We've live in our old brick tudor home in Newtonville for 20 years, and for most of those years, have had increasingly elaborate Halloween displays. At last count, we had 3 fog machines, boxes of extension cords, colored lights, dozens of skeletons, bats, ghosts, a thunder and lightening generator, and various fogging cauldrons and skulls among other Halloween goodies.
From haunted pirates, to Harry Potter themes (complete with quiditch match suspended over the front lawn), to the haunted pumpkin patch, and "Occupy Halloween," we have embraced October 31st as our family's favorite holiday.
This year, we didn't even take a single box of our holiday decor down from the attic.
The photo is the sum total of our Halloween display this year. The sign, if you can't read it, says "Page Error/Halloween/Not Found" and the pumpkinis carved with the number '404'. (Which for the non geeky among you, is the error you get when you go to a webpage and it's not there.)
It was the best I could put together on short notice, given I had to be out of town most of last week because of a family emergency and, well, we had a hurricane.
(An aside. I got to experience "Sandy" three times. I think that might be a record. First in South Florida last Friday/Saturday, then flying through it on Sunday morning, then on Monday/Tuesday in Boston).
Halloween candy and the costumes are almost secondary to the chance to turn my house into a set piece, complete with lights and fog machines on October 31st. I'm typically the person who gets the big idea for that year's theme. Then I turn to my husband and he makes the magic happen.
But this year, Halloween didn't feel very special. We didn't have the opportunity to create an evening of shared magic. Sure we had candy to give out. Sure, we got tons of kids in costumes ranging from the adorable to the truly amazing. (Along with the sheepish teenagers wearing jeans, t-shirts, and maybe some zombie makeup.) My older son had to work, my younger son went out with friends, and my husband had an obligation that had been rescheduled due to the storm. So it was me and the candy bowl. Other than my pumpkin socks, I didn't even wear a costume.
I had several older kids and parents ask me what had happened. One adult even wondered if we were the same owners of the house--if I ever wondered whether trick or treaters noticed, the answer is yes.
So, Halloween 2012, I apologize. It's not you, it's me. Truly. And I promise that next year will be nothing short of amazing. I've already started to plan for it.