Halloween is a big holiday for kids and families. There so many things you can do! Here in Las Vegas, there are so many events and places to go check out, you can’t do them all in one month. I spoke with three of my friends about their thoughts on and their plans for Halloween this year, and I’ve got some excellent ideas for my own celebration of Halloween!
Jenna Johnson, Chilhowie, VA.
Elle: Thanks for willing to do this. What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
JJ: That’s a very hard question because I love just about everything about Halloween. I love the history and meaning behind the modern celebration, I love the costumes, I love the colors, and sounds, and I especially love the fun sized candies.
Elle: I think you missed one… haunted houses?
JJ: Ahh. Now see, I like your “traditional” haunted houses, taking a group of friends, some video and audio equipment, and trying to find “real” ghosts. I’m not a fan of scaring people into a heart attack.
Elle: I still don’t believe in “ghost hunters”. *silence* Since you love everything about Halloween, what Halloween movie are you going to watch this year?
JJ: Ohhh! That one is easy! Every year, I watch different movies leading up to Halloween when I watch Hocus Pocus all night long.
Elle: Well, everyone loves Hocus Pocus. I know you’re going to get dressed up this year. What’s your costume? Or is it a surprise?
JJ: I have a couple of choices. Both are revisited cosplays from conventions because I like to debut new costumes there. I’m either going as Merida from Disney’s Brave or as Jane Austen.
Elle: Good picks! Now, are you also going to do a Halloween-themed meal?
JJ: Not this year. Normally, I’d meet with some friends to celebrate their anniversary; they got married on Halloween. However, they have two very small sons they want to take trick-or-treating this year. I may do something small here at home, but it won’t be anything extravagant.
Elle: Anything in particular you’re going to fix yourself?
JJ: Nothing in particular. My specialties at Halloween are sweets, and I’m trying to lose weight right now, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time creating cakes when I’m not eating them. Although, I’m really considering a butternut squash bisque and homemade baguettes for an actual meal.
Elle: Anything pumpkin?
JJ: Oh! I did make this awesome Pumpkin-Caramel Poke Cake a few weeks back. I may make that in cupcake form, and then give some to family as they come by with their kids. As for pumpkin other things, I’ve been drinking pumpkin coffee since August, and Target has these great Pumpkin granola bars out now. I’m going to miss them when the season is over.
Elle: Pumpkin granola bars?! I must find some!
JJ: They have them in the Halloween section with all the seasonal candy and cookies.
Elle: Thanks for the info! Speaking of candy, are you giving away candy this year?
JJ: No problem! Yes, I do give out candy, but here [in Chilhowie], we hardly get any trick-or-treaters at the house because all the churches do Trunk-or-Treats. We get some family members, but no more than twelve kids or so.
Elle: Oh yeah… I remember those (Trunk-or-Treating). Now, when you give out candy, do you silently judge costumes and give more candy to a particular type?
JJ: Absolutely not! As a costumer, I know there are different levels of costumes, but each is awesome and unique as the person under the mask or tiara. I make pre-package treat bags with equal number of candies in each. Since there are some kids who have dietary restrictions, I put about the same amount of sugar free candy into the treat bags.
Elle: When it comes to ToTers, is there a costume you’d like to see?
JJ: Not one costume in particular. Of course, I’m a geek, so I love to see everything from the Disney Princesses to the Avengers, but I really like seeing the obscure costumes. You know, something that makes me think, “who is this kid trying to be?”. One year, this kid dressed up as Teddy Roosevelt. it was awesome!
Elle: Last three. Have you ever seen pets dressed up?
JJ: I have seen pets dressed up! Mostly on the Internet than in real life, unfortunately. The pets I have seen dressed up around here have been in a bow tie or a generic T-shirt from Petsmart, but nothing too elaborate.
Elle: Darn. Would you ever dress up your pets?
JJ: I have two pets, a Daschund and a Maine Coon cat. While Schroeder, the Daschund, may be game for it, Sirius, the cat, would not like that one bit. If the cat mellows out a bit in the future, I may make a group costume, but that’s a big if.
Elle: If you were to put them in costume, what would they be?
JJ: Oh goodness! I’d dress the Doxie as Harry Potter, and the cat would be Hagrid. I’d be Hermione, of course.
Elle: That’d be so awesome! I’d love to see that!
Jenny Mozingo, Catania, Italy
Elle: Good morning, lady! Let’s jump in. What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
Jenny: The colors. I love Fall. I’m also a fan of pumpkins. We’re going to be carving our first one as a family this year.
Elle: Exciting! Are you guys going to watch a Halloween movie this year?
JM: I’m a big fan of Nightmare Before Christmas, and it’s on Netflix, so we’ll probably watch that. We also always watch Charlie Brown Halloween.
Elle: Charlie Brown anything is always a good pick. I love how they have a movie for almost every holiday.
