I loved Halloween as a kid–the opportunity to resemble and imitate whomever I most admired, and then, of course, there was the candy — but I surrendered both my love of costumes and candy as I entered the teenage years. Almost two decades later, with the arrival of our first baby, came the opportunity to don a costume as an adult…and steal our children’s candy.
Each Halloween, our oldest typically decides his preferred costume and the rest of us follow suit. Last year Dexter (then 5) chose Spider-Man, so Camille (3) opted for Spider-Girl; I went as Wonder Woman and my husband was Doc Ock (by far his most creative Halloween costume to date). The year before that we were Batman, Batgirl, Joker and Harley Quinn. Before that, the costumes all a blur thanks to pregnancy/baby brain.
Besides the fun of costumes, one of our neighbors hosts an annual outdoor Halloween Party for our block, complete with adult beverages, costumes and a potluck dinner. Halloween evening, we join together with other neighborhood kids and parents for trick-or-treating. And that hot cider in our coffee cups? It might be spiked.
As my children age, I aim for an over-the-top decorated house, complete with ghoulish sounds, frightening yard displays, and cheesy tombstones like Barry M. Deep, so if in a few years you see just a few tasteful autumn decorations, call me out. We can be more than that — I know it.
Halloween is special. The expectations are low and the monetary investment is minimal, yet the sense of community, social interactions and creativity are all great opportunities for family fun and tradition. It’s one of the many times of the year that I’m thankful to call Toledo my home.
Your spooktacular Assignment Editor,
Erin Schoen Marsh