Halloween used to be a simple holiday.
You made a crappy hobo costume from your dad’s old tee shirt, used a broken eyeliner pencil for a 5 o’clock shadow, grabbed a pillowcase, and waited for the sun to go down. Candy free for all. If you were lucky, you’d get a store-bought costume like one of these beauties.
Chocolate was a rarity. Full-sized candy bars were a miracle, a gift from the gods. Pumpkin carving, in the best case scenario, didn’t require stitches.
But that was then. This is now.
People had to go and get all fancy. Pumpkin carving stencils. Special tool packs. Video how-tos.
Things have to be clever now. Jack o’lanterns have to be clever. No longer are they pumpkins, they’re pun-kins.
And, of course, Pinterest happened.
What happened to the simple things? The enjoyment of a straightforwardly ghoulish, sugar-drenched day?
A little self-examination. A little introspection.
The truth is, the more complicated things get, the lazier I am.
I used to host a pre-trick-or-treating buffet style dinner for friends and family. I wore a costume. I decorated the house, strung up orange and purple lights, scattered glitter-covered gourds in the powder room.
Today, that sounds like No Fun At All™.
But I had a heart-to-heart with myself about changing with the times. Staying current. Making the effort. My kids are just barely young enough to enjoy this holiday for its simple, but enduring message: knock on door, get free candy. I should enjoy the holiday during these last years while I still can.
So in that vein, I present this year’s costume:
Happy Halloween. Stay safe, kids.
Hey, I’m working on the next Josie Tucker book, Full Slab Dead.