By Thomas Morrone CFP®, CPA
Another Halloween has come and gone. As an adult, it is more about making sure you have enough candy for when the doorbell rings as opposed to as a kid ringing as many door bells as possible and filling up a pillow case with treats. I remember many Halloween candy expeditions in my younger days going door to door with a large group of neighborhood friends. It was all about the chocolate. At the end of the night I would spread my haul on the floor and categorize my candy by type and take a full inventory. I was anal then as well. Snickers in one pile, Milky Ways in another, Hershey bars both with and without the almonds in their own separate stacks as well.
Of course, much of the candy would never make it to a specific pile because it was long eaten before the categorization process began. I wanted to know what was in my candy inventory, so I could track if anyone was raiding my stash when I was not around. It seems so silly now when I look back, but it was a very serious offense in my house if you were caught stealing candy.
In driving around during the Autumn season, it is obvious by the various decorations on houses, which families take Halloween very seriously. Some have such elaborate displays around their homes it makes me wonder if the inside is decorated to the same level. One of the many decorations, other than the skeletons, witches and the occasional headless horsemen, is the jack-o-lantern. It may be one of those large inflatable types or the traditional carved pumpkin. You also see the occasional little child with their cute little costume carrying a hollow plastic pumpkin to collect candy. Nothing says Halloween to me more than a jack-o-lantern.
Carving pumpkins for Halloween was not necessarily an annual tradition for us growing up but I took a knife to a few of those orange things over the years. Just before this most recent Halloween, Cathy and I with her sister and brother in law, were at our friend’s, Armen and Mary Ellen, house for dinner. At the end of the night I thought we were cleaning up to go home when next thing I know, out comes some large pumpkins and all the carving utensils. It was a nice surprise and for the next hour or so, we were all “little kids again”. We were comparing our progress as the images we were attempting to make came to life. There were seeds and pumpkin slime everywhere. Luckily there was a drop cloth on the table so at least the mess was somewhat confined. Once we felt that our works of art were ready for viewing, we cleaned up the pumpkin waste and set up our jack-o-lanterns for viewing. Wait, get the candles. Now we have jack-o-lanterns. We stood back and admired our works of art, took pictures and posted on Facebook. Like I said, we were like kids again and it was wonderful.
It is wonderful to feel like a kid again regardless of what you do that provides that sensation. I am already looking forward to next year and oh yes, Christmas is coming.
Until the Next Tom’s Take…