“It’s like you’re a Doctor Who evangelist.”
That paused me.
I measured my gaze.
“What do you mean?” I asked, looking over.
“Every group of kids who come to the door! You’re like, ‘Do you like my TARDIS? Do you know what a TARDIS is? It’s from Doctor Who! You should look that up on YouTube.”
My daughter’s wry smirk looks just like her father’s.
She’s not wrong.
Halloween is a geek’s and cosplayer’s dream holiday.
Only for me, I haven’t been costuming up that much the last few years.
This year, I grabbed my handknit Doctor Who scarf, a brown “Indiana Jones” hat and one of my wool coats and called it good.
But what I really look forward to each year is dressing up my yard.
Right square in front of our door is a lifesize TARDIS that’s my pride and joy.
You have to walk through the TARDIS to enter my home. Literally.
I bought it in a charity auction 4 years ago, the October before John was diagnosed with brain cancer.
October is our birthday month and I knew this TARDIS was perfectly my birthday gift. I also found a killer deal on a BlendTec the same month, so I was doubly happy.
Little did I know how important that BlendTec would be for John in the coming months.
The TARDIS matched our house under the overhang, beautifully. And the kids and I crafted a garden of hand mines that year to go with it.
It was glorious.
And only the knowing had any idea what they were looking at.
We were only lacking in Weeping Angels at the time. A fact I rectified last year. There are now at least 13 in my yard, hidden everywhere.
I’m sure some delivery people believe we must be very Catholic. Or simply very into angels.
What they don’t know just might steal their future though!
And then there’s our annual spider infestation.
I was so pleased when I first heard that the newly introduced season of the 13th Doctor had an episode with mutant spiders in it. Though in truth, I was disappointed with how they concluded the episode. I’m a fan of spiders and that ending was frankly illogically cruel.
But from a yard decor point of view, my spider invasion combined with the TARDIS and Weeping Angels makes my yard a pretty authentic fan fiction of its own.
Finally, after all these years they wrote an episode just for me.
We’ve lost 3 trees since John died, but we still managed to put up a good infestation of spiders this year. I couldn’t find all my crochet spider webs that I’ve made over the years. Not sure where they got put, but the giant one went up and giant momma spider, the 10-foot spider we have, was hung on the web with care.
And the effect paid off as always, demonstrated by the audible gasps when people rounded our 200-300-year-old live oaks to step onto our front walk.
You have to have big old trees to display a 10-foot spider in the air.
“There are some fun decorations in the neighborhood,” one kid told me. “But nothing compares to this! Your house is the coolest. I was here last year!”
You can believe that boosted my ego.
Though in truth, the TARDIS and angels stay up year-round.
I only take down the spiders outside. And mostly inside.
But the eclectic inside of our family TARDIS is a story for another time.
“This house has chocolate! Omg, we can have more than one piece??? You are the nicest!”
I love the smiles on the kids’ faces. Even the dubiously older ones.
Here, take another KitKat.
John always believed in handing out only the good stuff for Halloween.
None of that generic crap. The kids get plenty of that from everyone else.
Chocolate. Every year we give out chocolate.
I heard of a family that gave out king-size Snickers bars to kids one year.
I think that’s cool, but I’ve never gone that big. I stick with fistfuls of smaller bits.
I used to have a bucket of shiny pennies that every child under the age of 6 could stick their hand in and grab a handful to take home.
I liked the idea of fostering a healthy experience with a money blessing.
To give little kids that magical feeling of receiving generosity, without measure, only that they must reach out, seize it and receive it.
Besides, there’s something so pretty about shiny copper.
I need to get back to doing that again. Giving change to little kids is not very expensive at all. Especially when you consider the cost of candy.
Halloween is an odd holiday for sure.
And while it does occur during The Day Of The Dead celebrations that we have here in Texas (which culminate on November 2nd), I’m not really speaking to that part today. Though there’s certainly an influence and a magic in that part, which I do obviously appreciate.
It’s something else about Halloween. I share my perspective as someone raised without the holiday, who later came into the participation of it, thoughtfully, as a mother.
No one thinks about it being a holiday of generosity.
Its American celebration may have started out with the goal of curtailing mischief, but today, it’s evolved into an opportunity to exercise our imagination, to dress up and play as adults, to face our fears, and to bless strangers.
How interesting is that.
Of all things.
Without major expectations.
I mean it’s simple. It’s candy.
And we tell each other how cool our costumes are and find out our favorite superheroes, movies, legends, and puns.
Don’t forget the puns.
No family fights over obligations.
No tantrums for not getting the latest iPhone.
And it’s OK to buy yourself something, just because you thought it would be fun.
Or thought it would make someone laugh.
Not because it was practical or necessary or expected.
It’s an interesting holiday, with something to teach.
If we let it.
Hope yours was great.