What happens when you lose your Halloween spirit?

A journey of Halloween past.

My best friend Allie is amazing at the concept costume, so inevitably mid-October, I’ll get a text:


Her ideas are usually pretty brilliant, and if I’m feeling the spirit of the season, I’ll go with it. An example of some of our ideas from years past. (Some years, she actually made our costumes by hand, too. Crazy pants.)




Halloween used to be a pretty magical time. And it should be. At its essence, it’s that one night we can see the bigger picture of life — that one night of the year where the material world and the other-worldly world meet. It’s the night with the GREATEST potential for magic.

But I always loved it most for the reasons Buffy gave Willow:

Buffy: It’s just … You’re never gonna get noticed if you keep hiding! You’re missing the whole point of Halloween.

Willow: Free candy?

Buffy: It’s “come as you aren’t” night! The perfect chance for a girl to get sexy and wild, with no repercussions.

Willow: Oh, I don’t get wild. Wild on me equals spaz.

And it’s true. It was the night that we could go a little extra sexy and wild and it wasn’t only OK – it was expected.


And now, this year I find myself with no plans. I find myself actually planning on turning out the lights and pretending I’m out when I’m not. (Not a creepy depressing thing – Park Slope kids are SCARY.)

scruboffI wonder if I lost it or it was stolen — when the whole nature of the holiday has changed, is it really worth it anymore? (Honestly, is it even worth the time and expense of putting a costume together?)

But the message of Halloween is timeless — what’s not to love about a celebration of candy and costumes and fun? Of going door-to-door visiting your neighbors and getting presents? But as you get older, Halloween adapts. And much as I’d love to knocking on the doors of Brooklyn dressed as Marie Antoinette, asking for wine, I’m not sure I’d be all that well received.

The world is busy. Everybody’s moving faster than ever, when we’re not parked in front of a computer or gazing at our phones. But there should always be just a little time to share the holidays with family and your neighbors, right? Shouldn’t we be working hard to find that spirit wherever we can? And when it’s lost, how do we get it back?

Tip: If you ARE still embracing the Halloween spirit — and I super hope you are! – St. Ives has dubbed TOMORROW, November 1 — National Scrub-Off Day! Obviously the most fun part of any costume is your crazy makeup possibilities – and that is not OK to stay on your face past party time. That is, if you don’t want to look like a hot mess. Totally check out the St. Ive’s fresh skin apricot scrub, it’s amazing. Even when you don’t have 3 layers of makeup to wipe off.

So tomorrow is National Scrub Off Day – but if you DO dress up and wear some fun crazy makeup, please send me some pix before you scrub!




  1. Brigitta

    I’m pretty sure I’ve only missed like two years. Ever. I always dress up as SOMETHING. Even if, like this year, my costume is essentially “the best of stuff in my costume trove that fits”. I love the chance to be someone or something else even if it’s just for a day. I even insist on dressing up to answer the door if I’m not going out for anything else!

    I was thinking about how or why people stop dressing up last night whilst rummaging through DECADES-OLD costumes and half-finished attempts at some (some with pins still in ’em – ouch!)… I think for a lot of people, it changes when they have kids and it becomes a day that they put all their costume love into their family instead of themselves.

    I think there are probably a lot of reasons folks fall out of the full-fledged dressing up (work, budget, time, etc.), but there are TONS of people who will add a little something to their wardrobe – an orange scarf, a little spiderweb necklace, a plaid shirt with an orange accent – to still, almost secretly, be part of the spirit.

    And to you, and to them, and everyone else – Happy Halloween!!

  2. Ravzie

    I used to really enjoy Halloween and Christmas. Now I find that I am less interested as I become a crotchety old lady, LOL. Your pix are cute!

  3. Amy

    You looked so cute as a brunette!

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