Halloween, the Astros and Expiration Dates

November 2, 2017

Yesterday, I took an hour and a half nap smack in the middle of the day.  I think the Halloween holiday coupled with the World Series finally did me in.  I honestly cannot recall the last time I took a nap, minus of course the carefully calculated ten-minute snoozes I sometimes take in the car-rider line at pick-up.

In the last week I also used expired yogurt and chicken!  The yogurt passed my sniff test and the chicken was expired for one day and it passed my husband’s sniff test.  I’m not sure that that says a lot, but no one seems to have gotten ill. 😉

And, for the first time ever, I let the kids sort their candy when they got home from trick or treating even though it was approaching 9:00.  Even worse, the next day I let them eat their candy non-stop for at least an hour after they got home from school.

I think I am turning into a risk-taking rebel!

Or, I am getting wiser in my old age.

In years past we have let the kids eat a couple of pieces of candy a day.  While they were sleeping, we stealthily ate our favorites from their trick-or-treat pumpkins.  They were non-the-wiser.  But, the rationing goes on for weeks and weeks as does the poor behavior resulting from the candy craze!

This year I am going to get it all out of the way in a matter of days.

And, even though I don’t feel much differently than what I wrote here, I am changing it up this year.  Eat it up I say!

As far as us sneaking a piece here and there – unfortunately, my kiddos have gotten too smart for that!  If we want a piece, we just ask and usually they generously fulfill our request.

Here are a few images that sum up our last week.  It’s been a whirlwind of t-ball, kindergarten room mom responsibilities, Halloween festivities and watching the Astros play in the World Series.

We had our last t-ball game of the fall season, where this cutie played.

Tball Halloween

The twins had their Halloween parade at school, where they got to wear a costume and march around the cafeteria.  A ninja and Elsa joined the ranks of other costume-clad five and six-year olds.

Halloween Ninja and Elsa

They had their Halloween party complete with four crafts:  a spider handprint, a skeleton where they learned some of their main bones, Halloween word bingo and a decorate your paper pumpkin craft.  I may have been over-zealous in the planning, which also included monster grape cups and dirt cups complete with worms and candy pumpkins for the snack.

Thank goodness for other moms who showed up early to help pull it all together!  And also to my husband who helped cut out all of the parts for the skeleton from card stock!  Two hundred and thirty one parts to be exact!

Halloween Party Skeleton

I wrapped up the afternoon by attending my oldest’s class party, where they engaged in some super-cool activities like building a straw support to hold a pumpkin off of the table, slime making and math bingo.  Kudos to that room mom for an awesome party!

Then, we wrapped up the day with trick-or-treating!  This year I had a spider, Bat Girl and an authentic Japanese ninja.

Halloween Costumes

Halloween costumed Kids

And, as I type I’m watching the Astros in the final game of the World Series!  Go Astros!  Let’s get this done, so mama can go to sleep!  That is, if I can after having such a long nap today!


The History of Halloween

Last year, $8.4 billion was spent on Halloween.  Of that, $3.1 billion was spent on costumes, $2.5 billion on candy, $2 billion on decorations and $390 million on greeting cards.

According to the National Retail Federation, the total spending is expected to reach $9.1 billion this year, with costumes taking the largest portion at $3.4 billion.

So where did all of the fuss over Halloween originate?

While it seems to have evolved from various celebrations over the centuries, most experts agree it began with the Celtic farming festival of Samhain 2,000 years ago.  The holiday, which was celebrated the night of October 31st, marked the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter.

Farmers believed that as the crops died there was a day when spirits could rise from their graves.  During this time, the Celtic people dressed in disguises to fool the spirits.

With the spread of Christianity into Celtic lands in the eighth and ninth centuries, the church declared November 2nd as All Souls’ Day.  Celebrations were complete with bonfires and masquerades.  Children and poor people would go door-to-door asking for food in exchange for a promise to pray for the homeowners and their deceased relatives.

The meshing of traditions and history continued with another door-to-door tradition.  On November 5, 1606, Guy Fawkes was executed for his role in a Catholic-led conspiracy to blow up the parliament building to remove King James I from power.  Guy Fawkes, or Bonfire Night, was celebrated the night of Fawkes’ execution.  Communal bonfires were lit to burn effigies of the Catholic pope.  By the 19th century, children were roaming streets the evenings of November 5th asking for a “a penny for the Guy.”

Some American colonists celebrated Guy Fawkes day as well.  Then, immigrants in the mid-19th century, especially Irish and Scottish immigrants, revived old-world traditions of souling.  The Irish immigrants brought with them the tradition of carving and decorating jack-o-lanterns to honor souls stuck in purgatory.

In the 1930s community-based trick-or-treating began.  It is theorized that excessive pranks on Halloween led to its adoption.  At the outbreak of World War II, children were forced to refrain from trick-or-treating due to sugar rations.

Today, Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday in the United States.

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