – just a little – with a spooky movie or story. Sometimes I even spin them myself. I think a good romance should be like a Halloween costume – it should fit the mood you’re in this season. Do you want to be a princess this year, honey? Or a warrior who can kick the ass of any man she meets? Or how about a cowgirl ridin’ the range with a handsome cowboy? Or perhaps someone a bit edgier – a vampire, or even a demon queen?
You don’t even have to dress up, girlfriend. Just curl up with a great story, and let that new romance carry you away into a world where magic is still possible.