Halloween doesn’t Stop at Fourteen

Paul O'Sullivan, Halloween Specialist

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Halloween is still my favorite holiday!  There’s something about the October weather, the scary costumes, the great displays on yards and porches , the apples and caramel, the pot of food on the stove to grab and go  takes me back to younger days.  It’s a holiday about fun and freedom.   To run your neighborhood at night at age 13.  To bring home huge pillowcases of candy to your startled brothers and sisters.  They still talk about those days when I would come home, the returning champ of candy!  I also love Halloween music.  It runs the gamut from doo wop to hip hop.  There are so many fun songs.

I’m here to tell you that Halloween fun doesn’t end when you are 14.  There are very distinct phases to Halloween.  When you are very young they dress you up cute, then you get to dress scary (but not in school), then you dress down a bit to look cool and get candy.  By about 15,16,17 you are feeling a little left out.  Let me tell you it gets better!  Some of my best memories of college were Halloween themed parties.  People stopped worrying about how they looked because everyone looked crazy.  The costumes took on wild themes.  After college, going to local restaurants was another great time.  Some cities and restaurants go all out.  People are so friendly to each other because they are Bat Man or Wonder Woman or Hillary or Donald.

For me another great phase was being  a young teacher.  I got a costume most every year.  I even started renting better costumes.  I was a monk, dracula, a pirate among other things.  There were some down years, don’t get me wrong.  One of the saddest things is to be living in an apartment waiting to give out candy only to realize no one knows people live there or there aren’t many kids.

When you have your own kids the cycle starts again.  They are so cute at 1 or 2 years old.  The costumes are great.  You walk around with families or cousins in big groups.  As your kids get older, you get younger, remembering the times with your own friends.    I imagine there are other phases coming, the retired years and then maybe the senior village, maybe there are some good Halloween parties there too.