I love Halloween. It's always been one of my favourite holidays.
Of course, when I was a child, I loved the door-to-door part and collecting candies.
But I especially loved collecting pennies for UNICEF. Remember UNICEF?
When I lived on my own (in the days before my little chickadee came along), I used to convince my friends to dress up and come with me to go door-knocking.
That didn't always go over very well -- a group of early-twenty-year-olds going around the neighbourhood having fun. How dare they!?
So then I would "borrow" a child so that I could enjoy the door-knocking part of Halloween. Or I would tag along with a friend or sibling who had a child.
I just love witnessing the excitement the children exhibit as they see the goodies fill their bags. It's not unlike the joy of sharing Christmas morning with a child -- another favourite experience of mine.
Of course, once my little chickadee came along, I had licence to go trick or treating again.
Every year, I would dress up to take my little chickadee door knocking. I always made costumes for both of us; I don't think I ever bought a costume. Eventually, we went out as mother and daughter witches -- we were very impressive, even if I do say so myself!It was really fun to see the reaction at the doors as my daughter and I arrived and people would see me all dressed up too. They always wanted to give me candy! My little chickadee often got double treats because "her Mom had taken the time to dress up and she deserved some candy too."
Then my little chickadee got too old for me to take her out and I had to borrow my "other daughter" to go trick or treating. Luckily, my girlfriend had a daughter the right age and we are "other mothers" to each other's children so I just took her daughter out (which got my girlfriend off the hook for that duty). I dressed up too because of course, that's the whole point of Halloween. I would arrive at my girlfriend's home already in costume and get the poor child all worked up and excited and make her mother crazy!
Have I mentioned that I love Halloween?
In 1989, my boss at the time knew that I always got dressed up and went door-knocking for Halloween. How could he not know? If the holiday fell on a weekday, I had to leave early because, well .... He suggested that I should go "door knocking" throughout the building just to see if anyone figured out that it was me.
So I did.
My boss took this photo of me just before I left to collect goodies (the phones never stop in a busy MP's office). It was fabulous fun going door-to-door -- just like when I was a kid. But I was all grown up and I was at work and at each office everyone was trying to figure out who I was. Not even my own sister, who also worked in the building at the time, knew that it was me behind the get-up! Of course, MPs' offices are not normally canvassed at Halloween time so I collected some very interesting goodies: staplers; pencils; pens; erasers. It was, after all, an office building!
When I finished trick-or-treating, I went down to the in-house Day Care Centre that just happened to be in the basement of my building. I had pre-arranged with the staff that I would arrive at Circle Time, in costume (they knew what the costume was), to distribute pre-approved treats to the children (boxed raisins that I had bought). None of the children appeared frightened; they had all been prepared for a Halloween surprise and when "Good Witch Grizelda" arrived, they were pumped! One little guy was jumping out of his skin wanting to help me distribute the treats!
A tradition was established and Good Witch Grizelda became a bit of a legend around the place.
Each year, I dressed up and went trick or treating throughout the building (by now, co-workers were catching on that it was me behind that outfit). Some offices actually started having candy for me. The children at the Day Care looked forward to their visit from Good Witch Grizelda as the older children briefed the younger ones. And the Day Care staff never did find out who I was.
As I said, I loooooooove Halloween.
As I said, I loooooooove Halloween.