The women who raised me love dressing up, so you can imagine what Halloween was like for me growing up. Mom and Nana would go all out every year, putting as much effort into their costumes as mine.
Some years we werenít super creative. I remember dressing up as your run-of-the-mill ghost, a white sheet draped around my body with two holes cut out so I could see. One year, Mom hollowed out a laundry basket, put it around my waist and tossed in dirty laundry. I was a laundry hamper.
Other years, Mom worked really hard on my costume. She put in extra effort when I wanted to be an angel, from the dress I wore to my glittery wings to my glowy eye makeup. Nana dressed as a cow that year, so thereís a photo of me smiling from ear-to-ear and her making her best unimpressed cow face.
As you can tell, Mom definitely got her passion for Halloween from Nana. Nana has been the Wicked Witch of the West, the devil and pretty much any other costume you can think of that would require face paint. She dressed up for years and stationed herself under a big tree on her front lawn. She always had so much candy, enough that I didnít have to trick or treat unless I really wanted to. Some years I didnít. Iíd sit with her and Mom under that big tree and give out candy to the neighborhood kids, just happy to be spending time with my family.
Over the years, we all stopped dressing up. I got older and didnít quite feel the spirit of Halloween anymore. Weíd still meet up to give out candy, but it wasnít like the Halloweens Iíd spent as a small child.
Thatís certainly true today. I live six hours away, so I canít exactly pop in on Halloween night to help greet trick or treaters. Mom and Nana live next door to each other now. According to Mom, there arenít nearly as many trick or treaters today as there used to be. Everything has changed, it seems. I suppose thatís how the world works. Nothing stays the same. Nana might not even give out candy this year, but I wouldnít be there to know.
Today, Iím experiencing a bit of nostalgia for the Halloweens of my childhood. Iíll be covering Halloween on White Street in Eureka Springs tonight, which is a little comforting. I love attending this event. It reminds me of living in a small neighborhood where everyone participated during Halloween. Itís this warm feeling of home that I donít get very often after leaving my childhood home and seeking out a new one with my husband.
There will be little ghosts and ghouls and a headless horseman or two. Itíll be chaotic but the kind of chaos you remember fondly. I hope all of you have a wonderful Halloween with your families. Make as many memories as you can.
Someday, your little ones will appreciate it.
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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail. com