As Halloween draws near, and our children start dreaming up magical costume ideas, our thoughts go back to the hours that we spent crafting our own clever disguises—and a kaleidoscope of memories flood our minds.
Our mom made the most creative costumes for us, and there is one year that particularly stands out: the year Gardner went as a box of crayons, Cabot was Darth Vader, and I fooled everyone as a bag of Gold Medal flour. We always tried to choose costumes that were loose enough to allow for wearing long underwear underneath. October temperatures in Vermont are often freezing, and long underwear was better than wearing your winter coat over your costume.
In the run-up to Halloween, our town hall hosted an annual party for local children, which gave us the chance to give our costumes a “test run.” The highlights of the celebration were the haunted house, homemade popcorn balls (that always stuck to our hands) and bobbing for apples.
When Halloween finally arrived, we would run from house to house, a carpet of leaves crunching underfoot, repeating “trick or treat” over and over at every door. Soon enough, the plastic jack-o’-lanterns we carried would be overflowing with candy that would last for weeks.
As our children have fallen under Halloween’s magic spell, we have created our own Halloween traditions. We have great fun carving silly faces into the pumpkins we pick from a local pumpkin patch. We love to see the pride and excitement in our children’s faces as they dress up in their Halloween costumes and talk over their strategies for trick-or-treating. And we take great amusement in watching them sort and trade the horde of candy they collect.
As we make new Halloween memories each year, we’re sure to take a moment to relish the feeling of being a kid again…through their eyes.
Gardner, Cabot, Eliot & Lyman Orton, Proprietors of The Vermont Country Store