Halloween Will Always Be Halloween

I sent my husband, my mother-in-law, and my sons off down the road last night as I sat on the porch, candy bucket in hand. Last year I walked the boys around our neighborhood, so it was his turn this year. I watched them walk away, squinting into the setting sun, and sighed.

My mom-friends with sixth grade children, specifically boys, lamented this being their sons’ last year trick-or-treating. My husband can’t remember if his last year was in sixth or seventh grade. Anectdotally, the only seventh grade boy in the neighborhood did not trick-or-treat this year.

I filled candy bags and pumpkins and pillow cases with some of my favorite candies as the sun dipped lower and the air got colder. Elsa. Some unicorns. A gum ball machine. Lots of super heroes—and specifically, lots of Wonder Woman. A flower. A very small It clown, which nope. Two gorillas. Two fire puppies. A lumberjack.

I loved them all, big and small, candy-grabbing and thanking. There’s really nothing more purely childhood than Halloween trick-or-treating.

The boys returned to the house, stole some of the candy from my bowl, and went inside. They asked to watch scary movies (no) and eat candy (yes). I continued handing out candy and a feeling settled over me.

He may not want to dress up and traipse around the neighborhood with his brother next year. He might though. I’m not going to lead his decision either way. It’s his. Just like it was the younger kid’s decision to be Indiana Jones and the older kid’s to be some kind of Skull solider thing. I used to be able to dress them as I wanted for Halloween. Those days are over.

Halloween 2017

And it’s okay. They make good choices that fit them well. I wish them that in all aspects of their lives.

What Works Best for Us at Christmas

I want to tell you all about our Christmas experience, but tomorrow we have another family get together. By the time we finish all of our Christmas-ing, January will feel well on its way. That’s how it is, I suppose.

Right now, our main focus falls on letting our sons enjoy their Christmas Day at home. No rushing through present opening. No making them get dressed before two o’clock in the afternoon. No splitting the day between various households. No four hours in the car. They wake up at o’dark o’clock, open presents, and spend the rest of the day eating delicious foods while playing with said presents.

It’s wonderful.

And it’s awful.

I love taking the slow approach to Christmas. I really appreciate telling the boys that I’m not even starting to make my labor-intensive Christmas Waffles until 9:30, and then, when I nearly catch the waffle iron on fire, there’s no big rush to get everything finished so we can get out the door. I like snacking sometime midday. In bed. I enjoy multiple mimosas. I really like staying in my super-cute Christmas Pajamas until four o’clock, at which point I put on leggings and a top.

But I miss our family members.

We’ve invited them to spend the day with us for the past three Christmases, thus being the ones we’ve decided to stay home and let the boys do their thing. No one has taken us up on the offer. We’ve extended the invite to all people who may be hosted by those other individuals as well, as we want everyone to be cared for and fed on such a holiday. Last year, Gramps and Mamaw came over for our Christmas meal and we dearly appreciated their presence.

My mother once told me she didn’t get to host Christmas Day until she was well into her 40s. I’m 35, going on 36, and so far, no go. I predict when the boys are a little bit older and their Christmas presents all travel with them, we can start traveling on Christmas Day again. But when LittleBrother wants nothing more than to start building his 10 bag LEGO fire station set on Christmas Day, I feel like staying home remains the appropriate choice for now.

I’m so excited to spend the day with my family tomorrow (or, as it’s past midnight because insomnia, today). I can’t wait to watch our nephews open their presents, to spend time with my parents, to joke with my brother and sister-in-law, to create memories with extended family members. All of that may not happen on Christmas Day, but it still happens. I’m okay with that.

In fact, it’s what works best for us right now.

Merry Christmas.

What Works Best for Us at Christmas

How the Slutty Pumpkin Became 12 Years Married Pumpkin

“I have a great costume idea!”
“Oh yeah? Are you going to go as the guy who doesn’t wear a Halloween costume again?”
“Well, what is it?”
“It’s a surprise!”

For the record, I don’t really like surprises. If you have a surprise for me, don’t tell me about it. They make me anxious. I know, I know. Everything makes me anxious. But surprises make me anxious and then kind of angry because I don’t know something. I like to know things.

And so, we came into mid-October and I still had no idea what my husband’s great idea was for a Halloween costume. So, I started looking for my own. I sat next to my husband on the couch during a football game and scrolled the options.

We quickly ruled out a unicorn because of the phallic like nature of the beast. I didn’t feel like shelling out the cash for A League of Their Own costumes even though it’s my most favorite movie in the Universe. I moseyed through the women’s section of costumers and lamented the fact that everything is skimpified for women.

“Oh, look! There’s even a Slutty Pumpkin. OH WAIT! I could be the Slutty Pumpkin and you could be a Hanging Chad!”

If you didn’t watch How I Met Your Mother, I probably need to explain..

Slutty Pumpkin and Hanging Chad

Season 1, Episode 6 of How I Met Your Mother is entitled “Slutty Pumpkin.” It aired on October 24, 2005. We probably watched it live that day as I was on bed rest near the end of my pregnancy with BigBrother. We adored the show early on and watched it through the end even though we usually give up on shows before the series finale.

The premise of the episode is that Ted Mosby is going to the annual Halloween party dressed as a Hanging Chad, referencing the 2000 election, yet again, because that’s what he met the “Slutty Pumpkin” in that night. Slutty Pumpkin is none other than Katie Holmes. You can read more about the “Slutty Pumpkin” episode here.

Hanging Chad!

ANYWAY, back to my story.

“I could be the Slutty Pumpkin and you could be a Hanging Chad” was met with UTTER SILENCE. My eyes got really big and I turned to face my husband.

“OH MY GOD! That’s IT! I guessed it!”
“It was SUPPOSED to be a surprise!”
“But now we can be a couple costume! YES!”

You see, I’ve always wanted to do couples costumes. But my husband has been a no-go on ANY costumes for the entirety of our relationship. Additionally, we’ve never been invited to a Halloween party, and we were actually hosting one this year. Suddenly I felt excited to wear a skimpy costume for Halloween.

But sometimes life gets busy. Life got busy. I forgot to order a Slutty Pumpkin costume. By the time I ordered my costume, all the short, skimpy pumpkins were gone. All that was left was a giant orange onesie.

So I bought it.

When it arrived, I put it on, texted my friends, and then kept it on for like three hours as it is basically the most comfortable thing in the world. I decided that my costume purchase was actually more fitting than a Slutty Pumpkin because we’ve been married for (almost) twelve years.

Slutty Pumpkin Turns 12 Years Married Pumpkin with Her Hanging Chad

And that’s how Slutty Pumpkin became Married 12 Years Pumpkin with a Hanging Chad on basically the eve of an election doomed to be highly contested no matter which way the cookie crumbles.

Basically we’re the cutest.

Cutest Hanging Chad and Slutty Pumpkin Ever

Oh. And the kids wore costumes too.

Soldier and Kylo Ren

And the dog was Fox & Hound, all at once.

Fox & Hound

The end.