by Stephanie Black
In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, “Well, another Halloween has come and gone.” Which brings up the question—what kind of a neighborhood does that boy live in, anyway? I mean, honestly—rocks?
The Charlie Brown special is pretty depressing story-wise—poor Linus—but I still like it because it looks so Halloweeny—pumpkins and ghosts and colorful fall leaves and other cool visuals. I’ve always loved Halloween and Halloween decorations—the cute ones, not the icky ones. I really would prefer not to decorate with anything that simulates dripping blood or severed or decomposing anything. My youngest daughter gets freaked out by the gory decorations in stores, though as she gets older, she’s less easily rattled. And this year she could watch the Charlie Brown special without crying. Last year, she hated it--not because Lucy is a major snot and Linus misses trick-or-treating, but because of the part where Snoopy is the World War I Flying Ace and Schroeder plays the songs that make him homesick and he cries. She’s very sensitive to the moods of music.
This year’s costume roster for the offspring was as follows: fairy queen, skeleton, rugby player (though his ears were intact, so it wasn't completely authentic), Little Red Riding Hood, cat. The Red Riding Hood and cat costumes were worn by the same teenage daughter, one when she was helping out at the Stake Halloween Carnival, and once when she was working Boo at the Zoo. She also got to dress up as the zoo mascot, an alligator whose name escapes me, and lead the costume parade. She had fun wearing the giant alligator costume and having little kids come hug her around the knees.
Speaking of the trunk-or-treat, this had become a huge event. The stake has a big carnival followed by the trunk-or-treat. There’s only one problem: holy moley, it takes a TON of candy for that many trick-or-treaters. I brought somewhere between 250-300 Tootsie Pops this year and we blew through them in about 25 minutes. One of these years, I’m going to resort to handing out single Smarties. Not single rolls of Smarties. One Smartie each. The next year I’ll do individual Tic-Tacs, followed by single grains of sugar.
There are no sugar shortages around our house this year, but, sadly, there are no more Reese's Peanut Butter cups in my candy bowl. Note to self: next time, make sure the candy-hander-outers put the Reese’s into the bowl last.
My sons got big hauls of candy from trick-or-treating this year (my older daughters are too old for trick-or-treating—one is at college, and the other stayed home to hand out candy) and my youngest daughter petered out after a while—she’s young and she was a little sick (a cold that morphed into croup). But my youngest son hauled home six pounds of candy, and my oldest had seven. Good thing they apparently inherited their father's strong teeth.
Hmm . . . I'm feeling pretty hungry, and we have some Almond Joys left . . . or I could have an apple . . .