Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Halloween King & A Few Halloween Fun Facts

Life is in constant motion. Sometimes it pushes us forward, and we're filled with encouragement. Other times it assaults us, forcing us backwards and stripping us of our confidence. Either way, there is growth to be had. 

One lesson I've learned over and over again through both the above types of life elements is that humor and letting go can be therapeutic. Here's some Halloween therapy to lighten your day and feed you a bit of useless knowledge - you know, in case you end up on Family Feud or something.

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Did you know that the turnip can claim victory as the first official Jack-O-Lantern?
     - Yup. Weird, and I bet it stunk, too.

In the olden days (apply phrase to self as it applies), owls were thought to be witches. Guess what it meant when they hooted
     - Someone was going to die. Mmwwhaaaa...

Any idea what Souling means? 
     - Poor people would visit homes and instead of receiving treats they offered prayers for the household's dead in exchange for a soul cake.

Yeah. So what's a soul cake?
     - Soul cakes are small round cakes that kind of     look like biscuits. 

What's the deal with all the orange and black for the Halloween season? 
     - Orange was always thought to represent the harvest during the Fall season, where the gruesome side to the holiday is felt through the color black representing death. 

Other titles for Halloween have been...?
     - Witches Night, All Hallows Eve, Samhain Eve, Summer's End, All Saints Eve, Snap Apple Night, to name a few.

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Have you ever heard of Samhain Eve? (I've heard of Samhain, but not with the eve.) Want to know why the eve is added here? 
     - Samhain is the Irish word for November, so technically adding Eve makes the phrase say October 31st. 

And why Snap Apple Night? Kind of a weird way to refer to Halloween, right? 
     - Snap Apple Night is the title of a painting (1833) by Daniel Maclise depicting a Halloween party. No, really. It is. Google it. 

Now, for my personal fun fact....

We live in a fairly large neighborhood of cul-du-secs and horseshoe streets. It would be safe to say that this area is one of the busiest on Halloween night. Families come by the van-full and park their vehicles along the streets. Kids pile out and are allowed to roam freely, usually in groups or bunches. Most adults walk the streets, too, carrying flashlights. And yes, we as the adults who resided in the neighborhood would have fun too.

When my four children where younger, they'd come home at the night's end with enough candy to literally fill a kitchen garbage bag if not half another one, too. It was crazy. Of course, my mother's radar would go off, thinking their teeth would be rotten within a few weeks if I let them eat all that. 

This is where the Halloween King came into existence, at least in our home anyway. I'd collect all my kids' candy, allowing them each to choose a few favorite pieces to set aside. They'd stack their individual stashes of Halloween pride near the fireplace and head off to bed. Once they were asleep, I'd collect all the candy and replace it with a wrapped present for each child. And just like Christmas morning, the kids would rush downstairs to see what special new gadget, toy, book, or whatever they'd received. Not once did they rush downstairs in the morning and complain about having to give up their candy. 

But the REAL winner was my husband. He got to take all the candy to work with him and become the hero to all his employees - The REAL Halloween King. 

It worked for our family. Maybe it could work for yours. AND btw - this is one of the picture books I'm writing. 

Do you have any Halloween traditions in your family?
 photo Sheri2.png


  1. What a charming idea.

    Our subdivision sits outside of the city limits, so people used to bring their kids for miles and dump them here. Sadly, kids stopped trick-or-treating a couple years ago.

    1. Aw, that's too bad. I understand, though. It's a lot harder to let kids simply roam on Halloween night these days.

  2. That is a great idea and sounds like it would make a great picture book!

  3. Snap Apple night! That does not sound like something from olden times, lol! Sometimes history is surprising. And what a cool idea, love that you're turning it into a pb.

    1. I know, right. SAN sounds like a beer made today! Hmm...

  4. I did know that about the turnip, but only because I wrote a nonfiction article about the history of jack-o-lanterns for an educational publication. ;)

    1. #snort

      It always amazing me what I learn from research while writing.

  5. I love the idea of the Halloween King! It's SO MUCH better than letting the kids eat all that candy! Brilliant! Best of luck with the picture book idea. Maybe it will catch on, like Elf on the Shelf and become REALLY BIG. (That's what you need, Sheri -- a product tie in!)

    1. Haha! That's awesome. Works for me. But now you've got me thinking.... I feel like Jack (Nightmare Before Christmas) before he put on Santa Clause's suit.

  6. Wow. That was a lot of great facts. I do love me some Halloween history!

    What a great idea for the candy.

    I'm dating myself when I say that my dad had to go through all the candy before we could have any to look for dangerous items or tampered with candy. So sad. I check my son's stuff but when he's not looking. :)


    1. Oh, I remember those days. I think I was in elementary school, when I heard of some kid finding a straight edge razor blade in an apple he was given. Yup, that just about clamped down on any fruit or baked goods we received.

  7. Awesome. Our Halloween tradition is to let the kids pig out for one night, and one night only. The next day all treats are confiscated and thereafter only awarded for good deeds. As long as my youngest doesn't break into the stash, this system works fairly well--and of course Dad always enforces his "candy tax."

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

  8. Ooo, Halloween facts. Love them. i ALWAYS check the candy. I don't let them have individually wrapped if it looks suspicious.
    LOVE the Halloween king idea. SCHWEET! CAN'T WAIT to read the picture book. BODACIOUS idea. xoxo

  9. Turnips - who knew?
    That's a really cool thing your husband does. I bet he is very popular the day after Halloween.

  10. I had no idea until now why the orange and black color choice. Black seemed obvious. Orange, no so obvious.

  11. Hi Shelley .. I knew a lot of those facts and the turnip jack o'lantern ..

    But what a great idea for Apres Halloween ... prezzies, not bad teeth .. and give your colleagues sore mouths and perhaps rotting teeth with the overdose of candy .. great fun .. cheers Hilary

  12. LOOOVE Halloween, and your factoids and the really creepy photo! Why can't it be Halloween all fall?


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