Maybe it’s because, once I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 13, I couldn’t eat most of the candy. Or perhaps I just didn’t feel like putting forth the effort to brave the packed aisles in stores to find a costume. I don’t know. It’s not that I don’t like Halloween, don’t get me wrong, but maybe I’ve outgrown the holiday in some ways.
Two of the last times I went trick or treating were with the Honors Programs at Southeastern, as part of their Trick or Treat for Canned Goods fundraiser, which benefits such ministries as Families Feeding Families and Loaves and Fishes.
Honors Program participants split up into a couple of small groups and collected canned goods at several different areas in Durant. Once each team covered their area, they returned to the office and unloaded their canned good donations. After everyone arrived back at the Honors office, we counted up the entire collection and took a picture.
The first time I participated in this fundraiser was my freshman year in college and dressed as a witch. However, I didn’t really dress up. I wore a long-sleeved black shirt, black jeans and black boots. The only components of the costume that I actually bought were a black shawl and a witch hat, and I didn’t wear any face paint.
The second year I participated, rain and cold weather were in the forecast for Halloween night. So, I went dressed as a skier ... without the skis. I wore a cream turtle neck, a tobaggon I had received as a gift a year or so back, a warm pair of jeans, boots and my insulated “Eskimo” coat with fake fur around the hood. This costume was only comprised of items from my closet.
Thus, both of my “costumes” for each year were lacking on the creative side. Furthermore, I didn’t really put much thought at all into the costumes. Now, some people really get into Halloween. They choose to buy elaborate costumes, go crazy painting their face up for the occasion and really get creative with costumes.
The first year I participated in Trick or Treat for Canned Goods, one guy was dressed as a jelly bean container, and he had small balloons inside the custume that contained pieces of candy and a message.
That same year, two women went dressed as characters from the Broadway musical “Cats.” The second year I participated, one guy made his own costume — a Jedi Padawan, inspired by the “Star Wars” series. Needless to say, he won the award for best costume.
The last semi-creative costume I remember wearing was in fifth grade, when everyone dressed in 1950s style for a sock hop dance at Washington Irving Elementary School.
That year, I wore a white blouse and a red felt poodle skirt. Of course, Mom made the skirt for me. I know that I dressed up more often before fifth grade, but I don’t really remember the costumes. I think I dressed as a black cat one year, but that was at least several years before fifth grade.
I don’t think I am entirely alone on not dressing up for Halloween. It seems that the older people get, the less often they dress up for the secular occasion.
When we made rounds to the various houses during the Honors Program Trick or Treat for Canned Goods, very few adults actually dressed up. Of course, some adults who were handing out candy would dress up like Frankenstein, Dracula, etc., but the majority didn’t put forth the effort. Perhaps they decorated their house, however elaborate or simple, but most did not wear costumes.
Also, most parents were dressed in normal clothing. Yes, some parents were dressed up, but the majority probably spent most of their time getting their kids’ costumes prepared. However, other parents dressed up, probably to costume-coordinate with their children.
Dressing up may be enjoyable to some, but it’s just not for me — at least not at the moment. I get more into holidays like Christmas, where you give gifts to family and friends and where you don’t have to dress up (unless you’re Santa Clause, of course).
I don’t know why, but it just seems like I’ve never been one to go all out and dress up really crazy. And that’s goes for anything — not just Halloween.
Perhaps I’m more interested in playing games and having fun on Halloween, and, for me, part of the fun of the day is not having to dress up really wacky.
And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Sure, others may dress up and have fun doing it, but you can have just as much fun simply enjoying the surroundings and being yourself.