Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Was it procrastination? Or was it a sign that I am to become a cranky old woman who has no use for the playfulness of holidays? Halloween lurks at the end of October in the midst of a chandler’s busy season. The date is the same every single year, and yet every single year I fail to prepare for the festivities in a timely manner. For two weeks I had written in my daily planner to bring the ghosts and jack-o-lanterns up from the basement and to decorate the house with whimsical scariness. Today, Halloween, I still had not completed the task.

As I was brushing my teeth this morning I thought to myself, if I don’t put out some decorations and get into the spirit of things, I’ll begin to ignore other holidays. Easter baskets will cease to be filled and Christmas trees will be unlit. I don’t want to be one of those people. I don’t want to be surrounded by a holiday without honoring it myself.

I also gave some thought to my brother Diggy, who for many years took such great pleasure in scaring the bejeepers out of the little kids in the neighborhood as his 6-foot 5-inch, 250-pound body cloaked in dark robes lurked on the streets every Halloween night.

As I put out the decorations I wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner. I was reminded of the fun shops where I bought some of the trinkets, and had a renewed appreciation for the ones that were given as gifts. And one in particular, a glowing electric jack-o-lantern taken from the collection of treasures Diggy kept, made me feel especially thankful I pulled myself out of the too-busy-to-bother attitude.

Then Husby helped in turning these ordinary pumpkins

Into delightful jack-o-lanterns.

They were set outside and lit to greet all the Trick-or-Treaters.

If it’s true the wall between this life and the hereafter thins on Halloween, I think Diggy made a little visit to me today. He mocked my indifference for Halloween, for forgetting to seize the day, for failing to retain my childlike joyfulness.

So dang it all, instead of having had all the festive decorations up for a week before Halloween I’m going to keep them up for a week after. And every night I’ll turn on that little jack-o-lantern light and thank my little brother for kicking me into shape. I sure do miss him.

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