Saturday, October 22, 2011

The things families do to get candy!

Jerry Seinfeld says the only thought in his brain for his first ten years was, “Get Candy.”

I felt the same way.

On a holiday when everyone hands out candy, a kid says, “I’ll wear anything I have to wear, do anything I have to do to Get Candy.”

Jerry wore a Superman mask with a defective rubber band.  In my town of 193 people, costumes were less sophisticated.

For drama productions or parades, Mama went all-out.  She created a tableau of the  “Miracle of the Seagulls” for the 24th of July Parade: One child was dressed in tan, with bundles of yellow wheat artfully attached, representing the crops of  struggling Mormon pioneers; another, the villain of the tale, was a sinister black cricket, pestering the grain, and a third was a white seagull who flapped up in time to save the harvest.

We had a cute Little Bo-Peep outfit with a bouffant skirt and crooked staff.  I always thought my little sister should be Little Bo-Peep—but certainly not me.

Mama loved to attempt to develop her children’s’ talents. But at Halloween, she let us do our own things.  She didn’t care about candy.

Finding costumes didn’t bother us. We spent the year playing dress-up, imagining scenarios from cowboys to pioneers to King Arthur in our older siblings’ cast-off clothes.  On Halloween, we wore our favorites.

With a touch of black eyeliner, I thought I looked like Cleopatra in a Nile green chiffon gown with silver trim and a delicate silver crown, though what the neighbors saw was a skinny kid with mousy brown hair and freckles, tripping along in a very long dress with black stuff all over her face.

And whatever our costumes, we wore winter coats and sometimes hats over them—October 31 is cold in Eastern Idaho.  Neither rain, nor snow, nor wind kept us from tramping all over town, and we were satisfied with our take. In those idyllic days before candy tampering, we got apples, cookies, cupcakes and popcorn balls along with candy.

As a mom, I lived by Erma Bombeck’s philosophy: “Put a paper bag over your head and tell them your Mom has the flu.” Since my kids inherited my love of candy, they cobbled costumes together well enough to rake in a lot of sugar.

My daughters and daughters-in-law are creative—our grandchildren have been Darth, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Cupid, a seven-foot alien and Strawberry Shortcake, among others.  This year, we’ll see Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Peach in one family.

My husband never dressed up, other than occasionally getting a new pocket protector for his spooky “city planner” costume.  Then last year, we watched the BBC Robin Hood series, and it was as if he wanted candy again.  We shopped the Halloween stores that, like a toadstool, appear on October 1 and disappear by November 1—and found a Robin Hood costume, a bow and an arrow.  Though my maiden days are past, I fixed myself up as a not-very-convincing Maid Marian. 

What are your family traditions to Get Candy?

1 comment:

  1. I never saw that picture of Jacob-- it turned out great! We are putting the finishing touches on the Super Mario Bros costumes. It should be great!