Hi! My name is Judith, and I am crazy about Halloween. Am I a fanatic? Not really, but I really do enjoy and love all the planning and excitement that surrounds that spooky Halloween night. My enthusiasm for Halloween began many years ago.
I remember when I was in elementary school, way back in the early 1960′s. I attended a tiny one room school house out on the prairies . I think we might have had about 21 children enrolled and that was from grade one to grade eight.
If I recall there were only 3 children in my grade. There were not many extra curricular activities, but our teacher would make a big deal out of each of the holidays. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and especially Halloween were the highlights of the school year.
When it came to Halloween we would start decorating a month before the big school party. There was no such a thing as buying decorations, everything was homemade. I think someone had donated a box of black and orange streamers and that treasure was carefully saved from year to year. But the balance of decorations were made by each of the students.
We were all responsible for how spooky the school party would be. I can still remember laboring over the Chinese lanterns made of orange and black construction paper. Then there were loads of black cats and witches on broom sticks to color and cut out. The windows and walls were adorned with a multitude of creepy, crawly, scary, creatures.
Since we lived in a farming community we were all responsible for bringing our own pumpkins to school to carve. I would take the utmost care while meticulously choosing the perfect pumpkins for my future jack-o-lanterns.
There were to be contests for the funniest and scariest jack-o-lanterns. There were also prizes for the largest pumpkins. We would take such pride in planting our own pumpkin seeds early in the spring and we would tend to the pumpkin plants all summer long with great hopes that those small little seeds would transform into massive giant pumpkins.
You see, there was a wealthy farmer who each year would donate a special prize for the largest pumpkin. Once the giant pumpkin was chosen, we would all have a chance of helping carve the winning pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern. Our teacher would then take a picture and it was sent to the local newspaper.
What fun that was having our pictures taken along side that giant pumpkin and knowing that we could possibly be on the front page of the local newspaper. Now if you can imagine in those days that was real celebrity status. 🙂
As the days creeped closer to the spookiest day of the year, we would all be planning our costumes. We couldn’t buy costumes, we would have to make them out of whatever scraps of material and old clothes our parents would let us use.
It was such a secretive time because no one wanted anyone else to know what costume they were going to wear. Again there were prizes to be given out for scariest, funniest, and most creative. It seemed as if there were always enough categories that each of us managed to at least get some sort of prize.
Now, we can’t forget about the treats for the party. That was all up to our moms. That was their specialty. About a week or two before the party we would draw from a hat to see what goodie each of us would have to bring to the party. I remember my mom would always make this toffee from scratch and colored popcorn balls and candied apples, along with these cute little layered party sandwiches.
The anticipation as the days grew closer was almost unbearable. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for our teacher to try and keep our attention on some real school work.
When all else failed she would go into the teeny tiny library which had once been a coat room and was converted to hold rows upon rows of donated books. She would take out a different book each day and read some scary story that would have us all trembling in our beds that night. There was no such thing as tv’s or phones in our remote farming area when I first started school. So these stories sparked our vivid imaginations.
The day of Halloween always seemed to come too soon for all the planning, decorating and preparations. There were always last minute things to finish, like making sure someone brought a tub for bobbing for apples. The storekeeper would always drop off a barrel of apples and bags of Halloween candy for our fun party day.
The morning of October 31, was always met with super excitement and nobody would dare be late for school on that special day.
Upon arriving at school, all the desks were moved against the walls of that one room school house in preparation for the parade of costumes along with all the Halloween party festivities. What a grand day that always seemed to be!
Those early precious memories sparked my interest and love for Halloween and thus, this site was born. I hope to be able to share my enthusiasm and love for everything Halloween with all of you right here at halloweenideasforwomen.com!