JM: I agree. We have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Elle: Top three movies. *smiles* Are you and the family going to get all dressed up?
JM: Justin actually won’t be here for Halloween this year. I don’t typically dress up, but we’ve already ordered Lily’s costume. She’s going to be a minion from Despicable Me. Her choice. *laughs*
Elle: AWWWW! I wanted to do that, but [my husband] wouldn’t go as Gru… He does the perfect impersonation of him.
JM: That’s awesome. Justin can’t do the impersonation, but he wouldn’t dress up as him if he did. We just don’t typically dress up for Halloween. We have a hard time spending $40-$60 on costumes that’ll only be worn for a few hours.
Elle: I try to do costumes that we technically already have the clothes for. Just buy a few accessories.
JM: That’s a smart way to do it.
Elle: Yes, it is. As a fellow Foodie, is there going to be a Halloween-themed meal?
JM: Yes, I have a board on Pinterest full of Halloween-themed food. I go crazy like this for every holiday. I haven’t decided what the meal will be yet, but all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack) will have a Halloween theme.
Elle: I knew you’d have a Pinterest board about this. I’ve slacked off on my holiday boards. *pouts*
JM: I’m slightly crazy. I have a board for every holiday, I think. *laughs*
Elle: I’m getting there too! *laughs* Will you be giving out candy this year for a little bit?
JM: Yes, I’ll take Lily around the neighborhood early and have a bowl outside with candy during that time. When we get back, Lily and I will hand it out.
Elle: Do you give more candy to a particular costume? Or do you give without judgment?
JM: Yes and no… We have a lot of Italians allowed on base, so they bring their kids for Halloween. However, they don’t really understand the concept of Halloween, so they literally walk around with no costume on and ring the doorbell, say “buona sera”, and hold their hands out. The parents even expect candy! They usually get one candy each while anyone dressed up will get two or three. There was a little girl dressed in an Alabama cheerleader outfit last year who got a handful though. Roll Tide!
Elle: *laughs* Bias mommy! *laughs* How about pets? Have you ever seen pets dressed up?
JM: I’ve seen a few. We have a friend that has two dogs named Luke (he only has 3 legs) and Leia. They get dressed up every year.
Elle: Would you dress up your pups?
JM: I would love to, but those costumes would be off and destroyed before I had a chance to get the camera. *laughs*
Elle: *laughs* Well, if you could… what would they be?
JM: Batman and Batgirl probably. They have the ears for it. *laughs*
Elle: Ha! Just attach a makeshift cape to their collars with the bat symbol. I still want to have Syren as the cowardly lion and Duke as Toto.
JM: *laughs* That’s a good idea. I’d love to see that.
Arlie Zachary, Sevierville, TN.
Elle: Let’s talk about Halloween. What’s your favorite thing about the holiday?
Arlie: It’s always been the dressing up part. I loved that so much as a child, and I still do to this day.
Elle: I’m getting the hang of dressing up. Are you going to watch a Halloween movie this year?
AZ: Oh yeah. Ghostbusters 1 and 2, Hocus Pocus, Charlie Brown Special… Garfield Special.
Elle: Hocus Pocus… I used to be scared of that movie, and I don’t know why. I love Bette Midler.
AZ: I know. I love it. I hope the rumors of a sequel is true. Though, it needs to be good.
Elle: Didn’t they kill the witches?
AZ: Yes, but it’s supposed to be something like they come back again. I’m not sure.
Elle: Oh man. I don’t know about this sequel thing. I know you’re going to get dressed up. Care to share your costume?
AZ: We’re going as Kermit and Miss Piggy.
Elle: Good choice. Are you guys going to do a Halloween-themed meal?
AZ: We might do a Halloween party. Maybe. Depends on how I feel.
Elle: Let’s say, you were going to do it. What would you serve?
AZ: Mummies. As in… Hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls and baked. Dragon eyes… deviled eggs with green food coloring. Cupcakes or a decorated cake, and not sure what else yet.
Elle: Could do Frankenstein pudding… green colored vanilla pudding with crushed Oreos as “hair” and jsut draw faces on the clear cups.
AZ: Or brain jello.
Elle: That’s a good one too! Are you giving out candy this year too?
Elle: Do you give more candy to a particular costume or give candy without judging?
AZ: I give without judging.
Elle: That’s a good way to dole out the sweets. I’m making the kids work for their candy this year. *laughs* Is there a costume you’d like to see among ToTers?
AZ: Something original actually.
Elle: Anything original? Or something handmade?
AZ: Well… homemade. So many kids just get their parents to buy something off the shelf.
Elle: That’s true. Have you ever seen pets dressed up?
AZ: Yeah. It can be cute, but I don’t plan on doing it to the cats.
Elle: If you could dress the cats up… would you?
AZ: I wouldn’t. I just don’t want to dress my fur babies.