Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Little Halloween Nostlagia and the Semi-Annual Rant ;)

Remember childhood Halloweens? Back in the days when it was safe to roam the streets, and before cities and townships changed the date of holidays for convenience sake? We'd come home from school (or outside play if it was the weekend) in the late afternoon, and begin preparing our costumes...

Small children often wore those dime store costumes (sweaty Mickey Mouse masks with elastic string stapled in just the wrong place over the ears)...But once we hit about 7 or 8 we'd make our costumes; ghosts from old white sheets, spacemen from painted cardboard boxes and kitchen gadgets, gypsies and princesses adorned with Mother's scarves and jewelry...

We'd dress just so. And we'd sit. And wait. Because we weren't allowed out until it was at least Twilight. I remember the wait seeming like an eternity.

Finally, darkness would descend, and we'd set out with treat buckets or pillowcases in hand, and begin knocking on doors, yelling "trick or treat!", dreading the grown ups who would ask us to do a trick, and always saying "thank you" as we left with our loot (which in those days was often the big candy bars - that's how old I am, hehe).

When we returned home, pilowcases would be emptied into individual piles on the floor and the trading - and subsequent gobbling - would begin.

Such good times, and such fond memories. I'm going to stop here (before moving on to promised rant, lol) to show you a piece I completed yesterday, inspired by these childhood Halloweens...

It's listed on eBay now, where you'll find more pics. :)

Where was I? Oh, yes. The rant...

When did the childhood fun, the "Boo!", "Scared you!" sort of Halloweens become eclipsed by Horror movies, gruesome animatronics, and trick or treating at the mall? I soooooo love the magic and whimsy of Halloween, the childlike excitement, the fanstasy aspect of the whole thing, and it truly saddens me to see it co-opted by violence and gore - and to see parents taking their kids to the mall because it's "safer"(which I know is a whole other debate, and may even be true to varying degrees depending on the neighborhood, but I find it sad nonetheless).

I've seen the trend in Halloween art too, mostly on eBay - the scary-fun giving way to the sick and gruesome. The baby doll heads made into corpses...soooooo sad.

But there are still plenty of us hanging on fiercely to the magic and wonder of childhood Halloweens, trying our best to keep that anticipation and excitement alive...If you have a few minutes, check out the right hand sidebar of my blog, and visit sites like Allen Cunningham, Johanna Parker Design, Laurie Hardin, Rucus Studio, Retro Rudolphs, Soft in the Head, and of course all the Ghoultide Gathering artists.

This is what Halloween at it's best, what Halloween should be.

Do you have a favorite childhood memory or costume? A favorite candy maybe? Do jump in and share a comment - it helps keep the magic alive. ;)

Until next time,

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ ♥ Carolee


Anonymous said...

Oh I hold those same memories dear and yes, old enough to remember those big candy bars! My first stop was always my grandma's house across the street and then on to the rest of the neighborhood. Remembering to say please was a given. Ah, manners, another lost art.

*retro-rudolphs* said...

I agree it's very sad that kids go the malls to trick or treat. Personally, I cannot even fathom doing that as a kid! Luckily, we still have some kids in our neighbourhood who venture out with a trick or treat bag in hand, mask on face and joy in their heart.

As for the "tricks", I was not a fan of that as a child and would never want to make a child feel like they need to do one for my entertainment. But we do ask Bailey to say thank you when receiving a treat, seems only fair to do so.

May favourite costume isn't really a fave, but it's the only one I can remember clearly. I was dressed as the Roadrunner one of those Hallowe'en in the 70's.

If only we could take a step back - to those much cherished, carefree times of childhood. Cheers to Hallowe'ens past, may they somehow become part of our near future for our kids and future generations too.


Jo James said...

Once I was a hobo under a ghost sheet on account of we lived in the boonies and only had 6 houses to go to so my little brother and I went around twice :)

keijukammari said...

I've went trough your whole blog today and I'm so insprided. I guess I'll be painting on wooden boxes soon.

Oh I'm Niina and I live in Finland. People here don't celebrate Halloween. Some kids have halloween parties these days But there is no trick or treat tour.
I guess you are a pagan by looking at your art. I'm one too. I love spending Samhain and feel the wind in the trees during autumn. Well I hope you all the best. You are welcome to visit my blog. I will be back here often. I just adore your art.
Take care

Rebekka Seale said...

Halloween is my favorite holiday and it's so nice to see a Halloween post in the middle of Spring!