Send Your Kids to College, Keep Your Money at Home
A REAL TREAT WHY I STILL DRESS UP FOR HALLOWEEN
Those who know me know I go all out for Halloween. We make it a point at the Lloyd household to have one of the spookiest houses on the block come Oct. 31. This is partly because we live in one of those neighborhoods where they truck in kids from all over to go trick-or- treating, and my wife and I want to pull out all the stops. But I’ll always make that extra effort to make our house look haunted regardless of where we live. More than just candy, I feel it’s important to give trick-or- treaters a magical experience. When I was a kid growing up in Robinvale, there was this couple who lived down the street. I always thought of them as being old, but now that I think about it, they were probably the same age I am now. I’m not sure if they were empty nesters or just never had children, but that didn’t stop them from going all out for Halloween. Trick-or-treating at that couple’s house is still one of my most vivid memories of the holiday. It’s not that they gave out king-size candy bars or had an animatronic jump scare lurking on their porch; they just fully committed to the Halloween experience. One year, for example, the husband came to the door in a full skeleton costume, handing out roasted peanuts he claimed were bones. To this day, I still remember the grave, raspy voice he put on while sifting through the rattling bowl of treats: “Bones … bones for you.”
Looking back as an adult who now has to worry about the logistics of preparing for trick-or-treaters, I really appreciate the craftsmanship that went into making the experience special. Now I get into full costume to greet the ghouls and goblins who come to our porch. One year, I got really elaborate, wearing a lizard mask that I paired with a top hat and cane. Unfortunately, the latex proved far too hot for a Houston evening, and I’ve since taken a cue from my childhood neighbors. This year, you’ll find me in full skeleton regalia greeting trick-or-treaters with my best spooky voice. While we do make an effort to have the best candy bars on the block, the most important thing for my wife and me is capturing the atmosphere of Halloween. The candy will be gone in a week or so, but memories? Those will last a lifetime. Writing this, I can’t help but see a connection between my love of Halloween and my job. Getting candy was great as a kid, but I’ve found I love handing it out even more. That I get to play a role in helping kids go to college could not be a better fit for who I am. I get to help make magical memories year-round, no costume required.
“Getting candy was great as a kid, but I’ve found I love handing it out even more.”
As a kid, I was both scared and entertained. Going to that house felt like the real Halloween experience, and I loved it every year. More importantly, it taught me and the other kids on the block an important lesson: Face your fears and you’ll be rewarded. That, to me, is what the holiday is all about.
To all our families out there, have a safe and happy Halloween!
–Bra nnon Lloyd
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