Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. After all, what’s not to love about a day you get to dress up in a fun costume and then get a bunch of free candy?
Even as an adult, I get super-excited about Halloween and will wait around for kids to show up at my door. In one house that I lived in a while back, I would get at least 200 kids. The first year I was there I ran out of candy about 20 minutes into Halloween night and had to send a friend out to the store to buy more. Unfortunately, all that was left were bags of Dum Dum lollipops. I’m surprised the house didn’t get egged that year.
I was much better prepared the following year and counted how many pieces of candy I had prior to the kids showing up…which is how I know that I’d gotten over 200 kids each year. And I had a lot of fun with it. I’d dress up and I’d also dress up my dog (yes, I’m one of those people). My cat, Oreo, being a bit more sophisticated, would have no part of it. I’d take pictures of all the kids and then post them on a big board the following year so that in addition to their candy they could take home the picture of what they wore the previous year. The parents loved it – and the huge coffee maker I had to give them coffee.
Even when I lived in places where I wouldn’t get kids, I’d dress up and go out.
So, yes, I totally get into Halloween.
Unfortunately, however, they don’t celebrate Halloween in Guatemala. So these past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling a bit down because something that I enjoy so much just doesn’t happen here. I bought a small pumpkin but didn’t even have the heart to carve it.
I happened to be talking with the neighbor who lives behind my house the week before Halloween and I asked him if he was familiar with the U.S. Halloween. He said yes, and I remarked that it didn’t seem that Halloween wasn’t celebrated in Guatemala. He agreed, but said that if I wanted, his kids could come to my house for Halloween.
Of course I said yes, and went out the next day and bought some candy bars and fun colored pencils. He has two kids, but I bought a couple extra, just in case.
Thank goodness I did, because around 7 p.m. on Halloween night I heard a drum beating and some people chanting “Halloween! Halloween!” outside. I grabbed my candy bowl and ran out to meet them. He had invited some other people as well, and all of them – kids and adults – were dressed up. They were carrying candles as they walked down the dirt road to my house.
Amidst a lot of laughter I managed to get one photo and handed out candy to his kids and the other kids that had tagged along With a great big “thank you” and one more chorus of “Halloween! Halloween!” they turned, raised their candles high to light the way, and went home…and I went back into my house with a very happy heart.