Pillow cases & Miracles

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

A pillow case. I'm not sure why, but that's my strongest memory of Halloween from when I was little. Trick-or-treating with a big old pillow sack. I'm sure it wasn't, but my memory is that it would be completely filled with candy and super heavy to lug home at the end of the night. Halloween seemed like the perfect holiday. All you had to do was dress up and walk around the neighborhood and people give you candy - for free! I never cared about the weather. It could have been freezing cold or absolutely beautiful, the end result was that we all got candy. At the end of the night my brother and sister and I would dump our candy out on the family room floor and sort it by brand. Then we would trade for what we liked and didn't like. I remember that Three Musketeers were my favorite. I have some really good memories of Halloween from my growing up years.

I also have good memories of Halloween from when my two daughters were little. They are 31 and 28 now, so it was a while ago. I was not a Martha Stewart-type mom so my girls always had store bought costumes. I think they looked good enough. My husband would be the one to take them around trick-or-treating and I stayed home to answer the door and pass out candy. I remember being so grateful when the weather was decent because then I wouldn't have to worry about trying to get their costumes to fit over their winter gear. I also remember trying to figure out how we would make sure they didn't chow down all their candy at once. One year I snitched a Three Musketeers from one of them at the end of the night when they weren't looking. Still feel a little guilty about that. I hope they aren't reading this....!

So here I am tonight, Halloween. The trick-or-treating that goes on now basically hasn't changed since I was little, and I'm 55. However, how I experience Halloween has changed. I have my candy bowl all ready, my book in hand and I even brought a chair close to the front door so I wouldn't have to walk so far to answer when the bell rings. I hate to say it, but it feels kinda like a chore. I'm slightly annoyed because I'm not sure exactly when they will start coming, and it's 7:25pm right now and I'm not sure how long I should sit here. There's been a steady stream of trick-or-treaters which made it hard to concentrate on reading my book, so I started writing. Hum...more trick-or-treaters, can't really write either!

Back now - and with a better attitude. I started paying attention to the little ones who came to the door. Instead of a fake smile and a cursory "you're welcome", I started actually acknowledging the trick-or-treaters and noticing their costumes. It's amazing what a change in attitude can do!

There were several very creative costumes - one little boy was a rubix cube. I couldn't tell if it was a store bought costume or homemade, but it was super cute. I saw several generic monster type costumes, they may have been Avengers or something like that, I don't really know. One little boy came in one of those T-Rex costumes and I made the mistake of saying "oh, a dinosaur!". He very pointedly informed me that it was a T-Rex, I bit my lip and quickly apologized! Oh yes, of course, a T-Rex. With the next crowd I asked one little girl what her costume was - she must have panicked because her eyes widened and she just stared at me, saying nothing. I dumped a bunch of candy in her bag and told her I liked her costume - that made her smile. I think my favorite was two sisters, one was a caterpillar and the other one a butterfly. They might have been twins, it was darling.

In almost every case if the little ones didn't say thank you on their own, I would hear a parent-type voice call out "say thank you". I could tell some parents were getting a little annoyed having to say it at every door. There were some older girls that came, looked to be maybe around 8th grade. Some people might say that's too old to trick-or-treat. I loved it, better than having them off doing shenanigans!

It was a fun night - better than I anticipated. It reminded me about how changing your attitude, or your perspective, can change your experience. I know it's not always that simple, but sometimes it is. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Albert Einstein. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Choosing to see the world with the eyes of faith, where everything is a miracle, changes your experience. Changes it for the better!

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