I have a low, or rather, practically non-existent tolerance for gore. After seeing the stretched-out, shaved bodies of cats while passing the high school Biology II classroom, I decided never to go any further than Biology I (though I did okay dissecting frogs and worms). I looked at the floor for major parts of the battles in the Lord of the Rings movies, and most people consider them to be mild. I rarely ever watch anything that’s rated R for violence. And I’ve never had any interest in horror.
All of these things mean that my least favorite holiday is Halloween. Once you get past cute little black cats and ghosts, or cheerfully smiling pumpkins, you’ve lost me. Before we had children, we used to go to All Saints Day Vigil Masses at 7 pm and get home after the whole Halloween thing was over. My children, however, enjoy the creative costume part, which has redeemed at least the trick or treat part of the holiday (I still try my best to ignore the decorations).
For about the last decade, my older son and my husband have come up with large interesting costumes – a large, 2-person giraffe which has been used for several years (and every year, we get questions in the neighborhood as to whether the giraffe will put in an appearance), a blue, regular dragon, a yellow, 3-person Chinese dragon, and a robot with working, blinking lights (courtesy of an electrical kit for homeschooling science).
This year, they were inspired by a performance my older son volunteered with last summer, the Paperhand Puppet Intervention . This was a wonderful performance with a very enthusiastic audience in the Forest Theater in Chapel Hill, NC (they do one every August, and if you’re in central NC it’s worth checking out). The performance involves puppets, music and mime. The puppets can be quite large, and all of them are very creative.
Our “costume” this year was not quite as large as their puppets, but large enough for my husband and two older children. They designed a 3-person bat, which is held up on three poles – one for the body and head, and two for the wings. It has a 20-foot wingspan, and was very enthusiastically received as they walked a one-mile circle around the neighborhood. If we get any digital photos, I will add them to the blog.