I'm A 40-Year-Old Mom Who Is Absolutely Obsessed With Halloween

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 
Courtesy of Eliza Broadbent

People generally think that Halloween, like LEGOs and Mario Kart, is for the children. After all, adults steal Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Kids gets them free. Adults buy or make costumes. Kids wear them. Adults smile vaguely while kids run around neighborhoods knocking on doors. Kids get handed oodles of candy for a willingness to hit up strangers. I don’t care. I live for Halloween — a forty-year-old woman whose favorite holiday involves candy corn.

I eat it, too. By the handful. Then I snarf Ghost Peeps and rock-paper-scissors my nine-year-old for the last one.

Halloween is not a “fun” holiday. Halloween is not an “extra” holiday.

Halloween is the fucking holiday.

I Live For Halloween, So I Can Be Whoever I Want

I can list like, every Halloween costume I’ve ever had, starting with a baby angel at age three. But my top three include dyeing my hair blue, wrapping myself in a fish sheet, and going as “The Ocean”; dressing like a ’60s housewife, carrying a martini glass and a cigarette holder around a giant-ass belly, and calling myself “Pregnancy, Circa 1968”; and straightening my then-shoulder-length, middle-parted blonde hair, wearing a lot of eyeliner, throwing on a striped polo dress and a fur coat, and, with my husband as Richie, dressing as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Margo Tenenbaum.

Yes, my best Halloween costume involved dressing as a Wes Anderson character. Grad school’s a hell of a drug.

I have been known to hand-make adorable costumes for my moppets. One year, I dressed my youngest as a hedgehog. Not “Sonic the Hedgehog,” my friends. A goddamn garden-variety hedgehog. I did this with felt and a glue gun because I live for Halloween. Oh, and I made Colonial outfits for my other kids, too.

I have whole unicorn outfits ready to deploy, complete with headpieces and horns and rainbow-striped arm and leg warmers.

This year, I’m already trying to get my fairy costume right. I have ears. I have a metric shit ton of makeup, which I spend about half an hour messing around with every night. I have a dress. I will drip in gems and spiky crowns and elf ears and tall black boots and all the other parents will side-eye me like, “What fairy has such a perfect cat’s eye?”

And I will be like, “STFU, mom jeans, you’re the one who elected to look like a random Tuesday.”

Courtesy of Eliza Broadbent

Halloween Means Pumpkins

I love pumpkins. I love picking them. I love giant-ass pumpkins, those pumpkins you see, eyeball for a moment, and go, “Holy shit, that’s a big-ass pumpkin. Who the hell would buy a pumpkin that big?”

Me. I would buy a pumpkin that big. I live for Halloween and pumpkins too large for an average household. Do you struggle to lift it? If it’s easy to pick up, I don’t want it. Not good enough.

I will bring five of those overlarge, toddler-sized pumpkins home, hack open lids, and help my kids scrape out their ooey-gooey insides. I love the ooey-gooey insides. They’re icky and sticky and sort of gross but sort of not and I can bake their seeds. Once we’ve scraped them out, I hand all three of my small children sharp-ass implements and tell them to start carving.

We get some weird-looking Jack O’ Lanterns.

We put them on our front steps.

Sometimes we leave them there until mid-November because fuck you, that’s why.

I Live For Halloween Decor And Crafts

October First: we’re making paper plate skulls to hang everywhere. Who, might you ask, buys those gingerbread Halloween houses? We do. We also buy foam haunted houses. We paint birdhouses like haunted houses. Then we paint little itty bitty boxes and goblins leave treats in them every night. Like elves, but wartier, I guess.

We hang paper plate skulls and construction-paper bats and ghosts and toothpick skeletons everywhere, then we arrange our collection of haunted houses on every available surface, because Halloween is the bestest holiday ever. Even my husband paints seashells pumpkin-orange and makes tiny jack o’lanterns. I am not making this up. I live for Halloween, and he lives it with me because he loves me and he recognizes awesome when he see it.

Oh, and I break out the Halloween china.

You don’t have Halloween china?

I’m so sorry. Your Halloweens must be dark and dank and sad without dedicated china and special skull cups.

Courtesy of Eliza Broadbent

And We Trick Or Treat

We trick or treat in the most extra neighborhood in town. They do up every single house, chimney to stoop, in some bizarre theme. Every resident dresses up. Every residence blasts music. Candy may be themed. It’s so extra people walk through just to look, let alone snag free candy.

And these people want to give my kids candy. They live to give my kids candy. They, like me, live for Halloween. Think handfuls of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Full-sized Krackles. Starburst by the fistful. And when we come home, we ditch our costumes (some of us), dump some loot, and watch… well, we had our yearly Hocus Pocus viewing the night before.

We do an Addams Family marathon. Which, excuse me, includes the best line ever written into children’s cinema: “What are you, darling? Where’s your costume?”

“I’m a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else.”

I recite dialogue with my kids in between stealing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which I don’t really need to steal, because I am an adult making adult decisions, and one of them is to buy my own goddamn candy. So instead of living on my poor children’s pitiful offerings, I snag my own peanut butter cups and Nerds and Good ‘N Plenty.

This is not a holiday. This is the best holiday. Candy and unicorn horns and The Addams Family?! I live for Halloween. This year, I will dress up and snarf candy and watch awesome movies. I will make another hedgehog costume. I will make more construction paper bats. We will eat normal dinner off Halloween china because Halloween, bitches.

The best holiday.

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