Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 303: Ghouls

Day 303: Ghouls, originally uploaded by susanvg.

A number of homes in my neighbourhood have decorated for Halloween. No longer is a jack'o'lantern enough. Now people create elaborate displays. I like the ones that are creative, with scarecrow people and home-made decorations. The latest craze - large inflated decorations leaves me cold.

Halloween was simpler and fun when I was a child. My mother made us costumes or we improvised with what was in the house. We canvassed our neighbourhood, always carrying boxes to collect money for UNICEF - children collecting for children. There was a pharmacy at our corner and we always stopped there. The pharmacist requested a poem or song in return for which he gave us a 5¢ chocolate bar. I know I am dating myself.

When it was my children's turn, I made costumes; we carved the pumpkin together and sometimes created simple decorations we hung in the window. Then Hollywood seemed to take over as people put out more and more elaborate decorations and even rented costumes. Young adults put on, and sometimes pay for makeup with special effects. Fantasy turned wild. We all need some escapism from time to time, but I balk when consumerism takes over what should be a time for simple fun.


  1. Goodness - my first thought is, "Who has time for this?" Yes, I'm afraid those "simple pleasures" of being a ghost draped with an old sheet and romping with other kids through the neighborhood are gone.

  2. Fewer little ones came to our home this year... far more teens and preteens. The door was knocked on well past 9 pm, making it a longish evening.

  3. People get carried away sometimes. Halloween, Christmas, weddings, dinner parties. Simple is good.