Updated: Feb 13, 2020
As you may or may not know, Halloween is my favorite holiday. The costumes, cobwebs, scary movies––what's not to love? It's the only day where insanity is validated and humanity is allowed to hide behind a mask for a night; the perfect combination of the real and the strange. It's a truly magical day.
Throughout my life, my family has gone all out for Halloween. We've turned our house into a haunted mansion; dressed as witches, vampires, and princesses; we've created graveyards in our backyard; and we've thrown some wild parties. I grew up in Atlanta as a child, surrounded by forests and oak trees––a place where fairies came out at night. Our house was fairly large, with high ceilings and intricately designed windows. A wooden deck extended the back, with trees cutting through the floor and the smell of rain permeating the breeze; it was breathtaking.
Needless to say, we were able to host some impressive parties on the deck, and Halloween was the perfect opportunity to go wild. As a child, the decorating was a way to grow closer with my family while allowing my creativity to flourish; with every bit of cobwebs placed on the bushes, with each gravestone in the yard, I created a spooky world filled with fun and excitement. The holiday allowed me to see the scarier side of things, and I loved it.
And while most of the parties were adult-only, my young self did not care. As my parents and their friends partied on the deck, I would watch through the window and allow my imagination to run wild; the costumes and smiles on everyone's faces provided me with ample food for thought. My sister and I would play dress up with our babysitter, eventually wandering out into the party to say hello and show off our elaborate ensembles; everyone loved us. And even better, we always spent one night having our annual Halloween feast, filled with creepy decor and themed food.
Every year I dressed up for trick-or-treating, and let me tell you, my family went all out. We always went one step further with our costumes, creating elaborately detailed get ups and occasionally matching as a family. And even now, as an adult, I continue this trend of dressing up––while I'm no longer trick-or-treating, I will always embrace the holiday and become a different person for a night or two.
My family has one other tradition for Halloween––pumpkin carving. Each year, we go out to our local pumpkin patch and spend a decent amount of time seeking the perfect pumpkin. My sister and I would ride around in the little red wagons used to pick up the pumpkins until we no longer could fit in them; the pumpkin patch was one of my favorite parts of the holiday, and it's now one of the things I miss the most. It's quite difficult in college to carve pumpkins, let alone find a pumpkin patch, so this was the first year I haven't been able to look for that perfect pumpkin amongst a sea of orange. At least I have the memories to keep me company.
While Halloween has become more about parties and slightly scandalous costumes in college, I still hold the spirit of the holiday deep within me. I might not be able to celebrate with my family, but nevertheless I continue our traditions in my own way––watching "Halloweentown," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "The Corpse Bride," along with many horror movies in between; decorating my dorm with some cheap but exciting lights and stickers; writing spooky quotes on the white board on our door. Halloween is about the spirit of spookiness, and we all know I will always celebrate such an amazing holiday.