It's the most wonderful time of year and no I do not mean Christmas. I have been counting the days to October since "Back to School" items hit the shelves at Wal-Mart. My anticipation for Halloween is similar to those die hard shoppers who hit the road at 4 am on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Many have asked about my appreciation for this holiday, so below are the reasons I have loved Halloween from childhood and why, at 30 years of age, I continue to get excited every year at this time.

10.FALL WEATHER



Where I live, the fall weather does not last very long. In the south, we have five months of heat and four months of cold weather, leaving two months of spring and a month for fall. The leaves begin to change in mid-October and the weather does not start to get cool until the end of the month. The weather is then perfect and the scenery beautiful for only a short period of time. I, however, think that if the season were longer I would not appreciated it as much as I do.

9. CARVING PUMPKINS



This is a tradition I have kept since I left home for college. I never carve the same image more than once and always look forward to thumbing through the latest designs. I cannot wait to see the look on my two year old's face when I light the jack-o-lantern for the first time this year. The only reason this is lower on my list is because they only keep for a few days. I wish I could put them on my porch on the morning of October 1st.

8. HALLOWEEN SPECIALS ON TV




I may be too judgmental, but it seems as if television gives Halloween less recognition now than it used to. I remember ABC specials that showed "The Garfield Halloween Adventure" and "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" weeks before Halloween. I still watch both of those specials each year.

Another television show that never failed to honor the holiday was "Roseanne." Those Connor's knew how to celebrate Halloween. I would have loved to go trick-or-treating at their house as a kid. If you do not know what I mean, watch the first Halloween episode found on you tube or on the special edition DVD shown below.



7. PRACTICAL JOKES



Like on April 1, Halloween is another day when it is OK to play practical jokes. I love to see adults in the work place "let their hair down" for one day and lighten the mood with a few practical jokes. Most of us have a tendency to take ourselves too seriously and Halloween is a day for us all to "lighten up."

6. SCARY MOVIES



I am almost always in the mood for a good scare and love how most people, even those who do not care for scary movies, make time to watch at least one on Halloween. For example, my sister, who hates scary movies, called me last year for some suggestions of classics to watch on Halloween.

5. HAYRIDES ON A COLD NIGHT AROUND A CAMP FIRE WITH GHOST STORIES




I put these three together, because they are the perfect ingredients for an enjoyable evening. One October, when I was young, I went with my family to our farm in Bee Branch, Arkansas. We took a hayride on that cold evening to a campsight nearby where we roasted marshmallows and listened to my Uncle, who is a great storyteller, tell a story about "The Old Man in the Woods." We then played several games of "Big Hand" in the dark on an old dirt road. It is similar to hide and seek, except the person hiding has a broom and picks a certain spot to sit off the road. As a group, you then walk down this road until you pass where that person is hiding. They then jump out and try to tag you with the broom. If you get tagged, it is your turn to hide.

It was a memorable evening.


4. HALLOWEEN PARTIES



Unlike some of the twenty year old's that come trick-or-treating at my house every year, my trick-or-treating ended after fifth grade. The worst part, besides no longer receiving free candy, was that there was no longer a reason to dress up. For me, that is the appeal of a Halloween party. It gives adults a reason to buy a costume.

3. HAUNTED HOUSES



My dad took my brother and me to our first haunted house. We spent the entire time trying to hurry and get out while our dad was trying to get us to stop and look at all the decor in each room. Although I was terrified, I went back each year. The most memorable haunts for me include The Haunted Cave (A literal Cave) in Gravette, AR., A haunted Corn maze in Memphis, TN., and Screams (A haunted amusement park) in Waxahachie, TX. I am returning to Screams this October for my second time.

2. DRESSING UP



Who doesn't like to dress up? When my brother and I were young, we used to love going to Wal-Mart with our mother in the month of October so that we could look at all the different Halloween costumes. We would often look for the scariest costumes and try to convince mom to buy them for us. She, however, would never let us go as anything scary. My scariest costume for Halloween was when I went as Ike Turner to a Halloween party in college. Don't think Ike is scary? Just watch the movie, "What's love got to do with it?"

And the number one reason for my love of Halloween...is


1.CANDY




I know this one probably comes as no surprise. I love candy! Sour gummy candies are my favorite. When asked the question, "If you could go on a shopping spree through any store in the Mall, which one would you choose?" I would strongly consider Candy Craze. Those parents who refuse to celebrate Halloween because they believe they are partaking in something evil need to relax. All it means for kids is a night to dress up and go house to house to get...FREE CANDY!!!