|Our annual Witches’ Luncheon
by Kelley Lindberg
When I was growing up, there weren’t many store-bought Halloween costumes. If you wanted a costume, you made it. There were tin-foil robots, Frankenstein’s monsters, Raggedy Anns and Andys, hobos, and lots of ketchup-blood. I remember being Maid Marian, the headless horseman, a classic sheet ghost, and a gypsy more than once.
It was a wonderful celebration of imagination.
Earlier this week, I wondered if imagination still exists now that most of our costumes are store-bought. Rack after rack of pre-made monsters, diabolical doctors, giant walking food items, and licensed cartoon characters promise instant transformations for busy parents. But are we stifling imagination?
I don’t think so.
I’m pretty sure that tiny Superman at my door really suspects he could leap a building in a single bound if his mother would just let go of his hand. The zombie princess who just politely said “Thank you” had to hold still for an incredibly long time while her dad glued her fake wound to her forehead, but she did it because she fully embraced the irony that she’s almost too young to understand, and she can’t wait to see how many people she can gross out.
I think we’re still celebrating imagination. Never mind that the accessories came in a plastic bag. The dreams are still real. And the sense of fun and adventure are firmly ensconced.
I’ve made some of my son’s costumes over the years, like Robin Hood (if only I could still fit into my Maid Marian costume!), Captain Jack Sparrow, and Peter Pan. And I’ve bought some of his costumes pre-made, like Ninjas and a whole cast of Star Wars characters. And I discovered it didn’t matter where the costume came from – the minute he put it on, he was that character. Suddenly he was battling Capt. Hook or Storm Troopers. He was sailing the Black Pearl or rescuing a princess or relieving an evil sheriff of his ill-gotten gold. The costume might be a trigger, but the adventure springs from the kid and his imagination. Clothes don’t really make the hero. The kid makes the hero.
As part of my goal to celebrate imagination today, I attended an annual Witches’ Luncheon, where several friends and I tap into our inner children, dress up like witches, and go to lunch. We say hi to all the kids we see and watch as wonder and imagination light up their faces. The best is when they look back at us over their mothers’ shoulders and shyly wave at us. They are imagining a world where witches wear feathers and pointy hats, and smile and wave, and laugh all afternoon.
Imagination is alive and well this Halloween. How will you celebrate yours?