I love Halloween.
I love dressing up, carving pumpkins, eating candy, and feeling that shiver go up my spine. But for the past few years, this time of year has come with a twinge of sadness, as well as excitement, because I have lost that feeling of childhood wonder that used to make the holiday so much fun.
I used to start preparing weeks in advance, going to the Halloween store with my mom, and planning my costume. I have always been a homemade costume kind of person, the more elaborate the better. I remember one year I made Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket out of duct tape. The weekend before Halloween, my neighbors and I would get together and start planning our route to hit as many houses as possible. I remember that feeling of excitement when evening would start to roll around and I would put on my costume (with extra layers), and get my pillow case ready.
My neighborhood felt like a different universe, with everyone disguised, spooky music playing, the dark lit up by Jack-o-lanterns and decorations. I loved seeing everyone’s costumes, and getting compliments on my own, and doing daring things, emboldened by my costume. Halloween magic made anything possible. My favorite part of the night, however, was going back to my house with all my neighbors, pouring out our haul on my living room floor, and trading for our favorite candy. I not only miss those traditions, but I miss being able to get so excited about something so simple. It’s not that I don’t dress up, get scared, or eat tons of candy on Halloween anymore, but it no longer feels like magic. I know that this is part of growing up, but it still makes me a little sad.
I guess I will have to find new traditions to get excited about, and of course, recreate the magic for my own kids in the future.