Monday, October 06, 2008

Trick or Treat

Growing up in a small town of 10,000 residents in Pompton Lakes, NJ, Halloween was one of those holidays that was taken as seriously as the 2008 Presidential Election.  

I grew up experiencing Halloween on a long private driveway that my parent's decorated with erie wood cross cemetery markers, cob webs and scary spiders with an overgrown apple tree that my father, dressed (as the "legendary") Freddie Kreuger would hide behind to follow the unexpected children seeking treats.  And, as they hesitantly walked up the road, they were met by a life sized coffin that my god father, dressed as an aging vampire, would slowly rise out of.  If they survived that scare, the children would breathlessly run to the front door, jumping over life sized rats, pumpkins and barking Labrador Retrievers to my mother, the witch (seriously!) to be awarded the candy!  The Bareijsza's were the talk of the town on October 31, notoriously with the two daughters that couldn't stand Halloween....but were forced to love it.

As my sister and I got older, my parents would do less and less, and as an adult, I can now appreciate the creativity, excitement and heart that my Mom and Dad put into the evening.  I actually miss the scary decorations that are presently limited to pumpkins, "Martha Stewart" Indian corn and stalks.  Each year, as my Mom pulls out the "adult" decorations and repacks the spiders and rats, it brings back fond memories of the fun, strategic planning and creativity that went into the annual celebration.  

Little did I realized my parents were molding my creativity and individuality that is intertwined in to each event with The Red Carpet.  Thinking back, I should have enjoyed the holiday more and thought out of the costume box of being a Princess, Cheerleader and 50's Girl (no comments from peanut gallery please!). But regardless, the holiday doesn't go unappreciated.  My parents truly made Halloween a memorable celebration without realizing how many children's lives they touched and enlightened with fun.  Thank you for not letting us grow up too quickly.

And yes Dad, I'm still afraid of Jason from Friday the 13th!  Thanks for dropping us off at the camp where the traumatizing series was filmed!

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