Holiday Enforcer

I love to celebrate everything, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I hold the title of Holiday Enforcer, bequeathed upon me by former coworkers who found my excitement for Groundhog Day a little, shall we say, excessive. If you need someone to party with enthusiasm, I’m your girl, and if I get to do so in costume, I am beyond excited. Luckily for me, if there’s anything Santa Barbarans do right, it’s holidays, and our legendary Halloween is no exception. I hate to see it end, this magical five-day weekend that somehow means more to me as an adult than it did as a little girl. I spent the last three weeks preparing.

The first thing I love about Halloween is being surrounded by ridiculous amounts of candy. Working in an office this time of year means never being short on a Krackel or a Tootsie Roll.

Then there is the glory of the pumpkin patch (the full experience should also include a healthy helping of kettle corn), where it takes me at least an hour to select the most perfect pumpkin, before taking it home to be gutted and carved with special care.

But at the center of all the excitement is, of course, The Costume. As part of my duties as Holiday Enforcer, I have also become a compulsive costume buyer. The backseat of my car houses a Viking hat, Indian chief headdress, fairy wings, and a tutu-year ’round.

As I have scoured the aisles for inspiration, asking myself and others, “What am I going to be?” I have pondered the appeal of the costume. Why does everyone, young and old, love dressing up as something different every year? Is it because this is the one day of the year that you can act out the answer to the ubiquitous, “What do you want to be?” question in any way you want? You can fulfill your childhood dream of being an astronaut, a Ghostbuster, or Princess Leia. Unfortunately, if you take this theory too seriously, you will quickly come to realize that most girls have always dreamed of being strippers.


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