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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Hallow's Eve 2007

Being introverted and terribly self-conscious, I've never put on a costume for Halloween so far - not even so much as an elegant feather mask. I couldn't bring myself to do it.

When we had a party at work last year, with prizes for dress up, and were divided into teams to encourage competition and participation, I was not surprised to find our Engineering Team defying frivolity and the general geniality around the office with our everyday wear. I went dressed as a Train Engineer In Indian Outfit - basically, wore shalwar-kameez with a grubby old engine-driver hat that D gave me. The hat remained hidden until it was time for the costume-judge to pass by...

Needless to say, I didn't win any prize - not even the coveted Least-Imaginative-Costume-Ever.

While I was blissfully unaware of Halloween as a child, I have had plenty of time to think about it and look into it over the last 15 years. And, from what I have gathered so far, I am not particularly averse to the sentiments.

Just about every culture seems to celebrate and honor the dead in their own way - sometimes it is solemn, sometimes it is joyous. For some reason, the term Pagan has invited negative connotation in the recent past, but, let me not go there now...

halloween costume

Ana was about 6 months old for her first Halloween. We went to the Sauvie Island farms and bought large pumpkins, among other things.

D loves carving pumpkin lanterns, which apparently was based on Irish/Scottish tradition of carving turnip lanterns. Since pumpkin has been associated with harvest season in North America, and since it is abundant around this time of the year, D has established this tradition at home of carving pumpkin lantern for Ana each year since.

Last year, when Ana was about 1½, I sent her to her daycare in a makeshift witch costume: black turtleneck onesie, black tights, black-and-orange skirt... it seemed like they played "dress up" at her daycare anyway... they used to give me pictures of Ana - either draped in some powder blue princess outfit or wearing a silly reindeer antler - around holidays.

We had a few pumpkins from our garden which we carved. D took her trick-or-treating around the neighborhood while I stayed home and gave out organic trail mix packets and apples to unsuspecting little trick-or-treaters, possibly driving them to mark an invisible 'X' on our door for avoiding next year...

D and I have our adult conversations about how the costumes are probably manufactured in some sweatshop, where kids who make these costumes dream about wearing them but can't and so on... I wanted to make a costume for Ana again this year, but, couldn't. So, after much deliberation and chats with other family and friends, it seemed like we could try to rethink the costume-angle a little.

Ana remembers her Trick-or-Treat trip from last year, and they have been feeding Halloween fodder to her at daycare. So, even though she doesn't quite know much, she knows about wearing a costume and that "Halloween" is something special to do. And she seems quite wired up for it this year.

So, I caved in and bought her a cute little ladybug costume, with the understanding that when she is a little older, she can help me make her costume and we would be more conscious and discerning and what-not. For now, she is only little once, and might as well have fun if she is up for it... which she seems to be.

halloween costumehalloween costume

D carved two cute pumpkins yesterday, with Ana's help - they scooped out the innards together, he asked her about the kind of face pumpkin should have - happy or scary - and ended making one of each.

As D had to work late, I was hoping not to go trick-or-treating under the pretext that I didn't want to disappoint the trick-or-treaters stopping at our house. Thankfully Nana (my mum-in-law) was visiting, and volunteered to take Ana trick-or-treating much to my relief as I was not up for it at all. Just to a few houses on our street with strict understanding that Nana will intercept a major portion of the treat and hide it forever.

Highlight of my Halloween-day
: Nana dressed up Ana in her lady bug costume and brought her all the way to my office! I was thrilled to see my wee little bug innocently yet shamelessly flaunting her cuteness. It is not everyday that I get to see my baby during lunch time and take her over to the Waterfront park, look at the seagulls and geese, and have fun. Thanks, Mom, for bringing her in - perhaps you should visit more often so you can do this more often... wink, wink.

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At 7:57 AM, Blogger Sonya said...

Your daughter is very cute. How wonderful that you were able to see her at lunch. That had to be a real thrill.

The pumpkins look wonderful! We never really carve ours but I think it would be fun!

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Tharini said...

She's a doll Sheela. Loved her honeybee costume. Thescary pumpkin was sooo cool. Loved the ziggy zaggy teeth/mouth!


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