Ancestor of the Week: Me!
Prompt of the Week: Trick or Treat
Me as a ghost – Halloween 1985, age 16 mos.
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I’ve always been an artistic person, and I think what appeals to me is all the opportunities to be creative. (I am a graphic design after all) From carving a big bright orange pumpkin, being able to become a character in costume, and decorating our home – the color palette of orange, black, purple, green, etc. is so visually stimulating, and all of it just makes me happy. And as a kid, I was allowed to kind of do what I wanted with it all, and let my own creativity drive.
Growing up, I always had fun carving pumpkins, dressing up, going to school in my costume and trick or treating. Visiting a pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkin was (and still is) a tradition for us, and my dad would help my brother and I carve them a few days before Halloween. My mom would usually sew our costumes. I remember we would go to the fabric store and look at the big books of costumes and choose something, find the pattern package in the big drawer, and then go pick out the material. We did some decorating around the house, but not much. As I got a little older, I’d make things to decorate my room with for Halloween. And we always got a bucket from McDonald’s to trick or treat with. It was a 90s thing! 🙂
From the time I was probably three until age 12, my parents would take us trick or treating at the mall. I remember it being very busy and each store would have someone giving out candy. I guess my parents thought it was safer that going through the neighborhood. After the mall, we would visit all of our grandparents’ houses. Most of the memories I have of being at my great-grandmother’s house were on Halloween nights. She would usually have cookies or something like that. Sometimes at my paternal grandparents’ house we’d run into our cousins who would be making the grandparent rounds as well. It was fun to see their costumes and hang out with them too.
Now as an adult, married, with our own kids, I really enjoy seeing them exercise their creativity with their pumpkins and costume choices. I seem to add to our home and outdoor decor a little more every year, sometimes to my wife’s dismay. I love visiting the Halloween stores as soon as they open for the season, walking the aisles, and taking everything in – imagining what I could do if I had an unlimited budget (ha!). I do end up spending a little more than I should, but sometimes I just can’t help myself! My wife often has to remind me to rein it in. Where I work, there is a Spirit Halloween store right across the street every year and I can see it from the windows right across from my office, with its neon orange banner calling to me… Anyway, I also decorate my office and I am fortunate to have a workplace with an annual costume contest and coworkers who are creative like me and like to celebrate Halloween in style as well.
Me and my younger brother in costumes my mom made, with our trusty McDonald’s buckets – Halloween 1989.
My brother and I at our great-grandma’s house – Halloween 1991 (I rocked those tights! haha)