Halloween Traditions

Okay, I love Halloween.  I think we all know that.  And when I was a kid, Halloween was a very special, magical time.  Some might (and some might not) be surprised to know that I wasn't particularly into trick-or-treating.  Oh, it was fine.  I loved dressing up and I loved the fact that we'd rush home from school and my mom would have dinner already made - something fast, easy, and somehow always in keeping with the seasonal tone.  It was pretty much always sloppy joes and even to this day, sloppy joes without fail remind me of October.
After dinner, we'd dress up (making a rather large mess of things) and head out to the downtown district where houses are only a few feet apart and trees lined brick streets covered in crunchy leaves.  My older sister and younger brother ran ahead together - the two of them eager for fun, for candy, to hit just another house, just one more street.
Now, I was am a klutz.  So much so that anytime I set foot outside in the winter, Shawn temporarily goes into protective-parent type mode because let's face it: I am no match for slippery, so I watch my feet as I walk (he's worried cars will hit me) and if I don't watch my feet, I will trip.  But obviously Shawn wasn't around when I was a kid.  
In the dark of night, lit by glowing pumpkins and strings of orange and purple lights, I would try to keep up with my siblings and try to be careful at the same time.  Naturally, I fell behind and I was content to take my time getting from house to house.

My mom, who had been an eager candy freak as a child, was a run from house-to-house all night long kinda kid, and encouraged me to run along the streets as fast as possible with my siblings.
And this resulted in tradition of the Becky-fall.

Every. Single. Halloween.  My mom would urge me to run and I would try to keep up and inevitably slip on a tree root or a crack in the sidewalk or you know - a leaf - and every. single. year. I would wind up with scraped knees and palms, a twisted ankle, and a nice fat lip next to the gash on my chin.  
Every.
Single.
Year.
My family even jokes about this fact.
Ha-ha-not-so-funny-for-the-five-six-seven-eight year old.

Then we'd come home and do an abysmal job of washing off the makeup, we'd sort our candy and eventually fall asleep on blankets on the living room floor, all three of us kids watching some Halloween movie.

Those were the best times for me.
The night before Halloween was usually burgers and chocolate milk with movies and on Halloween, after trick-or-treating was candy and movies.
My sister would sit next to me and occasionally grab my shoulders and shout "Boo!" or else fill in her own dialogue for what the characters were saying, and my brother would run around like a madman, hopped up on sugar until eventually just passing out.  If my mom was off work that night, she would be in "her" chair knitting, a bowl of popcorn on the table beside her with her Tab.
Those were the best moments for me.  It wasn't the parties at school, it wasn't the running around, it was the goofing off with my family and watching silly movies.

And still to this day, this is my favorite part of the Halloween holiday: watching Halloween specials on TV, listening to the howling of the wind, telling ghost stories by the light of a flickering candle and having creepy fun with family and friends.
What traditions do you have?  What is your favorite part of Halloween?


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