I’ve never really gotten into Halloween. The last year I ever went trick-or-treating, I felt anxiety-ridden about being too old to go. What if I saw my friends from school handing out candy instead of walking around in costume? The shame! But my younger brothers were so excited, and my mom kept telling me to go just one more year… So I stuck some blankets under a big t-shirt and called myself The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. As if with a half-assed costume, I could blame being out trick-or-treating on “my mom made me do it.”
Anyway, my sweet tooth has never been particularly developed.
I enjoyed Halloween more as I got older and cared less what people thought. Maybe a little part of that was also that I found the costume of my dreams, a little dinosaur suit made for a four-year-old that I snipped up and wore as a t-shirt for the next five Halloweens in a row. Or that my friends were really into themed parties, and enthusiasm is infectious. And in New York – well, no one cares what you look like on any given day. Halloween was just a little – extra.
But this Halloween, I think I really got it the moment my boss threw a handful of dry ice (safety precautions be damned) into the punch bowl and the sangria started wafting smoke like a witch’s cauldron. I’m into that.
At work, our extra-curricular conversations the last few weeks have been revolving around few themes: Halloween, Once Upon a Time (yes, that cringe-worthy ABC family drama), protein-shakes, and which Tatiana Maslany is the best clone.
There are three of us in the office, and we’re all holiday-minded people. Though Halloween has never been high up on my list (Thanksgiving taking the place of honor there), my two compatriots feel strongly about things like costumes and candy corn. And hey, enthusiasm is infectious.
So this year, we decided to have a Halloween party. Since protein shakes don’t provide much fodder for costume ideas, we took our inspiration from OUAT and invited our buds over for a fairy tale-themed bash.
We even broke our healthy office habits, setting out a buffet of cheesy, fresh-from-the-oven lasagna, artichoke dip with chips, garlicky bruschetta, candy bars, gummi eyeballs and fruit-filled sangria. Even candy corn imported from the States made an appearance.
But the pieces de resistance were surely our lavender and tarragon-infused love potion cocktails served over dry ice.
As fun as it is to dance to Thriller while wearing a wolf mask and sipping a smoking purple drink through a straw, what Halloween really is for me is the start of good things to come. And more than filling up on delicious food, the holidays are a time to celebrate family and friendships, to open your home to people you love, to give gifts of appreciation, to enjoy old traditions and build new ones, and to just give thanks for good fortune and good things. And who says you can’t do that in a wolf mask?