With Halloween now in the rearview mirror, it is my hope that we have all “fallen back” with the time change and are preparing ourselves to be a little more thankful in the coming weeks.The day …
With Halloween now in the rearview mirror, it is my hope that we have all “fallen back” with the time change and are preparing ourselves to be a little more thankful in the coming weeks.The day for ghouls and ghosts walking the streets in search for candy may be over until next year, but Halloween 2017 provided the Phillips family with some great memories.
For the past several years, our family has dressed together in a theme. We were characters from “Inside/Out,” then superheroes and this year turned ourselves into a walking “Day of the Dead” festival by donning the calaveras makeup that would traditionally be viewed in a Dia de los Muertos celebration south of the border.
Andrea is always the creative force behind our costumes. She can do incredible things with a small budget and items found around the house. For our costumes this year, we used clothing that we already had, facepaint that we’ve used for a couple of years now and then she purchased a few items (flowers and skeletons mostly) to make up the girls’ head pieces.
The one item that I didn’t have was a sombrero, but a quick plea on social media led me to plenty of friends who would loan me one of their hats. I do have to say thank you to Mason and Courtney Boren from Twisted Barley Brewing Company, who hooked me up a sweet sombrero they had picked up while in Cancun some time back.
There are now seven members in our family, but only six participated in trick or treating festivities this year. Zuzu, the 3-month-old, did participate in her first Halloween, while Stone, the 15-year-old, couldn’t because he had football practice. There were plenty of odd looks cast our way as our sextet of sugar skulls, bright flowers and a big sombrero roamed the streets of downtown Jasper. A few people even had us stop so they could take a photo of us. One lady loudly declared us as “the winners of Halloween this year.”
Halloween is a big thing in our neighborhood, so we made it back to our home before dark to avoid any traffic jam. We also wanted to be back to give out candy before any trick-or-treaters showed up.
We used our costumes this year as a teaching tool for the children, telling them all about Day of the Dead customs, even decorating our front porch with candles, flowers and other items associated with the altars made to loved ones during the celebrations in Mexico. It also made for a spooky setup to give out candy.
In the early parts of the night, Andrea and our three older girls walked our neighborhood to get some treats of their own, while Zuzu, Stone and I stayed back at the house to give out candy. We had a big speaker hidden behind one of our altars that blared music throughout the night. We started off playing some hits by Santana, before moving along into more traditional Halloween favorites.
My most fun came after the girls got back from trick-or-treating, because that is when I found out whom the real Halloween lovers are in our home. Most everyone retreated inside the house, watching television, playing video games or tapping on their tablets. I was left on the porch, a sole dark soul, to hand out candy. That was until 6-year-old Joy burst through the front door and exclaimed, “I’m here to help!”
I’m pretty sure she went inside for a few minutes to snack on a few candy bars, because once she came back to the porch, she was lit. She danced on the porch. She danced on the lawn. She even got me dancing with her. She learned a few new songs, her favorite of which seemed to be “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads. I could hear her cute voice singing “Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better…run run run run run run run away oh oh” after hearing only one chorus.
As the night went on, the cute little dancing skeleton would prance through the yard before rushing to grab the candy bucket to offer treats to our guests. We danced to everything from “Thriller” to “Werewolves of London” with our final dance of the night being to “The Time Warp” from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
While the older kids may be too cool to hang out on the porch with Dad, I know I’ve got at least a couple of more Halloweens to have fun with Joy. Our Dia de los Muertos fun is officially over. It took us about three days to get all the makeup off our faces. We are already thinking about a theme for next year, and we may get a little scarier for 2018.
James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.