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Halloween Takes A Turn!

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon’s silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play.  ~Joel Benton

Ah yes another Halloween is upon us, and it’s snowing!  I love the snow!

Incredibles Heather Piper-Aunt Heather Piper
Elastic Girl (me) Dash (Kyle). Yep I made these costumes. They were the best outfits ever! 10/2005

Something was different about this Halloween season, I guess it was Kyle.  He really wasn’t into it.  Usually we talk about his costume months before hand and I help him plan the theme of the year.  Not this time.  He was blasé about the holiday.  Kind of depressing but expected since he’s getting older.  I will admit I wasn’t all about Halloween either, unlike Halloween of Years Past.  Being so busy and wrapped up in other things made the months slipped past, including October.  In fact, this is the first year in a long time I didn’t do anything for Halloween, no trick-or-treating, no parades, no parties, no corn mazes and really no scary movies.  The only movies we watched that could be considered Halloween themed were Sleepy Hallow, Coraline and Dark Shadows.

Maybe I’m the one who’s finally maturing.  After all I wasn’t bugging Kyle about his costume as I did formerly.  Or was it that I sensed Kyle’s disinterest in Halloween that held me back?  Either way it was certainly a milestone year.  I will admit I do enjoy creating themes.  It’s more fun that way, also more challenging.  I still remember Kyle’s first Halloween costume.  Technically, Kyle missed his first Halloween.  He was three months old and we just lost his dad, my brother, nine days prior.  That Halloween, I didn’t participate in any of the festivities, I didn’t dress Kyle up or take him out, I just wanted to stay at home with Kyle and my family.  By the following Halloween, Kyle was fifteen months old and my sister wanted to get him his costume, since she lived in Tucson and wanted to contribute.  He was a lion and I was a lion tamer.  The costume list goes on and on but the best year was when I made our costumes and we were The Incredibles.  Kyle was Dash and I was Elastic Girl.  While gathering our candy Kyle said to me, “Aunt Heather they don’t know we are really not the Incredibles!”  As he flashed a very happy smile my way.  That’s my favorite part, teaming up with Kyle and working with him on a theme and the two of us getting it together and being creative!

Although, I will admit the year he chose be Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars was a classic!  Mom surprised him with the costume because that’s all he was talking about.  I remember stopping down mom and dad’s that Friday night to find Kyle dressed in his outfit, mask and all, sitting in his rocking chair watching TV.  It was actually kind of creepy.  He wouldn’t take the costume off!  Mom said that he was so excited he put it on right away and was wearing it since.  We did manage to get it off of him to go to bed, but it went right back on the next morning.  Plus, he had a light-saber!  I guess it doesn’t get much better then that.  While we were trick-or-treating most people were commenting on his costume and Kyle loved it!  He thought he was so cool and tough.

Kyle as Anakin Skywalker-Aunt-Heather-Piper
Kyle as Anakin Skywalker. He wore it all weekend and wouldn’t take it off.

The first I heard about Kyle’s desire to be anything for this Halloween was about a week or two ago.  He said he wanted to be Harry Potter.  I didn’t think it was original but if that’s what he wanted, then great!  Maybe I could be Hermine.  Usually, when Kyle approaches me about a costume it means he wants me to make it, but alas I was out of time.  So mom found the get up online, which I would venture to be easy since it is a popular one.  But next thing I know, Kyle had a scare crow costume that actually looked like a hillbilly or a moonshiner.  Maybe next year I’ll teach Kyle all about going bagging and corning since he seems to be out of the age for trick-or-treating.

Bagging!  Not a lot of people have heard of it, in fact I don’t think anyone outside of Latrobe has ever heard of such a fun event.  Simply, it’s when you get a brown paper bag and add a sign to it like ‘I’m Dying for a Treat’.  Then, you place the bag on a person’s doorstep, ring the doorbell and hide.  The recipient is suppose to place treats in your brown bag.  You wait for them to close the door before retrieving your brown bag and move onto the next house.  I talked about in Halloween of Years Past.  I know this doesn’t sound like fun, but it really is!!  What makes it exciting, besides getting dressed up in all black like a cat burglar, is when the they give crazy gifts like toothpaste or a rock.  It makes it so much fun and gives great stories to talk about years down the road.

Kyle scarecrow Aunt Heather Piper
Kyle as a scarecrow. 10/26/12

Of course, no one ever gets too old for haunted corn mazes!  I’ve been taking Kyle to the same local haunted corn maze by the fair grounds ever since he was three years old.  Yes I know, he was a bit too young, but he really wanted me to take him, so I started that tradition, at least until we broke it this year.  Well, there is always next Halloween!

