April Jeppson: Halloween — A time to play make believe

Published 8:58 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson

 

I love Halloween. This day has always held a special place in my heart. That sentence might sound odd, or even sacrilegious, so allow me to explain.

One of my earliest memories is watching my mother get ready for work. She had this vanity in her bedroom, and I would lay on the bed and talk to her while she “painted” her face. I always thought it was so cool that she could take those colors and make them look so awesome on her skin. Anytime I took the blue eyeshadow to my 6-year-old face, it didn’t have the same effect.

So Halloween became a fun day to wear silly clothes, do weird things to my hair and get my mother to paint my face. I always thought we had the best costumes. I remember my mom coming into my classroom every year and helping me put on my elaborate, homemade ensemble. I was a Geisha, a hippie, a secretary, princess — nothing gory or too scary. Just a fun day to play make believe. My father would drive us around our little town while my mother stayed home to pass out candy. I remember putting my snow pants under or over nearly every costume I owned. It was a topic to discuss before finalizing a costume: Will snow pants easily fit under this?

My parents were married on Halloween. Not because it was a holiday, but because that’s the day the church was available. The weekend worked with their schedule, so they went for it. This was before people were engaged for years and spent their entire annual salary on getting hitched. Simpler times. Pick a date and get ’er done.

As we got older, they would leave my brother and I home to hand out candy, while they went to a restaurant to celebrate. My parents would let me invite a few friends over, we’d put in a VHS, eat snacks and take turns passing out candy to the cute trick-or-treaters. I would still dress up and encourage my high school friends to dress up too — it was just more fun that way.

Slide forward a few years. I was 22 and at a church Halloween party for young adults. There was a boy there dressed as a knight — full chain mail and everything. I was dressed as Trinity from the Matrix — jet black hair and dodging imaginary bullets in slow motion. We talked, we danced and decided to go out the next night. Six and a half months later we were married. Part of the reason I was so drawn to him was his willingness to dress up that night. He didn’t care what other people thought, he had fun and just went for it.

Brian and I have been hosting Halloween parties every year since we met. This weekend marks the 15th annual gathering. My husband spends quite a bit of time putting out the decorations, and it shows. It takes almost a month to get our house ready for our guests, and although the party is only a few hours long, it’s totally worth it. As previously discussed, I love any opportunity to get together with my friends. I think it’s important that we take time to be silly and just have fun. I know we’re adults, but who says we have to be serious all the time.

Our party is simple. Bring a dish to share and dress up. If you forget the dish, that’s OK, but you will be dressed up. In fact, we keep a small box of costumes near the door just in case a friend brings a date or a spouse who’s too cool to dress up. Because nothing makes a grown man feel cooler than wearing cat ears because he didn’t bring his own costume.

Maybe you like Halloween, maybe you don’t. It doesn’t have to be all scary. It can be a fun night for kids to dress up and just be kids. It can also be an excuse for adults to dress up and let out their inner kid too. Cause let’s be honest, the world is a very serious place right now, and we could all use a moment with our friends and play make believe.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.