Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Are Your Halloween Traditions?

We're celebrating Halloween all week here at Shapeshifter Seductions and I can't think of the holiday without smiling. When I was a kid we lived in a rural area and most of our family lived in town so we'd get into our costumes (which my mom always made), ride into town and "trick or treat" at the grandparents, great grandparents, etc. The last stop was always Grandma Cookie. I could never wait. There was a reason her nickname was Cookie;-)She was the "sweet treat" grandma who made Popcorn Balls every Halloween. I've never tasted better and I can't smell popcorn at this time of year without thinking of her. She was always the last stop. And the best.

Halloween for me is about the kids and making new traditions to go with the old. When mine were little they were fascinated by monster movies. Godzilla in particular. When my oldest was three he became totally enamored with Godzilla and all of those rubber monsters in the sequels. You guessed it. I made a Godzilla costume complete with a stuffed jagged spine and a long curved tail (that he used to knock leggo cities down with...but I digress). Then came the year of the Lobster monster, and my personal favorite, Gamera the flying turtle.

We finally ran out of monsters (because they'd stopped making sequels)and my husband cut up an old brown rug, attached pieces to their jeans and flannel shirts and fashioned both the boys, Wolfman costumes. He even did the make-up. By then, I was thrilled to have help, LOL! The most normal costume was their Count Dracula costumes, complete with a one piece tux and separate black cape. We always made them and I think we had as much fun figuring them out as the kids did wearing them...which they did even after Halloween;-)

When we moved to a rural area, neighbors were few and far between and the relatives were almost a hundred miles away but that didn't stop the celebrating. The kids would have parties, build bonfires, tell ghost stories and watch, you guessed it...all those old Godzilla movies that we'd bought on tape.

Hubby and I moved to town so we celebrate by passing out candy (I never did acquire the knack of making really great popcorn balls) and raving about the costumes. There are special treats for the kids we know and wrapped candy for the neighbors, there's a bad sci-fi movie in the DVD player and we always have a good time.

My boys are grown and moved away but they still get into Halloween. They make their own costumes and either go to parties or have their own. Trust me, it's a holiday they never fail to celebrate!

What are your traditions? What makes Halloween a holiday for you? And do any of you have a really great Popcorn Ball recipe you'd like to share?

Happy Halloween!


Sandy said...

Oh wow, Paris, you brought memories of my grandmother's pop corn balls back to me. No one in our family makes them any more, and I loved them.

When I was a kid we lived in a farming community, and usually there was a foot of snow by then. We always dressed up and went around to the other farms before we headed to town to grandma's house and all their neighbor's. It was great fun, then we went grandma's for hot chocolate and to warm up.

Paris said...

I really miss that tradition! And you know, I can remember it snowing at Halloween;-)Thanks for stopping by!

Fran Lee said...

It was loads of fun, until it became dangerous for kids to eat un-wrapped or homemade candy, apples, and popcorn balls. My grandkids go trick or treating around the neighborhood, and then show up here for a scary movie (last year it was the Creature From The Black Lagoon.) As for a foolproof method for making great popcorn balls, I have one, but it entails wearing plastic hair-dying gloves covered with butter so you can roll the balls up without getting more on you than in the balls! LOL! Oh...and using ready-made cartons of soft caramel with just a touch of powdered sugar is a great one, too.

Savanna Kougar said...

Paris, Halloween was some of my best times growing up... mom and dad made our costumes until we started making our own.
Your traditions are wonderful.
As far as popcorn balls, I haven't made them in forever... but I used to use honey as one ingredient and dang they were pretty good.

Paris said...

I love The Creature From the Black Lagoon! We've had it on tape...oh wait, one of the boys have it now;-) But it was always great fun. I never thought about the plastic gloves, I'll have to try it. I'm sort of the Julia Child kind of know, the recipe ends up everywhere, LOL! Thanks for the memory!

Paris said...

Aren't home made costumes fun! I always loved that tradition. And dang girl, I put honey in everything and never considered it for popcorn balls. I'll have to give it a try;-) Thanks for sharing!

Serena Shay said...

Yum! Popcorn balls are so good...I wish I had a recipe to share, but my creative streak stops at the kitchen door. LOL

My favorite memory from Halloween has to be making the carmel apples, not with carmel squares, but with those round carmal flat thingys, popsicle sticks and a warm oven... And of course hitting every house in a twelve block area around our house, at least that's how it seemed.

Great blog!

Donna said...

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It falls on the day after my grandmother's birthday - she'll be 97 this year, amazing! After celebrating her day with family, over cake and ice cream, I'm going home, getting comfy to begin my Halloween movie marathon (even though it's officially Halloween Eve). But, before this can happen, I have major goodies to buy because I'm not leaving the apt. Saturday except in the case of a dire emergency. I need pumkin seeds - not the gross salty kind, but the kind you'd make yourself. This year I'm not buying a pumpkin, but Fresh Market or Trader Joe's sell the seeds. Carmel Apples are a must as are the infamous popcorn balls. Not making them, but there is a factory near my job that used to make popcorn balls for Cleveland's old Euclid Beach amusement park - it's called Humphries. They are the best. I've got Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer - another must have. The main course is up in the air - possibly pizza, possibly Chinese. Or something else. I plan on enjoying the 'Hell' out of Halloween - my way.