By Kate Schefer, Digital Products Coordinator
Halloween is almost here! It may seem like all the stores have skipped right over it, with their Christmas and Hanukkah displays, but I intend to relish it. I think I enjoy Halloween so much because it happens during my favorite time of year, and it involves some of my favorite things: eating candy, getting crafty, and parties with friends!
My partner and I especially love making our costumes by hand, because it’s more gratifying than pulling a dress or mask out of a box from a store, and it’s a lot more personal! So as I worked hard to finish knitting the sweater for my costume this year, I thought I’d ask my co-workers what they enjoy most about Halloween! I’ve also sprinkled in some of my favorite Halloween-themed books because I couldn’t resist.
One of my favorite Halloween memories growing up was when we would build a scarecrow as a family and put it on the bench on our front porch. The scarecrow would sit there all month, and then on Halloween night, my dad would put on the scarecrow’s clothes and sit in its place with his arm draped around a big bowl of candy with a sign that said “Take one piece!” When trick-or-treaters grabbed more than one piece, he would move his hand to scare them! Sometimes he would scare the parents too! My sisters and I would watch from the windows or sometimes hide up in in trees for a better view. — Kris, Associate Digital Product Manager
Dracula Came Unglued
In an effort to up my vampire game for a Halloween party, I once opted for specially molded fangs that supposedly adhered to your actual teeth. At the party that night, unfortunately, my fangs were continually falling out, making me feel like Dracula with defective dentures. — Brad, School/Library Sales Manager
A Jumping Good Time
My favorite Halloween story is the first time I brought my kids to a scary theme park. My oldest son Kevin was 10 and my youngest son Ryan was 8. My dad came with because he wanted to be a part of the kids’ first experience. It was a really warm night, so light jackets, the moon was shining really bright, the smell of bonfires was in the air. It was a busy night because the weather was so nice…the first thing we did was go through an outdoor maze with all sorts of scary people jumping out at us.
Ryan immediately jumped into my arms, buried his head into my shoulder and started crying. Kevin was holding my dads hand, and he jumped four feet in the air and screamed “HOLY ****”! I was laughing so hard I didn’t think I was going to be able to keep walking…My kids came to love this Halloween tradition of going to different theme parks, and we still do it today. Now Kevin has a family and soon we can scare them too! — Sue, PreMedia Specialist
The main tradition that I remember from my childhood is a ‘pumpkin carving contest’ that my family used to do. Every Halloween, my grandma, my mom, my stepdad, and myself would all go into my grandparents’ basement and carve a pumpkin, and then my grandpa would come down afterwards to judge who carved the best one. The winner would get things like a caramel apple, a Halloween stuffed animal, a bag of candy, a little pumpkin, etc. I won every year and, for the longest time, I thought I was just really good at pumpkin carving. But I’ve recently learned that my grandpa would hold his hand over each pumpkin as he looked through them to pick the winner, and whenever he’d put his hand over mine, I would start to bounce anxiously hoping he’d pick it. I have mixed feelings about this! — Lindsey Owens, Designer
Short but Sweet!
Making witch hat and ghost cookies with my mom! — Jordyn, Assistant Editor
How Do You Say That in Wookie?
My favorite memories of Halloween were the homemade costumes and going out trick or treating with friends. I had a couple of costumes my Mom made that stood out…By far the most labor intensive to put together was a Chewbacca costume. The body was brown faux fur, the bandolier was made up of tiny cereal boxes covered with felt and the mask was a werewolf. Of course I ended up spending much of the night correcting people that it wasn’t a werewolf costume. — Mike, Associate Business Systems Administrator
A Smart Cookie, You Might Say
And I’ll share just one more memory — I always looked forward to trick-or-treating the most, because of course, candy. Plus, I got to dress up and run around the neighborhood with my sister and friends, and on the years it wasn’t too cold, I loved breathing in that crisp fall air. There was one house in particular that we had to stop at: Dr. Clarizio’s. He was an oral surgeon in town who gave out full-size candy bars and boxes (he knew what he was doing), plus a toy like glowing necklaces or vampire teeth. There was always a line outside his house, but it was worth it!
And that’s how we like to celebrate Halloween here at Lerner. Maybe you got some ideas for new traditions to start with your family or students, or maybe you were reminded of a fond memory of your own. Feel free to share with us below! Happy Halloween!!