|Ghouls, Gals, and Girl Power: Halloween children who refuse to grow up or grow dull.|
She is probably one of the most recognizable characters for Halloween. Wednesday Addams was the original Goth Girl, shown here by Alexander Doll Company.
Time certainly does fly. And in my house, it is flying high on a broomstick, with a pair of glow-in-the-dark fangs, and a pointy hat covered with bats and spiders. As I look at my daughter, who has just turned 9, I wonder, “Whatever happened to baby Jane?” (Yep, my daughter’s name is Jane and she’s not a baby anymore.)
In years past, her Halloween costumes were always cute, even when they were edgy. When she was in pre-K, she went as a little-girl pirate, but it was an adorable, bubbly buccaneer. With her sweet smile and giggling voice, she oozed charm and charisma even beneath her eye patch and hooked hand.
Now she is enthusiastically wearing fake teeth that would give an orthodontist a major coronary event!
I’m happy that she’s still into the spirit of Halloween. I dread the day when she looks at me and intones, “Halloween? Trick-or-treating? Mom, that’s so lame!”
Frankly, I think beyond the negation of Halloween and candy, her calling me “Mom,” not “Mommy,” will be the proverbial nail in the coffin.
Yes, you can look at your children and their costume choices and see how they are growing up and evolving. It’s not just a matter of their sizes and growth chart getting bigger and bigger, there’s also the change in their moods and their attitudes.
When I first started to take Jane out for Halloween, I had to carry her about the streets, cradling her as I made my way up and down the steps. We weren’t really trick-or-treating. Rather, it was a way to introduce her to friends and neighbors in my community.
She was just a year old and dressed up as a black-and-white cow. It sounds like an odd costume choice, but she was a very tiny infant and this onesie outfit fit her splendidly. She was a bovine beauty!
Since that cow costume, she’s paraded about as Snow White, Tinker Bell, Barbie, Pirate, Sorcerer Mickey, Cleopatra, and now a hodge-podge of Halloween horror icons. She seems to be part witch, vampire, zombie, and hoarder! (I swear she’s uncovered every trinket and bit of fabric that we’ve had stuffed in our junk drawers.)
So, Jane is growing up, and my son, Tommy, has also gained another year of wisdom and experience. He’s going as Luke Skywalker, and he’s chosen his persona so he can stroll around with a light saber on his hip. Getting the chance to walk in public with a sound-activated, light-activated weapon is something he’s extremely enthused about. After years of being scolded not to play with swords in the dining room or by china cabinets, the great outdoors is now his battlefield. Can you imagine the energy that is radiating inside him and his pals?
This year, I realize that the annual tradition of dressing up and sauntering around with plastic pumpkin candy baskets might be winding down. I don’t think it will stall out next year. I imagine by the time Jane is 12, she’ll be looking back at Halloween trick-or-treating as an event from her youth! Oh, to be nostalgic for one’s childhood as a tween.
Children and their costumes were very much on my mind as I sat down to do this week’s blog; and I realized that beyond the masquerading element, there is a joyous sense of publicly pretending and pursuing make-believe with your community that I really love.
Women my age aren’t permitted to go begging for candy on their own. Perhaps that’s why I love Halloween so much. I get to go out with my children and wear a silly devil horn headband, or a tiger mask, or a sparkling tiara. After 364 days a year of pretending to be an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-responsible mother, I get to let my real self run wild for a day.
Yes, I’m a grown-up. Yes, I’m an adult. But don’t tell my inner child that. She waits all year for the chance to ring a neighbor’s doorbell and walk away with a Kit-Kat bar.
I think she’ll miss the Halloween ritual most of all.
In honor of my inner-child trick-or-treater, I present a coven’s worth of little girls (and one boy) who will perennially be haunting and haunted.
The Jones Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon one recipient per year. This award was created in 2002 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the teddy bear, with the first recipient being Steiff, a German-based plush toy company known for its high quality and prices.
The Lifetime Achievement recipient must be or have been involved in some aspect of the doll and/or teddy bear field for a minimum of 25 years. The recipient may be an individual, partnership, corporation, company, author, artist, marketer, historian or any other industry professional. Lifetime Achievement Award nominations may be made by previous recipients or members of the LAA committee.
To qualify as a nominee, entrants must meet the following criteria:
The Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to the following individuals and companies since its inception:
2003 Hildegard Gunzel
2004 Alexander Doll Company
2005 R. John Wright
2006 Wendy Lawton
2007 Virginia Turner
2008 Toy Shoppe
2009 no award presented
2010 Helen Kish
2011 no award presented
2012 Maggie Iacono
2013 Heidi Plusczok
2014 Jack Johnston
August 8, 2014 - Blackall Associates Inc. is proud to announce the winner of its Summer Heat Photo Contest. The contest drew entries from around the world. Masterpiece Doll collectors sent in a special photo showing how their Masterpiece Dolls were enjoying the summer heat.
You haven’t seen a toy show until you’ve seen this one. Six buildings! Over six hundred exhibitors! Exclusively toys and dolls and children’s playthings on display everywhere! This is the show everyone always says they intend to visit, and now is the time to do just that. Collectors say the Chicago Toy Show really is the largest in the entire world. They are correct. Collectors say they find toys at this show that are never seen anywhere else. Correct again.
19 April 2014 – 5 October 2014
A special exhibition will take place at the Toy Worlds Museum Basle to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japanese-Swiss diplomacy and friendship.