October 1st is an unofficial holiday in our house. It is on this day that I pull out the dusty boxes of Halloween goodies from their storage spaces. We set out decorations, try on wigs and fake mustaches, and admire previous years' Halloween crafts. It also marks the start of fall and winter festivities, a period of time during which we will binge not only on sweet and savory baked treats, but also crafting, glittery decorations, cozying up for extended storytimes to keep warm, and candlelight to lift our spirits. Soon enough the world in here will be a warm respite from the world out there, as winters in Montreal are serious business.
From now until December 31st, there's always something--the making of Halloween costumes, the making of Christmas presents, the cooking of Thanksgiving dinner, and so on. And since I adore Halloween and have passed that love onto Ninna (and hopefully Bojey--this year will be the first time we might be able to tell how she feels about such things), I like to kick off our festivities on the first of this month with a morning of pre-Halloween Halloweening. And so today, we did.
Ninna (wearing a wizard costume) enjoyed her very grown-up job of filling all the candleholders with spooky black tealight candles (found for 90% off at Michael's last November, of course.) I must confess a totally dorky love of Halloween candleholders. I always think I'm not the "collecting" type, but I've realized there are certain things I secretly collect, and these are apparently one of them. Here's our table:
A package of Halloween bags salvaged from a post-garage sale pile this summer, along with some blocks, became treat bags: Bojey enjoyed carrying around spiders in a jack-o-lantern bucket:
Some bats flew in and made themselves at home on our wall decor: It turns out they were last year's Halloween craft--clothespin bats: We added some Halloween books to the fall book basket:At a church rummage sale this summer, I scored two pumpkin costumes for a grand total of $1.00. When I asked about their price, one of the old ladies called to the other, "Mary, someone's buying the pumpkins!" They had clearly been hanging on the wall in their basement rummage sale room since the early nineties. It's become a familiar moment for me--the one in which someone else marvels at the fact that they've found the sucker on whom they can pawn off their weird old crap. Ninna's costume smacks of 1980s elementary school teacher Halloween costume, all the way down to the glow-in-the-dark puffy paint used to outline the facial features. There's a tag inside that reads "made with care by Elizabeth." We don't know you, Elizabeth, but we're sure enjoying your costume. I'm so glad people use those tags. I love imagining who this person is and why she made this costume. Bojey's costume makes her look more like a Jawa than a Jack-o-Lantern, but no matter--she's still as cute as can be.
In this photo, the chicks are pretending to be pumpkins on the porch while I walk by and trick or treat. Later, Ninna spent half an hour re-enacting the life cycle of a pumpkin in a heap on the floor. We are full-blooded nerds in this house.
We brought some warmth into the chicks' room with last year's fall bunting, now hanging above Bojey's bed.There was also some treat-eating, some mask-painting, some scary noises (courtesy of our scary-noise Halloween flashlight) some mustache-wearing, and more absurdity I can no longer remember. We'll indulge in Halloween almost to the point of irritation, and I'll be rushing to pack everything away by midnight October 31st, but we'll love every minute of it.