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December 2016

Seeing Halloween Through Children’s Eyes

What are the other three best days of the year for kids, you may ask? Well, why don’t you tell me! The first one, of course, is Halloween. Take a guess at the rest, and see if you’re right. You can find the answers on the bottom of the “Have a Laugh” section on page 3 of this newsletter. Happy Halloween! “We even threw big Halloween parties in our basement for the kids, with a true haunted house vibe, complete with mummies and games and gift bags for the children.”

When I was a little kid in the heart of suburbia, Halloween was a blast. But I didn’t enjoy it for the same reasons that most of my friends did. Sure, when I was 5 and 6 I’d look forward to trick-or- treating and donning some outlandish costume, but it didn’t take long for me to prefer a different Halloween tradition. Instead of tiring out my feet in the October cold, I’d hang out with my mom, leaping up with every ring of the doorbell to hand out treats to the younger kids. The fun of Halloween is still seeing how excited and decked out the little kids get for the holiday. When my own children were young, my wife at the time was a Halloween fanatic. She went wild decorating the house with everything imaginable: stubborn cobwebs strewn in every nook and cranny, skeletons lurking the yard, witches peeking around corners — our house had it all. We even threw big Halloween parties in our basement for the kids, with a true haunted house vibe, complete with mummies and games and gift bags for the children. These days, my kids are grown up. With my son making his way through college and my daughter recently graduating, they’re well past their trick- or-treating prime. But now we have two young grandchildren, so we get the opportunity to see the thrill of the spooky season through their eyes. But I have to admit that my absolute favorite thing about Halloween isn’t the decorations or sneaking leftover pieces of candy from the bowl — it’s Jimmy Kimmel’s post-Halloween tradition. Every year, Kimmel challenges his viewers to hide their kids’ candy and convince them that their parents have eaten the entire stash. Then, he collects the best

ones and plays them on his show on November 1. Watching is an emotional roller coaster. First you crack up at the kids who collapse on the floor screaming in fury like Charlton Heston at the end of “Planet of the Apes.” Then, you’re almost brought to tears by the kids who, despite their apparent sadness at “losing” all their candy, tell their parents, “Oh, it’s okay — I still love you.” Truly, priceless stuff. Some of these kids completely lose their minds at the news, but to some degree, it’s understandable. Halloween is one of the four best days of the year for most kids, largely because of the painstakingly gathered horde of sweets that lasts them for months.

– Ron Drescher

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