Monday, November 3, 2014

Casting spells and eating candy

At Halloween we've taken to leaving the lights off and not buying candy. We do, however, enjoy the holiday through the grandkids.

The girl who loves pink and princesses and rainbows and unicorns went totally in the other direction, dressing as the evil Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter stories. Abby converted Vi's black flower-girl dress into a fabulous take on the movie costume worn by Helena Bonham Carter. Eric made an appropriately crooked wand, and Vi added just the right sense of drama, casting spells at every opportunity. (She went as the red dragon Smaug for two years, so this was not too surprising.)

In the movies, Bellatrix has on her arm a "dark mark" that identifies her as a follower of He Who Shall Not Be Named. We knew Vi's arms would need to be covered for warmth, so I drew the dark mark in silver glitter glue on the black trick-or-treat bag I made for her. Just before I finished it, Vi said she hoped the skull wouldn't frighten little children, and she wondered about changing the skull to a heart. I told her I thought the snake was the scariest part, and we decided to stick with the original. But I gotta love her combination of scary wizardry and real-life concern.

Augie planned his Ninja outfit months ago, and he was eager to assemble it so we helped. It begins with black sweat pants and hoodie he can wear any day, plus a balaklava (winter head covering) that he could close down so only his eyes showed. At a second-hand shop we found soft black "Ninja shoes" ideal for moving stealthily. Eric made him a long sword and Grandma Anita made a scabbard. Augie's new best friend dressed as Pokemon--a bright contrast to the all-in-black Augie and Vi.

When the kids finished trick-or-treating, they handed out candy at their house, literally jumping with delight. And since they turn over most of their collected candy to the Switch Witch, who in turn gives them a toy, they were more than willing to share a handful of Butterfingers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with Grandma.

I used to buy bags of "fun-size" candy and we'd eat a lot of it before the big night even arrived. Peter stopped eating candy many months ago, and I've mostly cut back to one dark-chocolate truffle a day. But I did splurge just before Halloween with a "trick-or-treat" malt from Snuffy's, a St. Paul 50s-style hamburger and ice cream shop. This malt had Snickers, Butterfingers, and Reese's Pieces mixed in! I ate about half, then took the rest home, stashed it in the freezer. and made it last two more days. So yes, I still celebrate Halloween. If only I could cast a spell and make sugar a nutritious thing.


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