The first time I took Kyle for his scary nighttime outside entertainment, and every time since, he rode the hayride and went through the corn maze with his head in my coat.  When he was little I could carry him, but after the years progressed, nope!  He had to walk on his own.  That made it challenging, walking with a little guy hanging for dear life off of my coat and tripping me as I walked.  Every year I ask Kyle, “Why do you want to go through that if you don’t even see it to enjoy it for yourself?  You seem to really hate it.”  He would just reply, “Cause Aunt Heather it’s fun!  I just don’t want to see it.”  Ok, how can I argue with that!  The first time we participated in the haunted hayride and corn maze, they had a huge stuffed black spider that dropped into the wagon right in front of Kyle!  He remembers that till this day!  Back then, Kyle would sleep with my parents and I guess that night mom said Kyle wouldn’t stop talking about this spider, as I got a look of like, ‘I can’t believe you took him on that!’.  Well, it is Halloween and we had fun!

Yep, things are different now, I guess I just need to adjust our activities to fit his maturity before I get the boot totally!

Last Friday, mom and I went to see Kyle in the school parade, the last one!  That was definitely bittersweet, I do enjoy seeing Kyle grow up but I also love the little kid he used to be.  We’ve been do for a big change and it seems like this one is fast approaching.

Happy All Saints Eve! and Happy All Saints Day! (tomorrow)

Check out these fun facts from

logo_sm_msn24 Aunt Heather Piper

  1. No matter how scary your local haunted house is, it probably can’t top the Haunted Cave in Lewisburg, Ohio. Measuring 3,564 feet long, the Guinness World Records has named it the world’s longest haunted house. Even spookier: It’s located 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine.
  2. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there will be 41 million trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14 in America this year. Parents are expected to spend $1 billion on children’s costumes—and if they’re on trend, most of the cash will go towards princess, witch, pirate or Spider-Man get-ups.
  3. Although the cards may be ghoulish, the sentiment is sweet—according to Hallmark, Halloween ranks as the sixth most popular card-giving holiday, with 20 million cards sent each year. Christmas comes in first place, with a whopping 1.5 billion cards sent each year.
  4. Halloween candy coffers wouldn’t be the same without California. Why? Because according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Golden State leads the nation in non-chocolate confectionery production. Out of the 409 sites that manufacture non-chocolate confections in the U.S., California is home to 45 of them.
  5. In 1950, Philadelphia-based trick-or-treaters traded in a sweet tooth for a sweet action. In lieu of candy, residents collected change for children overseas and sent it to UNICEF. Subsequently, the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program was born.
  6. Valentine’s Day is no longer the sweetest national holiday—at least when it come to candy sales. More than twice as much chocolate is sold for Halloween as for Valentine’s Day; 90 million pounds of chocolate are sold during Halloween week alone. In total, $1.9 billion is spent on Halloween candy each year.
  7. Americans are more ready than ever to get into the Halloween spirit. According to the National Retail Federation, 71.5% plan to celebrate the holiday this year—compared with 68.6% last year—and will spend an average of $79.82 per (adult) person on candy, costumes and decor.
  8. A working magician from the age of 17, Harry Houdini (née Ehrich Weisz) became America’s favorite magician and a world-renown legend for his daring escapes. It was only fitting, then, for this master trickster to die on October 31, 1926—from a ruptured appendix.
  9. Since its invention in 1898 by the Herman Goelitz Confectionary Company of Fairfield, California (now known as the Jelly Belly Candy Company), candy corn has been wildly popular—so much so that today, nearly 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced each year.
  10. It was just tricks—no treats—for Charlie Brown in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. In the 1966 TV special, he utters, “I got a rock,” while trick-or-treating. The phrase went on to become one of the most famous lines in Peanuts history.
  11. Halloween wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins, and thankfully, there are plenty of gourds to go around. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2010, the top pumpkin-producing states—Illinois, California, New York and Ohio—produced 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins.
  12. Due to safety concerns, trunk-or-treating was introduced in 2000 as an alternative to hitting the pavement for candy on Halloween night. Cars are parked in a circle at a school or church parking lot, with event-goers decorating their open trunks and dressing in costume in order to hand out treats.
  13. From its vampy costumes and sweet treats to macabre household decorations, Halloween is big business. So big, in fact, that it’s the second-largest commercial holiday in America—only Christmas surpasses it in sales.
  14. In 2010, Belleville, Illinois, became the latest city to ban trick-or-treating for kids over 12. Teens can face fines from $100 to $1,000 for going door-to-door (although according to officials, more often than not, over-age Halloween-goers are just given a warning).
  15. Got leftover Halloween candy? Save it for later! Dark and milk chocolates can last up to two years if stored in a dry, odor-free spot. Hard candy can last up to a year, while unopened packages of candy corn can last nine months.
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