Friday, October 30, 2009
Halloween at My House
Another quickie today, but I just wanted to share some of the sights and tastes of Halloween at my house this year. Above you see a view of the Halloween Village that magically appears on the shelf of our dining room's built-in china closet sometime around the end of September. It's been a feature of our fall celebration for about seven years.
It grew from a single pumpkin stand (center of this photo, far right in the one above) to this well-populated pirate ship port a few figures and buildings at a time over the years--all on sale at Michael's from 30-50% off, of course. My older son used to arrange the figures, but this year my younger son took the baton, and I'd say he did a great job. The village looks especially spooky and mysterious with the lights off so you can appreciate the glowing moon, the gypsy's crystal ball, the weird green throbbing from the graveyard, and the ghosts dancing in the windows of the houses. Some people ask me if I have a Christmas Village, too, but somehow the austerity of the Halloween Village appeals while the candy cane cuteness of the Christmas version just doesn't tickle my fancy. Kind of the way certain erotic fantasies push buttons while others leave you snowy.
On to the tastes. This year, in preparation for the Festival of Lights at my son's school, I tried out a new gingerbread house recipe using butter rather than shortening. The cookies tasted great--rather like speculoos we ate in Belgium--but the dough was much harder to work with and more fragile, so I think I'll go back to my classic recipe. But since I had a couple of Belgian gingerbread houses lying around, I put my kids to work. Here's my youngest's homemade Halloween house which has been attacked by aliens wielding candy corn missiles. Lots of broken M&M shingles on this poor abode. But a worse fate awaited the house in the background. My older son returned home from school and started eating it before he bothered to decorate it. In no time it resembled the ruined farm houses we saw throughout the Scottish Highlands, the legacy of the enclosure movement when the evil landlords evicted the poor farmers to use the land for sheep. The graffiti on the ruins show the farmers' descendants still remember, and so do I, so the sight of the house sort of depressed me on behalf of all who suffer from economic greed. Then again, maybe I read too much history?
Okay, enough doom and gloom. Last but not least, our costumes! Herr Doktor and I will be heading to a party with my younger son, who has an awesome Jedi costume and a very realistic light saber to light up the night. We'll be a masked couple: a creepy corporate drone in a suit and blank white mask and a Venetian Carnivale goer in a black velvet cape with a lovely silver mask ordered from a real Venetian maskmaker! (I can't help thinking about the countless erotic stories set in Venice--perhaps I'll get lucky with a masked man myself?) My older son is off for some mischief with his friends, having outgrown family entertainment. He'll be Garth from Wayne's World and for some reason, the nerd glasses were really hard to find. Afterward, we're all going to eat cheap, trans-fat laden candy until we swear we can't have any more for about a year. Kit Kat, Snickers, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth... so evil, so yummy, so very Halloween.
But enough about me. What are your Halloween plans?