Friday, October 31, 2014

Facing our Fears Through Holidays

When I was young, I trick or treated in my apartment building in the Bronx.  The apartment house I called home for almost all of my childhood was 14 stories tall and we went from floor to floor collecting candy almost as soon as we got home from school.   Some of us even trick or treated for UNICEF.

Many of our costumes were home made - ghost costumes made from sheets, firemen costumes made from rubberized raincoats, clowns in makeup, pirates in black with an eye patch, Little Red Riding Hoods dressed in - what else, red.

For decorations we had carved pumpkins, we had bowls of candy corn (which, to this day, I detest) and other simple decorations.

Now, Halloween has started to rival Christmas as a decoration opportunity.

Here are some house decorations I have found on my travels, and here in Binghamton, New York.

Today, taken in Binghamton.
I visited Yonkers, NY (a city bordering New York City on the north) in 2012, and saw this in a neighborhood near the iconic Cross County Shopping Center.
Here is another view.  Strange that this tableau includes a clown, but I know they are objects of fear for a lot of people.

And what is Halloween, in a way, but a way of facing our fears?
One more from Yonkers

Instead of Ebola, we think of the living dead.
Binghamton, New York, 2014
Instead of terrorists, we think of witches and flowers.
But this innocent yard might be the scariest yard of all.  Green plants and blooming dahlias, all on October 28.  In years past, this Binghamton area yard might have been covered in light snow by now.  It certainly wouldn't have had thriving dahilas.  And this isn't a fluke. Our weather gets scarier and scarier. (Full disclosure, my neighborhood was nipped by frost this morning).

Sometimes, beauty can be the scariest thing of all.

Do you celebrate Halloween?  If so, what do you do?


  1. Replies
    1. About the only thing I do is give out candy. I don't dress up in costumes and I do not decorate my yard in death images (despite my taking pictures of other such yards),

  2. We don't celebrate Halloween, but our church does a Harvest Festival with carnival games.

    1. Trunk or treat has become popular with a lot of churches in the area where I live. At least one secular business (a car dealership) had one this year, too.

  3. Over the years with my children, now 17 and 14, we've cultivated quite a few Halloween traditions, including a moderate amount of decorating, both inside and out, listening to Halloween themed music, and making certain foods. The other night we had mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in strips of crescent rolls, then baked), and bloody applesauce (applesauce mixed with pureed raspberries, so it's red) for dinner. I make ghost pancakes for breakfast on Halloween morning, and I'm locally "famous" for my Halloween cupcakes. We also love carving our Jack-o'lanterns. It's really all about spending time together and creating happy family memories. (and the chocolate, let's not forget the chocolate!)

  4. We no longer have any Halloween traditions - living on a hill and dark, foggy cold mountain area - BUT - it was fun reading this post! And, my son lives in a regular neighborhood with lots of trick or treaters and friends for dinner! :)

  5. The decorated gardens are wonderful. We don't do that where I live in England. And yes, the changing weather pattern is scary until you read about such occurrences twenty or so years ago. Things go in phases. I don't like to think of climate change--just yet.


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