All Hallows’ Eve

All Hallows’ Eve falls on the 31st of October each year, and is the day before All Hallows’ Day, also known as All Saints’ Day in the Christian calendar. The name derives from the Old English ‘hallowed’ meaning holy or sanctified and is now usually contracted to the more familiar word Halloween.

Jacob is not into ‘dressing up’ for any occasion. I don’t know what he is supposed to ‘be’ below. He is either a hobo with rosy checks or a cute clown? For some reason, I rarely put a costume on him.

He didn’t ‘get’ trick or treating. He didn’t understand the fun of Fall Festivals, either.

Basically, the only part of Halloween that he has ever gotten excited about is the candy.

I began to wonder about the reason for the holiday. I won’t go into the history, you can do that research on your own. I’ll briefly cover my take-away. It started as a holiday to honor the dead. Hallowed means ’saint’. I can get behind remembering those that have gone before me. Grandparents, friends, parents.

Not too many years ago, I dropped Jacob off at his day program on a rainy, October 31st. We’d been told that the staff would be dressed up, there would be candy for everyone, and to wear a costume, if desired. We were met by various creatures and characters as he entered.

Later that day, I was to meet a friend for lunch. On the way, I got a call, “Jacob is having a really rough day. We have not been able to calm him down. Do you think you could come get him?”

I phoned my friend to cancel our plans and went straight away. He was okay by the time I got there, but was definitely ready to go home.

I started analyzing what had upset him. Was it the barometric pressure? Maybe it bothered him that people, who he ordinarily knew, were dressed as witches, ghosts, and scarecrows making them hard to recognize. Or, possibly he was frustrated that he couldn’t take all the candy, in sight, for his own. I believe that it was all of the above that caused him stress.

Since then, I’ve made a point to keep him home on the day of a Halloween party. I wish it was something that he could enjoy like so many others, young and old. He doesn’t. And, that is perfectly okay.

Because of the confusion and undue stress, we don’t light our home to welcome trick or treating. Between Jacob wanting all the candy or curious every time the door bell rings and two dogs that go nuts, we pretend nothing is happening on the outside.

But it doesn’t mean he doesn’t get his share of candy. He does. Every day of his life. And some years even a brownie jack-o’-lantern.

Here’s what you need to make a Brownie Jack-O’-Lantern for your family:

1 brownie mix (9×13-inch pan size)
1 (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
Orange food coloring
Assorted candies

Prepare mix according to package directions. Spread batter in a 12-inch, greased pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 15-18 minutes.

Allow to cool completely.

Put frosting into a bowl and tint with food coloring to desired shade of orange. Use a spatula to frost brownie and smooth to look like a pumpkin.

Here are some ideas for decorating: M&Ms, Candy Corn, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and nuts.

Enjoy!!!!! Note – I put lots of candy corn and M&Ms on this one because he loves those candies. He picked them out and didn’t want them! Keeps me guessing. All of the time!

In the photo, above, of Jacob wearing a scout uniform (that belonged to his daddy), we had taken him Trick or Treating to his grandparent’s homes. This was at his Mamaw and Papaw’s house. (He was most interested in finding the keyboard!)

Next week, I’ll remember Mamaw and the smiles, that were hers, seeing Jacob dressed in something she had saved for years.

Take a moment to remember a friend or family member that isn’t here this year. And as you approach All Hallows Eve, take it a step further and express thanks for them being a part of your life.

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