Happy Hallowe’en!

If you like Hallowe’en, you largely have my Scottish and Irish forbears to thank for popularizing the custom in America. Hallowe’en is a Scottish contraction of All Hallows’ Evening, and dressing in costume, or “guising”, goes back hundreds of years in that country. People would stroll from house to house in disguise to ask for treats in exchange for performing songs and reciting verse. As for carving pumpkins? Sometime long ago in Ireland, a man named Jack wisely hoodwinked the Devil into never being allowed to take his soul. But Jack was far too ornery to get into Heaven, and now he walks the earth unclaimed, with hellfire coal in a hollowed gourd to light his merry, lonely way. May you see Jack of the Lantern tonight in your travels, and may your costume be good enough to disguise you from all the faeries and witches and fallen spirits that roam the earth at this liminal time.


And, or course, Hallowe’en is always better with friends!



Happy Hallowe’en Season!

People who know me know that I am a great fan of Hallowe’en, and a big fan of vintage greeting cards too–especially Christmas and Hallowe’en cards. While contemporary spelling has removed ye olde apostrophe from today’s cards when it comes to the spelling of “Hallowe’en”, I like the old use of it as an indicator of the contraction of “evening”. Work keeps me too busy to do much decorating now, but I still enjoy dressing up, heading to friends’ Mike and Debbie’s amazing annual Hallowe’en party each year. My friend Gary does an fangtastic job turning his house into a haunted mansion for his daughter, Gracie–and what year would be complete without a romp through Center City Philadelphia in costume with my friends?