I really enjoy Halloween. I’ve always liked dressing up and making costumes. Over the years, I’ve learned that the trick to costumes is not complete accuracy, but suggestion. Like a good suspense movie, an audience needs only to be directed. Then they create the full costume in their minds. So my pioneer costume, which I only wear in July, is a regular dress, late 90s cut, but paired with a bonnet and apron that I whipped up out of scrap fabric and a shawl, and it is surprisingly convincing.
Pumpkin carving, too, is another ‘less is more’ type of enterprise. Although there are examples of truly spectacular and detailed carving, the classic jack-o-lantern is simple with easily carved triangle eyes. And that very simplicity is both effective and evocative of all Halloween.
Right now, the best part of Halloween is trick-or-treating. We have grade-school aged children. I don’t care so much about the candy (they may disagree). We don’t go to trunk-or-treats, or hit up the stores in the mall. We walk around our neighborhood, crossing paths with other neighbors who are walking together as families. We see our elderly and homebound neighbors who we’ve helped with decoration and leaf raking. We are welcomed at the doors of people who will never darken the doors of our churches. And for that night, we are a community. On All Hallow’s Eve, we may be dressed in fantastic ensembles, but we are all together saints.