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October 30, 2016 /

I scream for Halloween!

Most people when asked what holiday is their favorite will pick Christmas, Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving. I have always put Halloween at the top of my list.

My brother displaying his loot.

My brother displaying his loot.

As a child, it was all about the costumes, candy, and the annual Halloween carnival held at my elementary school. A whole gang of us ghosts and goblins would trick or treat up one side of the ¾ mile route to the school, enjoy the carnival, then trick or treat on the other side of the street as we made our way home. Then, the mass ingestion of candy would begin. I’m sure our parents confiscated some of it so my brothers and I didn’t go into total sugar-comas, but for the most part what we extorted from our neighbors was all ours.

Now, as an adult, Halloween has taken on a different significance for me. I still love the costumes – on others, I rarely dress up – and I do admit buying trick or treat candy that I like so that any left overs won’t go to waist waste. My favorite part, though, are the decorations – and the scarier, the better. I can’t get enough of the skeletons, ghouls, and severed heads. One neighbor turns their front lawn into a haunted cemetery. Another, using spooky lighting, tattered draping, and eerie sounds, makes their porch appear to be the entrance to a haunted house. I don’t remember such elaborate house decorations when I was a child and, I admit, I’m a bit envious of today’s trick or treaters.

We don’t get many trick or treaters on our block anymore as most of the kids have grown up and moved on. A recent surge of babies being born in the neighborhood will hopefully change that in the future, but for now they are too young. Usually, by 6:30 or so, we have seen our last Harry Potter, witch, and Minion, and there are no more knocks at our door.

All is not lost, though because a neighbor’s house has become the spot for the adults in the hood to gather and celebrate all things Halloween. After we determine that most, if not all, of the trick or treaters are gone, we turn off our porch lights, lock our door and walk down the hill to join our neighbors. Some dress in costumes, some bring Halloween-themed edible offerings, and we all enjoy celebrating the holiday with a little Zombie Zin.




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  1. Kate Crimmins / Oct 30 2016 4:29 pm

    I loved the parties but no one in our ‘hood has them anymore.

    • / Oct 30 2016 8:15 pm

      We are lucky to have a few neighbors who love to entertain. I like to be entertained, and I like the idea of entertaining, but, if it was up to us to plan a party, we’d be in trouble.

      • Kate Crimmins / Oct 31 2016 6:17 am

        I like the concept but not the work involved. I like participating though as long as it’s not a real large group where I can’t hear anyone.

        • / Oct 31 2016 8:07 am

          I agree with you, especially the noise issue. My bad ear makes it hard to hear conversations in certain settings and it can be very frustrating.

  2. Lies Jack Kerouac told Me / Oct 30 2016 5:29 pm

    Sadly, the only one who dresses up around here anymore is the dog…

    • / Oct 30 2016 8:17 pm

      I always wonder what the poor dogs are thinking when they are outfitted in Halloween costumes. Hopefully they enjoy it. I’ve seen some pretty funny ones.

  3. Terri Webster Schrandt / Oct 30 2016 5:55 pm

    Zombie zin , that’s awesome! Loved the school carnivals as a kid. We just spent a long weekend at a friend’s Halloween party near Victorville. She went all out on the decorations!

    • / Oct 30 2016 8:21 pm

      They have some pretty funny Halloween-themed wine. That sounds like a great party… did you get pictures?

  4. Liesbet / Oct 30 2016 9:04 pm

    I wish I lived in your neighborhood. I’d love me some Zombie Zin and fun social times! Lots of nicely decorated yards here as well, but the weather has been too bad to take photos. It’s on my agenda tomorrow! By the way, I did carve my first pumpkin ever tonight, just for the sake of it. Happy Halloween!

    • / Oct 31 2016 7:55 am

      I haven’t carved a pumpkin in years! I remember doing that as a family (my father holding the knife, of course) and then displaying it on our porch until it rotted… fun! My mother also roasted the seeds which made a wonderful and healthy snack. Happy Halloween to you too!

  5. dconnollyislandgmailcom / Oct 30 2016 10:11 pm

    Add this to the list of things we have in common! Hallowe’en also tops my list of all-time favorite holidays. I have always loved so many things about it — but mostly the community spirit (pun partly intended). Last year, I offered coffee, tea and soft drinks for the adults accompanying their trick-or-treaters. I haven’t yet been part of a neighborhood “Zombie Zin” gathering — but it is now on my bucket list!

    • / Oct 31 2016 8:01 am

      I bet the parents appreciated the adult treats you offered! Our neighborhood gathering started many years ago as a spontaneous get together of just a few friends. It has since morphed into an actual “thing” that we look forward to every year.

  6. laura bruno lilly / Oct 31 2016 6:12 am

    I’m **In** for some Zombie Zin!!!

  7. Joe / Oct 31 2016 8:06 am

    It’s great to be home in time for Halloween. I’ve got my bag of candy ready. I feel sorry for that kid in the picture. It looks like he got mostly suckers and hard candies. Maybe he has a big brother who “traded” him for all of his Reese’s, Snickers, and Almond Joys?

    • / Oct 31 2016 8:14 am

      That was my brother in the late 50s. I think most of the candy we got back then was like that (we were so deprived and abused 😄 ). If we found a house that was giving out quality chocolate, we alerted the rest of the trick or treaters.

  8. Kristine Puzel / Oct 31 2016 12:24 pm

    I also love Halloween – and am pretty impressed by what seems to be a growing number of homes that boast orange and purple lights, skeletons, ghosts and pumpkins! I love Christmas and Thanksgiving too, but there is something lighthearted about Halloween, despite the skeletons, zombies, and witches!

    • / Oct 31 2016 5:05 pm

      I think you are right. It’s kind of fun to “scare” ourselves (even though, as adults, we really don’t believe any of it) and harken back to our childhoods. And, of course, it’s also fun to see the kiddos all dressed up.

  9. Anabel Marsh / Oct 31 2016 1:51 pm

    I can take or leave the rest but the Zombie Zin sounds awesome!

    • / Oct 31 2016 5:07 pm

      Ha! You can always just turn off your porch lights and enjoy the Zin in peace. Is Halloween much of a “thing” where you live?

      • Anabel Marsh / Nov 1 2016 12:53 am

        Not so much, although American traditions are growing rapidly eg the pumpkin lantern has replaced the turnip (swede) lantern. I think that’s a good thing as the turnip was really difficult to cut! In my youth we played dookin’ for apples and that was it, probably more healthy than all the candy.

  10. patwdoyle11 / Oct 31 2016 5:13 pm

    We just finished giving out candy….and are fighting over who gets what’s left! LOL. Hubby says I can have all the Almond Joy….he hates coconut….such a hard thing for him to give up. I’m holding out for the KitKats and Snickers. Yeah, we give out chocolate. Not a lot of kids in our neighborhood, but it was fun seeing the costumes. It was so warm here, we sat on the porch ….now wishing I had some Zombie Zin!! Happy Halloween to you.

    • / Nov 1 2016 1:58 pm

      We ended up with no T or Ters at all! So sad, because I like seeing the little kids in their costumes too. Enjoy your leftovers!

  11. snakesinthegrass2014 / Oct 31 2016 5:27 pm

    Careful not to have too much of that Zombie Zin or it will go to waist, ‘er waste! Love that. 🙂 What I remember most about my candy booty was how it smelled. It was like having a miniature candy store in my bedroom (for at least ten minutes anyway until my mother removed it to the kitchen).

    • / Nov 1 2016 2:01 pm

      I remember being awestruck that I could knock on strangers doors and they’d give me candy… how great was that? Having absolutely no self-control, I ate all the good stuff first, then the dreaded hard candy.

  12. Denise / Nov 1 2016 7:44 am

    I am waiting for a local gift shop to put their decorations on sale. They have some lovely, if a bit pricey, copper pumpkins that would look great for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Still trying to figure out what to do with all my Snickers – like should I eat one a day?

    • / Nov 1 2016 2:05 pm

      I’m all about shopping the post-holiday sales too. It’s fun to put them away and be surprised to find them when you unpack for next year (or, is it just me that doesn’t remember buying stuff?). One Snicker a day sounds to me like you have amazing restraint. Go for it!

  13. selfhelpsunday / Nov 1 2016 3:56 pm

    zombie zin looks great!

    • / Nov 1 2016 4:38 pm

      It looked better than it tasted, unfortunately. I think I’ll avoid Zins made by the undead from now on. 🙂

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