I love Halloween. It has long been one of my favorite minor holidays. I love the spooky stories, costumes, carving pumpkins, and fall-themed packaging on miniaturized candy bars. I love Halloween so much, I actually hosted a Halloween party in the middle of summer before moving abroad just incase I didn’t get to celebrate while living in China. (If you’re wondering, we actually celebrated Halloween and dressed up for a solid week at work, despite Halloween not being a thing in China. We also had a pretty epic house party. We did not have any traditional Halloween candy though.) But my affinity for the 31st of October has undergone much changed overtime:
As a kid, Halloween would mean dressing up and Trick-or-Treating with my dad and usually my best friend (who happened to live a block away. One year we coordinated costumes and went as M&Ms.) I’d use a pillowcase for a candy bag, walk all over the neighborhood for what felt like hours, and come home with what I remembered to be a pretty impressive haul. My neighborhood was the place to be for Halloween: super easy to walk, everyone decorated (some people went as far as to hid somewhere every year so they could jump out at you when you came by), and there were a few houses that would get into competitions every year, giving out regular sized candy bars.
As a teenager, Halloween started to loose a bit of that initial allure it held when I was younger. I no longer dressed up. I was too old to Trick-or-Treat. My family when through a phase of intense pumpkin carving—goodbye traditional jack o’lanters and hello elaborate, beautiful pumpkin decor. My parents house has a long staircase leading to the front door and one year we carved a snake out of pumpkins that wove down the stairs. I rarely went to Halloween parties in high school or junior high, and pretty much skipped the entire holiday my freshman year of college (I was feeling ill).
As a young adult, the allure Halloween held when I was a kid came back around. By my junior year of college, I’d revived my former love for the holiday. I carved pumpkins yearly, I planned out my costume, I attended haunted corn mazes and haunted houses, and I pretty much always has Halloween plans. Some of my best stories have come from Halloween parties and more than one of my boyfriends in my 20s happened thanks to a Halloween party.
So how about now? Has my opinions on Halloween changed now that I’m a “mature, responsible adult”? Have I burnt out on the wild Halloween parties from my 20s? Not exactly. As a 30-year-old, I’m still all about carving pumpkins and putting fake cobweb all around the house. I host a small pumpkin carving party with friends pretty much every year. I still plan out my costume months in advance (this year I’m going as Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time). But one thing has changed. I’ve started to prefer when Halloween lands on a weekday instead of a weekend. For me, it’s perfect: Halloween party the weekend before and a cozy night at home passing out candy to kids on the actual day of. Enjoying a mellow weekday Halloween night was something I grew into. It started gradually, a year where I didn’t wanted to go to a crazy party on a Monday or Tuesday night, and grew into a tradition I look forward to. I can toss on a classic Halloween special from one of my favorite sitcoms, put on cat ears, and enjoy all the cute Trick-or-Treater costumes.
My absolute ideal way to spend Halloween would be to spend the day in Disneyland (the decorations are amazing). This year, however, I’ve just been marathoning episodes of the My Favorite Murder podcast (if you haven’t heard it, stop what you’re doing immediately and download an episode… I’ll wait. You can come back and let me know what you think afterwards) and rereading Harry Potter to get into that Halloween spirit. I’m pretty stoked to binge the second season of Stranger Things as well.
Let me know in the comments section below.
GRETCHEN IS A WRITER-BASED IN PORTLAND, ORE. SHE GOT HER START AS A JOURNALIST WORKING ON THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND RESTAURANT BEAT BEFORE MOVING INTO COPYWRITING AND ADVERTISING WORK. SHE CURRENTLY BLOGS AND WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER.