Here I am, yours truly, as the Flying Nun. There are a couple of things that strike me about this picture. One, it was 50 years ago! Gulp. Two, my mom was amazing, having created this costume out of a bed sheet (back when most bed sheets were white) and a piece of poster board. And, three, this was back when our town was brand new on the prairie! No trees, shrubs, barely a tree in sight.
Halloween was so different back then. We wouldn't have dreamed of getting a store-bought costume. Although, when I was very young, I do remember having just one. It was one of those that had a plastic mask with the elastic string to hold it on, and a dress made of very thin slippery fabric. I was a princess, so there was glitter glued all over the dress, and the mask had holes for the eyes and one for the mouth, and it smelled funny.
For the most part, we had fun finding things around the house and making Halloween costumes ourselves. (Or with the help of a very creative mom.) We were clowns and hobos and lumberjacks with painted beards. I was a beatnik and a gypsy. One year, my brother waited until the last minute, so he cut a hole in a big cardboard box, put it over his head and went as a t.v. set. That was the year I was a lady ghost. Using yet another white sheet, I drew eyelashes over the eye holes, painted on red lips, and I wore pearls, a big hat, high heels and carried a big pocketbook. Our costumes were always fun or silly, never gruesome.
We went trick or treating all over the neighborhood, and I don't remember being accompanied by parents. The big kids looked after the little kids. One neighbor always had us all in for donuts and cider.
There were parties at school, and they were called Halloween parties, not Harvest festivals. We either wore our costumes to school, or changed into them after lunch. The party always included a costume parade around the school -- and the ladies in the front office oohed and aahed with enthusiasm at all of us. Then, we had cupcakes and drinks in our classrooms, served by the room moms, who were the only adults in attendance. I was surprised when my kids were in school, when parents were invited to every event. It was chaotic, in my opinion. I can't imagine my parents coming to school for our holiday parties. How I loved going home and telling them all about the day.
I'm happy that we live in a neighborhood where we get quite a few trick-or-treaters. The little ones are adorable, and I don't mind the bigger kids. I love that they still get a kick out of being kids.
Happy Halloween to all!