Hotspur 101 (Pumpkins 0)
There are many traditions in our family, like the "I don't want to go to bed!" tradition, but one of the most fun is Halloween, or The Murder of Defenseless Pumpkins and Plunder of Neighborhood Candy. The Hotspur Players in this story are: fraternal twins Lawyer and James Dean (both 9), Wife (forget it), me (82), and our niece Chrissie (12). Lawyer will find the loopholes and tricky angles in everything. James Dean is the strong, silent and handsome type. Chrissie is much like the character on Three's Company, and Wife is, you know, married to me.
The Saturday before Halloween/Trick or Treat, we go out for the annual selection of the pumpkins. Wife and I pick out a huge pumpkin, and the kids pick out their own little ones. As far as they were concerned, a jack o'lantern magically appeared on the front walkway later that day - just like Christmas presents and Easter eggs and clean clothes and food! I'm so lucky to have those things appear on my front walkway. It's magical.
Eventually we had to get TWO huge pumpkins. Why? According to Lawyer, we needed a good one to cancel out the evil one so the kids wouldn't get scared. He was 6 when he came up with this. Do you see why his nickname is Lawyer?
Why, That's A Smashing Pumpkin!
One spring, Chrissie came to live with us. And Lawyer suddenly got competitive. Chrissie was older, and taller, and she could do more things, and Lawyer didn't like that. So, fast forward to last Halloween and the pumpkin patch, and now it was a free-for-all. I still had to get the two large pumpkins, and small pumpkins for the kids. But the small ones had to pass inspection.
"Hey! You got a bigger one!"
"Okay, Lawyer, you can take mine."
"I'll just take this one." *grabs bigger one*
"Hey! Yours is still bigger than mine!"
"You wanted a bigger one, so I gave you a bigger one."
"But I don't want a bigger one than the one I had, I want a bigger one than the one YOU have!"
Long story short, I practically had to call some Olympic judges to verify that the pumpkins Lawyer and Chrissie had were exactly the same size. And they were satisfied. Until they saw James Dean's pumpkin. *sigh*
Spill Your Guts!
We finally got the two big pumpkins outside on the back patio. The smaller ones were, surprise, totally forgotten on the front porch.
|Prepped for surgery|
This year the kids insisted on helping. So I showed them what to do - remove all the slimy orange guts and put them in the bowls. Chrissie and Lawyer did it for a couple of minutes, and then decided to play instead. Thanks!
|It's what's inside that counts!|
|Harry Potter, meet Edward Cullen|
The second part of the tradition is Trick-or-Treat itself. The kids dressed up this time as Harry Potter, a Princess and, well, another Harry Potter. Just like every year, they start out practically running from house to house grabbing all the candy they can get. Then after about 45 minutes they say they're tired and they want to go home and eat some of it. Fortunately, there are people who don't like to stay out long, and we know where all those people live and when to swing by their houses. We get cauldrons and coffins and severed heads FULL of candy!
Eventually, the sugar wears off, all that walking catches up to them, and the kids head off to bed. And then, I partake in one of the greatest traditions my family has - the Paternal Grazing of the Kids' Candy! Ah - the most wonderful time of the year.
From the Judges:
I love how you wrote about Halloween. It's not something most people would think of when you say 'family tradition'. You write in a very conversational tone, which has it's drawbacks (sometimes it's kind of hard to follow, or 'hear' the expression), but at the same time, it makes it very personable, and original. Original is great, however, that means that everyone probably isn't going to like it. The ones that do, though, will love it, and that will enable you to have an awesome fan base, which will include me. No matter what happens in Blogger Idol, keep doing what you do, and don't change it to try and make people happy!
I am going to play off of what Tessa said and tell you that I am one of those people that didn't like the conversational tone of this. It's was way too hard for me to follow... I had to read this three times before I could actually figure out who the players were and what was going on. I could never figure out what the deal was with James Deans pumpkin. I do like that you went with Halloween, my wife loves Halloween and its a big deal at our house too, and I have to say I like the Scary Potter pumpkin. There will be people that like the style, but I am sorry to say that this post just wasn't for me.
-Daddy's in Charge?
I'll respectfully disagree with Daddy's in Charge (and prove Tessa Taboo right) and say that I'm am one of those people who loves your conversational tone. I think you have a very unique voice, and that definitely sets you apart. I do agree that it was a little difficult to figure out what was going on at first, but once I got it, then I felt like I was part of some awesome secret club or something - like a true insider. I think that's why I liked your conversational tone so much.
Two other thoughts: Scary Potter is very cool. And I really liked your use of headings. It helped break up the post (but not in a way that interrupted the story) and keep my attention.
-The Spaghetti Westerner
Like The Spaghetti Westerner, your headings helped me see the main structure of your post. But like Daddy's In Charge, I too am not much of a fan of conversations in blog posts because I feel that it's up to the reader to imagine the tone. And when they don't imagine it correctly the first time, they'll need to re-read your sentences just to actually get it. It was still a good post though.
-Bay Area Mommy
I thought this was a funny post, and I quickly acclimated to your tone. I appreciate a unique, consistent "voice" when I read blogs. Headings aren't for everyone. Personally, I like headings, and I liked the way you used them. The main thing that threw me off was the sudden change of tense in the last section. Good post.
-From the Bungalow
I love the timing of the Halloween post and can see that you and your family truly enjoy it, but I must agree with Daddy's In Charge. This was really hard for me to follow. I feel as if headings break up a post, which is great if you are writing about different things in one post, but I prefer more fluidity. Sorry, it just wasn't for me either.
-You Know It Happens At Your House Too (Guest Judge)