Halloween in December? It’s this blog’s aspiration to make you feel two months younger…
Six years ago, we moved into our neighborhood in October. And lucky for us, our thoughtful neighbors, Kohlee and Gayle, stopped by and warned us. I think their exact words were, “Hi. Has anyone warned you about Halloween?”
And we only kind of believed them. Hundreds of trick-or-treaters? They must be exaggerating. And I’m here to tell you, six years later, they were not exaggerating. This year my tally was a whopping 726. Which I know is nothing to brag about in some places, but for this child of the mountains who trick-or-treated via VW Westfalia camper, it’s impressive.
Several years ago I went through a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial to determine the most cost-effective and deliciousness-effective candy choice. As luck would have it, the results unequivocally indicated one of the tastiest candy bars known to humans: the Kit Kat. Really, I didn’t skew the data.
This year we knew we would need to brace ourselves for a record number of boys and ghouls. Halloween was forecasted to be sunny. Plus it was a Saturday. The trick-or-treater double whammy.
Halloween weekend began that Friday by dropping-off both ninjas at their respective schools, and then returning just moments later to view their costume parades.
Nate’s preschool costume parade was still filled with cutesy choices. The little scarecrow with a toy crow tied to the shoulder of his overalls was especially memorable. Meanwhile, Jake’s school was filled with less cute choices. I mostly remember extra creepy clowns this year. And a lot of black ninjas. Identical black ninjas. Jake’s class alone sported ninja triplets.
We picked the boys up early that afternoon. I swear to you I walked into Nate’s classroom and couldn’t see him anywhere. Like an apparition he appeared right under my nose. It was spooky.
Halloween morning we woke up, went to swimming lessons, and then commenced to readying the Spanish Bungalow of Terror.
Jacob grades the success of all holidays based on the quantity of exciting decorations, preferably brightly colored, adorning our house. Extra credit if they are outside. And this year we exceeded any previous Fucillo Family Halloween. We had our giant spider with tripping-hazard web. We had our hanging bat lanterns. We even had some kind of lights that projected fantasma-esque colors across the palm-flanked dining room window. We borrowed a bunch of curvy iron stakes reminiscent of talking trees. We placed them strategically around our landscaping and then wrapped the entire thing in red DANGER tape— effectively making the front yard one giant crime scene. The DANGER fence stretched across the front path so as to deter hundreds of trick-or-treaters from trampling the new landscaping. Believe me, we know what trick-or-treaters can do to baby succulents in a matter of seconds…
Then we set-up a station in the driveway complete with candles, pumpkins and a bench where I could sit and pass out candy—well, witch fingers, but we’ll get to that.
The crème-de-la-crème of our Halloween decorations, at least in my opinion, was the altar the boys and I set-up in the middle of the grass, surrounded by the DANGER fence. It consisted only of our toys and a cardboard box: Picture Baby Cillo laying on his back, surrounded by little plastic sharks and Halloween crows. Several parents complimented our creatively creepy toy tableau.
James had a cool idea to paint our faces as Dia de Los Muertos. He had a dapper top hat and I found some paper flowers the boys made for my hair.
It was a fantastic night. Jake continued his tradition of only wanting to go to the spooky houses, while Nate preferred the exact opposite.
I manned the house, passing out hundreds of green plastic witch fingers. It certainly cut down on our ingestion of miniature chocolate bars before the big day. And I can confidently profess that I did not ingest even one single witch finger leading up to Halloween.
Much to my surprise, my Amazon order also included one wart-covered plastic witch nose for every ten fingers. So I gave those away as well. I was a little worried about bucking the sugar norm, but was pleasantly surprised when kids exclaimed “Ooh a witch finger!” as they proceeded next door. The highlight of the night was when I saw a guy having his picture taken in front of our tree, while he was wearing his new witch nose and pretending to pick it with his new witch finger…
The boys actually brought home piles of sugar-free loot including a pumpkin Gumby guy, pencils, little pads of paper, small snakes, eyeball erasers, parachuting Frankensteins, blinking Avenger stickers with their own energy source, and rival witch fingers. And several “sticky hands”—these snot-like hands that stretch when you swing them and slap them against a flat surface. Clearly our neighborhood falls squarely in the target radius of our new neighborhood Whole Foods.
The next morning we woke-up and the boys began the all-important tradition of counting and comparing their candy. I overheard Nate and Jake both counting how many pieces of each kind they had. Nate says, “I have seven Chit Chats. No I have eight Chit Chats!”
Enough of the chit chat. Trade you for a witch finger?