When I was a child, I looked forward to and enjoyed many things.  One of the most exciting of these anticipations was Halloween.  St. Helena’s always had a wonderful Halloween Carnival on Halloween night, and we all got to dress up and participate in all sorts of fun activities, including a Cake Walk, Bingo, and even a “Haunted House”! I remember walking through the “Haunted House” over and over again with my classmates.  Sister Josepha’s classroom just didn’t seem quite so exciting to any of us the rest of the year!

At home, my dad would wear a Werewolf mask and jump out from behind our planter to frighten the little children who dared to come trick-or-treating at our house.  He seriously lived for this, and I think it was one of the highlights of his year, especially when one particularly terrified little boy ran all the way down the block, shrieking.  It never occurred to Daddy that these children would probably wind up in therapy as adults, due to an unreasonable fear of crazy old men in rubber werewolf masks!

Until I was ten years old, we lived out at the State Line. There weren’t any neighbors to solicit for treats, so my grandmother would take me around her neighborhood, in the thriving metropolis of Hobbs, New Mexico, and I always collected more than enough candy and treats.  And yes, sometimes we even got homemade candy apples or popcorn balls! **DEEP SIGH** Those were the days!!

The next day we usually participated in the processional at Mass singing some time-honored favorite like “When the Saints Go Marching In”.  Then, we would go back to our classrooms, say the Pledge of Allegiance and our morning prayers, and go right back to ‘business-as-usual’.  We never considered whether or not Halloween was “evil”, or how we should try to combine it with All Saints Day.  Things really were so much more simple, back then!

After we had kids of our own, trick-or-treating had pretty much become a dangerous endeavor.  And, because we homeschooled, there wasn’t a Halloween Carnival at our kids school, so we decided to create our own! I love to sew and make costumes. We love to decorate our home for all holidays, and Halloween is no exception! So, we decided to start having our own parties, and it has been something our entire family has looked forward to every year.

After moving to Texas, our first house wasn’t really big enough for a party, but this year, we moved into a larger home, and decided it was time to throw our first Texas Halloween party!  It was a wonderful success, and we had a blast! My only concern, at this point, is that next year, we may still need a bigger place to host the party, because we had a full house this year!  It was so fun!

We also love to watch “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (Disney animated version, narrated by Bing Crosby).  We love a good ghost story (May I highly recommend “The Others” starring Nicole Kidman?) Other family favorites include “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “Young Frankenstein“.

Alex has taken up my dad’s old tradition of handing out the Halloween Candy in a wolf costume, only his version is not as scary. 😉  He grows his chops out and dresses up like Wolverine, from the X-Men.  The teenaged girls especially love this!  We hear lots of giggling when he hands out the candy, and last year he even got some repeat customers!

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