Halloween is digging down into the costume chest and pulling out something to dress up your imagination. It is a breast plate, shield and cape, with a worn grey sword that wilts more than jabs. It is a cowboy vest, sherriff’s badge, and a frayed cowboy hat that has seen more than its fair share of fights. It is a bumble bee, leopard or Peter Pan. It is a dressed up witches hat or black cat ears, black smudged nose, and painted whiskers.
It is hot chili on a frosty night, sprinkled cheese, and grilled dogs. Worms in the pumkin patch cupcakes sloshed down with hot apple cider or hot chocolate. It is fun games that make laughter, goose bumps, and adventure.
It is knocking on neighbor’s doors who brought your mama “Welcome to the neighborhod” cookies or the little red-headed girls house who has a crush on your brother. It’s a door opening and friends spilling out of the dark dank, dreay night into the golden warmth of the Pumpkin House(which is what I called our old house because it was orange brick with black shutters). It is filling jack-o-lantern buckets with candy for your neighbor’s children who share school rooms, teachers with your children, who stop by for hot chocolate on fall afternoons.
It is laughing, teasing, savoring childhood – no presents, no pressure, no soporific lethargy. It is fellowship, loving thy neighbor and generosity to strangers. Big and little pumpkins, Little and big. Halloween is a holiday from a too busy schedule, a moment to live joyously.
Then, after the pumpkin lights are blown out, the costumes tucked away, the candy stored out of reach, then it is time to thank God for the blessings of children, family, and fellowship, the joy of giving, laughter, and imagination, for a moment where the daily struggles dissipate in the steam of good food, respite from the world that figuratively buffetts each day. Thank you for a moment to enjoy, refreshing myself in the gifts you have given me and the gifts given out.