Christmas Trees and Halloween

It’s that time of year. Houses are decorated with corn husks, orange and black light, and fake tombstones in the front yard. You have little Spider-Man, zombies, princesses and fairies running around. Yeah, it’s Halloween.

I find it sarcastically amusing that I bought more candy to give out than my son brought home. Essentially, trick or treat has turned into a huge candy swap. The spoils go to the middle schoolers who can go for the whole two hours and walk the entire town to get as much as they can. Losers… Well parents like me that spend an hour trying to find a costume, getting the kid dressed, spend $10 on a bag of candy, just so your three yr old tuckers out after a half hour and only gets about $5 worth of candy. The real shame comes later when you begin sneaking candy bars from your kids’ basket and later telling them they have to eat their dinner before they can even have a candy corn. By the way, candy corn… NO ONE likes candy corn, at least no one that’s under the age of 50.

One of my favorite Halloween memories involves a Christmas tree. See what happen was I forgot to tell my mom that the Halloween parade at school was coming up on a certain day. I think I just forgot entirely. As a kid I had a bad habit of not telling my mom important dates that were coming up, like when huge projects were due. I did develop a good habit of mentioning things…. The night before.

So I went to school without a costume and like any 3rd grader I was upset that I didn’t have a costume. Pretty sure I cried. Well my teacher realized my mom was at work and really couldn’t do anything about it. That’s when my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Kosick came to my rescues and prolly became my first crush. She whirled around the school trying to find an extra costume. At some point a light bulb went off in her head and she grabbed some old foam that was huge, cut it into the shape of a Christmas tree, painted it green, staples two pieces together, cut out a hole for my face, broke into a supply close and found Christmas decorations and decorated me. I ended up having the coolest costume, at least all my 3rd grade friends thought so.

This event sparked some creative costumes in my life time. Later I would be a huge football. My dad took over as the creator of my costumes. He found burlap sacks, painted them brown, stitched them together to fit my body, stuffed me with balled up newspapers and TA-DA! Instant football. At some point I was a Colgate bottle of toothpaste. Why? Cuz I dragged my feet once again and couldn’t decide what I wanted to be. Leave it to my dad to cut up some poster board, slap some creative color markers on it and give me a crazy hat they looked like a lid and I was minty clean.

So of course, now that I have my own son, he has to keep things going. He wanted to be a cowboy. What’s a cowboy without his horse? So I made him a horse. Using a old Aldi box, pizza box, tape, old shoe lace and spray paint. Toby ended up with a horse. The fact is that the thing looks more like a fox than a horse, but as long as he believes he it’s a horse … That’s the only thing that matters… Right?

Good news is I have a few more years to hone my craft. I already have ideas and plans forming in my head that involves a pirate ship and his red wagon. Thanks to Mrs. K and my dad, Halloween isn’t just about ghosts and goblins, a Christmas tree can get candy too.

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