When I was a kid growing up Halloween was a BIG DEAL! My father, a child at heart, would go all out each year on Halloween. Forget those cheap costumes from the department stores (you know the kind that came in a box with a plastic see through window. The ones where you had a cheap plastic mask with a thin elastic band that when placed on your face smelled of chemicals. I can still smell that smell!) my father ensured that we got well tailored quality made costumes. Whether you wanted to be a clown, a court jester or a pirate the costumes would magically appear upon request.
Our house turned into its own version of a haunted wonderland. Much to my mother’s chagrin, dad would bring home bags of streamers, orange and black balloons, ghosts, cobwebs, scarecrows and even one of those mechanical moving hands. The best was the cassette tape with the orange label that played ghoulish moans, screams, demonic laughs and other scary sounds all to set the perfect mood. I was very proud of our house and would gloat when other kids would come to the door in awe of the over the top decorative display.
After we plundered the neighborhood for gobs of candy, we’d come back for dinner and sit around the table adorned for the night. We had Halloween plates, napkins and cups. We lit Halloween candles and drank soda! (Drinking soda at dinner was a huge treat) Each time the doorbell rang we’d fight and trample over each other racing down the stairs to be the one who got to share our confectionery benevolence. You see, my dad would never settle for stupid dumb lollipops or tiny bite sized candy bars. No gum or pennies here. My dad got the full on adult size candy bars. When kids came to our house they would squeal with delight that we gave out the BIG candy bars.
Dinner was followed by an assortment of fun. Of course we had our candy but mom made cupcakes and cookies of various Halloween themes for us to stuff our faces with. If we didn’t bob for apples my father would tie the stem of an apple to a string and hang it from the top of the archway. We each took turns trying to bite our apple without using our hands while it swung like a pendulum back and forth. The trick was to balance it on your lips just right so you could push it against the wall and bite it.
Today, my friend sent me a video of her son Lucas dressed up for Halloween in his fireman costume singing along with his classmates. It brought such joy to my heart to know that this very song that I learned and sang in elementery school is STILL being taught today! Here are the words so you can sing along:
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said “my my it’s getting late”
The second one said “there are witches in the air”
The thirst one said “well I don’t care”
The fourth one said “let’s run and run and run”
The fifth one said “let’s get ready for some fun”
Ooo went the wind and out went the lights and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!