Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.
It used to be Christmas, until December became a month of hectic to-do lists. Shopping, wrapping, baking, tree lighting, decorating, card mailing and caroling, caroling, caroling, caroling made me long for the quiet stillness of January. Some years, I'd like to flip the calendar from November 30th straight to January 1st. It's that exhausting.
Full disclosure: Despite the madness, I still go all in and love Christmas.
But scary, spooky Halloween is the end-of-fall spectacle that only requires you to put a pumpkin at the front door and "over purchase" a supply of candy. No stress required. Simply sit back, eat candy, relax and be prepared to be scared.
Don't be one of "those people" that give out raisins, pencils or stickers. NO KID ever wants something good for them on Halloween for God's sake. Neither do I.
Multiple colored pumpkins, Indian corn and gnarly gourds appear in nurseries, farm stands and grocery stores. Pop-up Halloween stores open in vacant shopping centers and stock everything from fake blood, coffins and Dracula capes to a giant animated Frankenstein.
There is a huge bonus this fall with the Chicago Cubs playing in the World Series for the first time since 1945. Cubs hats, shirts, jackets, "W" flags and Cubs logos can be found on just about every square inch of space that's left in Illinois. Thanks for playing your hearts out, guys. YOU have the confidence, swagger and talent to win this.
Halloween has become more of a holiday for adults than the kids. We spend billions on Wonder Woman wigs, Spider Man costumes, Werewolf hands and Clinton and Trump masks. I don't believe Clowns will be a big hit this year. Even poor Ronald McDonald was forced to go into hiding. We have parties, go to parties or just decorate our home sweet homes.
Ghosts, goblins, witches and skeletons appear on front doors, hanging from trees or on mantles. Front lawns sprout tombstones and bloody body parts while shrubs are covered in giant spider webs.
Haunted Houses open their doors to terrify you with masked boogeymen, zombies, chainsaws and cackling ghouls that just happen to be missing their heads. Watch out for the swarming black rats. Who needs a treadmill stress test when your heart pounds 800 beats per minute with all this horror?
I got you!
While perusing the candy aisles of Walgreens or Jewel, eyeing the Snickers, Butterfingers and Twix fun size bars, my teeth actually ache. Is it just me or have the fun size bars gotten smaller each year? I used to eat four to satisfy my sugar craving. Now it's up to eight. Now that's what I call "fun."
The game plan is to purchase the candy just before Halloween so you don't eat it all and have to restock before the first Trick-or-Treater rings the doorbell. I'm always puzzled when I find a dozen wrappers in the trash after a binge fest from the hidden stash in the closet. Who ate all the Snickers? Yikes. I guess I did. Can't help it.
Well who doesn't like Snickers?
All that gooey sugar, palm oil, peanuts and corn syrup melting on your tongue. Go ahead, gain a few pounds of candy goodness and future cavities. Your dentist will thank you for it.
I wear my spider web headpiece and skull earrings when I pass out candy on Halloween night. Night? Yes, night. The Trick-or-Treat hours in our community begin at 3:00 pm this year. School doesn't even get out until 3:30 and parents do, in fact, work.
It's still daylight at 3:00 pm. Trick-or-Treating is no fun unless it's dark outside. But I'll be ready for Elsa, Javier Baez jerseys, Darth Vader and the Ninja Turtles so don't you worry kids, come anytime.
Who wouldn't love getting their candy from these neon green gloves with black feather trim and 3-inch long purple fingernails? My sister Nina gave me these years ago and I wear them every Halloween. I love how the nails make this cool "clicking" sound since I don't have a nail to speak of.
I'll accessorize this Halloween with the bone and skull charm bracelet my friend Kathy gave me. A perfect match for my ensemble.
All that's left to do is watch the Cubs win the World Series and toss some Bartman Balls, black cats and goat brains into my cauldron for a hearty stew.
Go, Cubs, Go!
With a tip of my hat to Steve Goodman, Jack Brickhouse, Aunt Margaret, Ernie Banks and Ron Santo.
Have a Spooky Halloween.