Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Memories

I have some great Halloween memories. When I was growing up, there were no store bought costumes. Sure some kids had fancy costumes that someone made but for the most part, you just put together what was around the house. Gypsy ladies were common as well as Cowboys and Cowgirls. I remember being a Gypsy more than once with a old skirt of my mom's, a scarf on my head and hoop earrings. I got to wear makeup and that made it all fine! It really didn't matter what you wore to go trick or treating because by the end of Oct. in the Colorado mountains, it was pretty cold and there was sometimes snow on the ground already. So you wore your coat/snowsuit over the costume anyway. Funny though, I remember lots of questions about what you were supposed to be???

There were a few years when we all went to a town costume party at the high school gym. I was pretty small when we did that, don't recall much about it, except going. I also don't remember much about school parties, I think we took costumes but that one has left the old brain. Trick or treating at our house was our street only! My mother had a pet peeve about kids who went all over town with pillow cases and got them full of candy. In her eyes, they were wild, unsupervised kids and we heard a lot about how awful that was. LOL Our neighbors all did something special for us so it made it OK. The lady next door made candied apples, across the street had the best homemade popcorn balls. One of the families on the street had their uncle living with them and he gave out QUARTERS to the kids he knew. I loved that, as it was money to go to the movie on SUNDAY afternoon.

Our give out was seven milk carton tops from a local dairy with a candy of some sort hooked to it. Every Sat. the movie theater had a morning movie, sponsored by a local dairy. You could see Roy Rogers and Dale Evens in black and white for the entrance fee of seven quart milk carton tops! My sisters and I drank milk but I was the only one at an age to go to the Sat. morning movie. My uncles drank a LOT of milk and my grandmother saved the carton tops all year. So we bundled them together and gave them out at Halloween. Apparently, a lot of families struggled to come up with enough box tops for all the kids to go so we were a very popular stop on the Trick or Treat circuit.

When I was in high school, we paired up and went trick or treating for UNICEF. We collected money house to house and then ended the night with a dance at the Labor Center. What I remember the most about that is freezing feet! By the time you got to the dance, all you really wanted to do was go home and get warmed up!

When my own kids were old enough to enjoy Halloween, there are memories of school carnivals in Texas, with cake walks and games that we enjoyed so much. In Illinois, one year we had a large crop of small pumpkins in our garden. The kids and I loaded them up in a big red wagon and went for a walk. Every house we knew had kids in it, got presented with a small pumpkin. It was so much fun on Halloween, going trick or treating (again with winter coats and mittens) to see our pumpkins on display at the houses.

We try to have a special treat for the kids on our street to keep up the tradition of my childhood. Not homemade sadly, as those days are gone, but something bigger than what the other hand out might be. The past few years, we have had a family dinner of Mexican food before the grands go out to trick or treat. I stay at my daughters and hand out candy. So no one is home at our house. Julia and Colin will distribute the treats to the houses before we leave for their house. This is what we have this year.

Here are the great pumpkins that the kids painted last weekend. They will carve jack o lanterns with their dad on Thursday but this was an activity at Nana/Papa's that we try to do every year. If you carve your pumpkin too early here, you have a shriveled up, moldy pumpkin on Halloween. It is in the low 90's here during the day still and that is not a good temperature for carved pumpkins.

Julia did this one completely on her own.........his name is "Spoty". According to what she wrote, "Spoty is deadly!"

In spite of our making sure he watches nothing on TV of a violent nature, our Colin is a boy. Halloween to him means "scary" and "spooky". So we have a somewhat scary pumpkin with blood coming out of his eyes. He had some help lining up the eyes so they were even but for the most part, he did this on his own too! I love them!

I hope this brings to mind Halloween memories for all of you! If you don't have some good ones..........go make some!!!!


Amelia said...

Enjoyed your memories of Halloweens past..the pumpkins are certainly original looking. I know the kiddos enjoyed creating their works of art.

Hope you have a fun time this year...all treats and no tricks.


Purple Pam said...

Your memories prompted some great memories for me, too. In the small town where I lived, you made everything. If your mother or grandmother sewed, you had a new costume. But most of the time we made do with what we found. I remember being a gypsy some Halloweens. Hobos were very popular in my time. as well as ghosts and witches. I think witches are timeless. We had neighbors who would invite you in and you would eat what they treated you with in their kitchens. We went home with tummy aches many a Halloween!

Lisa & Gerald said...

I always Love to hear other's halloween Memories! Hope you have a great halloweenn

Katie said...

Thanks for the memories. When I was a kid, I never heard of buying a costume either. Paper sacks were great colored and painted. I always cut fringe in mine. I was in my local fabric store earlier this week and they were really busy selling goodies to make costumes. Nice. A special activity for families. When small, my grandchildren wore animal pajama contumes that were used, and enjoyed, for many nights.

jovaliquilts said...

Great pumpkin painting!! And I love Halloween memories, too. It was such fun making costumes with my kids. :)

Carol VR said...

I;m envious of the great weather your still having.

The pumpkins look great and I'm sure the grand kids will always remember the traditions your creating.

I checked my front step, and I didn't see a loot pail left... I'm sure was it a simple mistake...LOL.

Finn said...

Hi Norma, what great memories. I love the idea of the milk bottle cardboard tops!! Very ingenius on the part of your family! I too enjoyed the saturday movie matinees, with admission being a whole 12 cents! If I was lucky I had money for either popcorn or candy but not both.
Love your family traditions today also. The treats and the pumpkins certainly are wonderful! Hope all your hauntings were happy ones. Hugs, Finn

Granny Lyn said...

Your memories sound just like mine, we never had store-bought costumes till we were older, and we always envied the kids who got them, until we had to wear those masks....they were so sharp they cut our eye lids, we sweat like crazy under them, and if you took it off your face froze solid, and you could not see a thing!! so much for store-bought. we never asked for them again!!

what a nice neighbor you are to make up special treats for the kids,,,