Halloween is on the horizon. Kids tell their moms what they “want to be” for Halloween. Moms begin to think about how to construct or where to purchase those costumes. When you hear others talk about Halloween, costumes, and trick-o-treat, do you think, “Wow! I remember when…”?

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I think back to the time I was the “I dream of Jeannie” harem girl complete with blonde ponytail, or Scarlet O’Hara with the big hoop skirts, or the year I made a black cat suit and a grey mouse suit for my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter.

Halloween in America has come a long way from its origins– All Saints Day or All Hallows Eve, when ghosts and goblins roamed the earth, and neither man nor beast would set a step outdoors for fear of harm.

Now you start planning costumes and parties weeks in advance. You purchase big bags of snack size candy bars at least two weeks in advance and debate how old is “too old” to trick-o-treat. You worry about the safety of the candy the little darlings will get during their night of fantasy and buy florescent tubing to put around their necks, waists, and wrists to make them more visible to traffic. You agonize over how to keep the kids warm if we have one of those early fall snows or, worse, what if it rains?

This year I find myself wondering, with all the worries, real and imagined, is it worth it to “celebrate” a holiday so far removed from its original purpose? Yet when I heard a couple of Moms discussing all their efforts to come up with the costumes their kids wanted, I found myself once more thinking about the childhood of my granddaughter, my son and daughter, and my own Halloween memories. For just a few minutes my “inner child” was once more bobbing for apples, competing in the youth costume contest, and feeling the mystical joy of using my imagination to create that perfect Halloween costume.

It didn’t last long and soon I returned to the present and remembered all the warnings: check all the candy, don’t go trick-o-treating to anyone you don’t know, be careful crossing the street, walk don’t run, stay together, and …

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My final thoughts are: follow common sense safety rules and have a safe Halloween– but don’t forget to let your own inner child have a good time too!

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