I’ve never been super-keen on Halloween. The first time I went trick-or-treating as a kid, I was flummoxed by one of the first houses I visited when I was asked for a trick. No one warned me about this. The treat-giver (who would one day be my 7th-grade math teacher AND the father of a junior high crush) asked me to perform a trick–“you know, tell a joke, do a dance, sing a song”–to “earn” my treat. I burst into tears (I was five years old) and was ready to give up on the high-pressure world of Halloween. (I think I performed a few bars of “Old MacDonald” before I succumbed to stage fright.) The next house just dumped candy bars into my bag, as did every other house we visited. The stress factor diminished, but I never got over the fear of being asked to turn another trick (so to speak).
My mom also wasn’t into this holiday. She definitely was not a “crafty” mom who went all out and made costumes from scratch. My costumes were all store-bought Ben Cooper ones, hopefully fitted in such a way that I could wear them again the following year. I think I gave up on Halloween altogether around the age of ten or so, retiring my costumes (I don’t even remember what they were, although there might have been a Frankenstein one in there), and just grazing off the candy my mom bought to give out to the kids that showed up at our front door.
Still, it’s nice to see this kind of display here in Coronado, where there are a number of such spectacles along my daily walks. This one wins the award for best use of an exterior wall and for creativity. It’s nice to see the colorful witches’ hats and not just spiders, skeletons, and gravestones (although they’re all featured, too).
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