Three Months Out

Three months out – still never enough time. Three months preparation for most is plenty. Even fewer people shop for Christmas three months before the deadline. Still, when it comes to Halloween, three months might as well be tomorrow for Brooke and Gracie.

Today a Halloween costume catalog arrived in the mail. I know because I found Gracie and Brooke wrapped around it at the kitchen table. “How about this one,” Brooke would ask. “Maybe – it ranks as one of my ten favorites,” Gracie would reply. And so it continued with Gracie ultimately selecting her top 20 favorites of a catalog which would follow us around for the next month. I know better than to get involved. The last time I did it cost me money – three costumes to be precise. You see, not only is Gracie indecisive, but Brooke sees no problem with spending hundreds – if not thousands – on a holiday that Hallmark still doesn’t write cards for. (Who knows, maybe they read about Brooke’s obsession with Halloween and decided to fund another wing of the company. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it coming to a local store near us.) From ninja to wizard and Greek goddess to a detective, I have no doubts this will fuel a bonding experience for the girls for the next 90 nights – or at least until they need to decide on a face for their pumpkin.

Brooke’s as guilty as Gracie. After all, she started it. Last year alone we bought three costumes, 9 pumpkins, over $200 on decorations (which looked just like the ones we had the previous year), 4 lbs. of dry ice, 6 bags of candy and had no more than 20 trick-or-treaters. Still, it won’t be long before the nightmares start once again. And by mid September I’ll be awakened no fewer than twice a night by my wife with anxiety over not having enough candy for all the visitors. You think I’m joking, but I’m not. And for the next six or seven times she goes to the store, she will come home each and every time with another bag of candy. Of course, I oblige and fulfill my obligation in the consumption of a bag or two prior to the holiday, but we always have plenty of nut based chocolate bars and smarties left over for the two dozen kids brave enough to hike up the mountainside which is our street.

Today it starts. Three months from now I will breathe a sigh of relief and welcome the lazy Christmas season with open arms, albeit a bit sick from consuming half a bag of Milky Ways. Of course, in our household, the girls refer to Christmas as that holiday after Halloween. And once again, Brooke will set her plans, bring out the costume book and attempt to reconcile her mistakes in the pursuit of a perfect Halloween. But this time she has an accomplice in Gracie, now old enough to obsess right alongside her mother. Can’t wait.

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