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When I was a kid, we would trick or treat for HOURS! We combed several neighborhoods, which was quite a feat considering I lived in a village in the hills of central Pennsylvania. Trick or treating generally required getting in and out of a car every few miles to knock on a few more doors. And EVERYONE had their light on.
The most crucial takeaway I recall from my Halloween adventures every year was the feeling of gratitude. On Halloween? Why yes! I was taught to say "trick or treat" because it was fun but "thank you" because nobody owed me anything. The generosity of the kind patrons who filled my pillowcase with treats filled my wee little heart with joy and appreciation even faster.
As I grew older, I looked forward to the smiling eyes of kind people who opened their doors to my children. I reminded them to use their manners at every house, and they were almost too eager to shout, "Thank you!" After all, that's what the holiday is all about—giving and giving thanks under the porch lights.
One of the downsides of visiting neighbors in costumes, in my experience, was not being recognized. I wanted people to know I appreciated them, but I would hold up the line of goblins, wizards, and fairies flocking toward their door if I took off my mask.
And I was proud of my mask! I wanted people to know I worked hard to create the fantasy before them. I had such a love-hate with Halloween costumes.
After having children, my struggle with my costumes shifted. I set goals to be a certain weight or grow out my hair by October. I started to create unnecessary anxiety around what had once been an event during which I felt I could be myself and show off interests and skills considered odd at other times of the year.
"Be bold, be brave, be yourself! Put away your feelings of doubt. Don't worry about not fitting in...or fitting into that mask." Of course, it's easier said than done, sometimes.
In fact, many people struggle with wearing their masks year-round. They put on a happy face when they feel hollow. They make jokes about themselves because they think if they're the first ones to laugh, it will sting less when someone notices their flaws. Some people try desperately to own their imperfections so they feel comfortable in their skin when they really want to crawl out of it. The struggle becomes a constant tug of war between their picture of perfection and their ability to see themselves in it.
There's no easy way just to lay down a mask or the notions that get in our heads about needing them. And no one should feel pressured to feel like these coping mechanisms are defects of their personalities. If you can find a way to turn your projection of how you want to be seen into a means to realize your true potential, little by little, you can learn to identify with your true self.
It's healthy to be able to laugh at yourself or smile through a challenge. We all have flaws! Some of us are clumsy; others stumble over words; we're too thin, fluffy, hairy, pale; we're too human. That's right! We're all too human. And it's hard to be human, sometimes. What if you don't look right or smell right? What if you're not the right size or shape, or color? Well, that's the incredible gift we possess by virtue of being human. There's no mold!
So, when you put on your mask this Halloween or any day after, just pause and reflect on why you wear it. Does it hide who you are, or does it help you get through a day more confidently? Does it project the kind of person you want to be? Decide if your mask empowers you to work toward a better you or conceals your best features.
And don't be afraid to hold everyone up at the door if you want to take it off!
"I put a spell on you because you're mine."
Halloween is not often thought of as a family-centric holiday in the same way as Thanksgiving or Christmas (or any other holiday, for that matter), but it's the underlying focus of the Hocus Pocus movie plot. The Sanderson Sisters are absolutely devoted to each other. Thackery "Binx" is cursed, saving his sister's life. Max and Dani nurture their bond throughout the film. They even extend their familial love and protection to Binx before his curse is broken.
Halloween is the holiday my family is most excited to celebrate every year because we get to stretch our creative genius, craft group costume designs, and just be silly together. We go all out decorating our home, host a big Halloween party (pre-pandemic, anyway), and watch Halloween movies together every chance we get. We also pick apples, go on hayrides, race through corn mazes, pick and carve pumpkins, and jump in piles of leaves! The whole month of October is a magical family-fun-filled event.
Hocus Pocus is the movie we kick off our month of Halloween fun with because it's wholesome, funny, and perfect for families to enjoy together. My kids helped design the Halloween Spotlight strap, "I Put a Spell on You." We're so grateful for the opportunity to wear our straps and pass them down for generations to come!
Every wristband made is a limited edition work of art for your wrists. ZOX are reversible with a design on one side and a positive message on the inside. Every ZOX is individually laser cut with a serial number to ensure authenticity.