Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How To Cope With Halloween If You Just Can't Stand It

I've discussed this before.  I really, really dislike Halloween. I'm especially grumpy that I'll be missing out on the pumpking carving exhibit / interdepartmental contest at my old hospital.  [Click here and here for photos from the past two years.]

What can I say?  I'm a Christmas person.  Joy, light, hope, wonder, love.  I get no enjoyment out of death, decay, gore, monstrosity, and terror. Scrooge is to Christmas as I am to Halloween. Bah.

But I've got kids, and my kids (like most kids) LOVE this so-called holiday, so I'm stuck with it for another few years. Not wanting to be a total party-pooper, I try to play along a little.  This year my daughter is going to be "a creepy doll" and my son a metallic skull-head enrobed in black.  Last year he was an exposed cerebrum enrobed in black (see above).  The year before, a faceless phantom enrobed in black.

These are the things that make Halloween somewhat bearable for me:

6. Chocolate.  Bags and bags of chocolate.

5. Costumes.  I enjoy helping the kids create their alter egos for the night.  And yes, I dress up too.  Even half-heartedly getting in the spirit of things (mwa-ha-ha) takes the edge off. 

4. Music. Time to break out the Giselle: Act II CD.

3. Movies. NOT the scary kind.  I am a wimp - just reading about this year's blockbuster, Paranormal Activity, creeped me out. But I wouldn't mind something like Young Frankenstein, or a nice, benign ghost story, like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, or even a slightly more sinister (yet somehow still wholesome) one like Lady in White (1988), starring Lukas Haas of Witness fame. Or maybe even Ghost this year, in memory of the late Patrick Swayze. And of course, there's the George C. Scott rendition of A Christmas Carol. Anything to Christmas-ize this.

2. Literature.  There are some great books out there for this time of year.  This year's big discovery for me was Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Clever, unique, well-written, right in the spirit of Halloween but somehow not scary at all. Perfect. Or maybe I should finally get around to reading Mary Shelley.  Seems criminal that a physician-ex-English-major hasn't read Frankenstein.

1. The virtual pumpkin carving activity Lisa of Anali's First Amendment led me to a couple of years ago. I could do this over and over and over.  This is at the top of my list of things I actually enjoy about this otherwise unbearable annual indulgence in our darker aspects.  THANK YOU, LISA!


Bardiac said...

Oh, I vote for Frankenstein! It's a GREAT book, especially if you read Milton as an undergrad.

K. said...

I love Halloween, but perhaps its because my kids are still little and not into the GORE yet. They are still dressing in cutesy stuff (awww...)
Also, I like scary movies even though I get the bejesus scared out of me. It's so much fun to cling to my husband for dear life and watch between my fingers...haha
Happy Halloween, T!

Kim said...

Another thing we have in I love Christmas and can't wait for it to come around this year. Actually, we don't celebrate my daughter doesn't feel like she's missing out on anything. If she wants to check out a haunted house or haunted corn maze, I'd happily take her, but she likes the homey aspects of autumn...baking, pumpkins, raking leaves.
Scary movies...I'm right there with you. lol. I too watched the preview for Paranormal Activity and the only reason I did in the first place is b/c a friend of mine wanted me to go on a website to vote it into our city, (b/c apparently it's only making it's way into some theaters) and needless to say I got the bejesus scared out of me. LOL. It did not help that I was night when my hubby was on third shift. We keep Christmas movies on our netflix movie list, ready to watch anytime we want.
Hope you have fun and a happy your kid's costume. :)

Elaine Fine said...

Yup. Frankenstein is a great book--and not just because of Halloween. You don't even need to buy a copy: you can read it on line. I only read it for the first time a few years ago, and only because a friend recommended it so highly. I will be very excited to read your (now commissioned) blog post about it.

T. said...

Elaine - I love the way you and Michael keep me on my toes! Thanks very much for that convenient link - I have my autumn reading project!

Anali said...

You're welcome T! I totally forgot about the pumpkin carving game. It is really addictive. I just updated my latest post with it. Thanks for reminding me. : )