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Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Some leering pumpkin heads to keep
watch over any piano players...
Happy Halloween, everyone!  As you can imagine, with eight relatively small people in the house, it's always a lively Halloween at the Dapper and Dreamy house.

I look forward to the donning of the Halloween decorations every year around my birthday in late September.  For over a month, perhaps longer than even the run up to Christmas, ghosts, pumpkins and other ghoulish apparitions fill the house.  Cobwebs, something one usually tries to avoid, are purposefully draped from the corners of picture frames and mirrors, and black and orange predominates.  My kids are somewhat disappointed every year by my unwillingness to truly creep out the house, but we are just not into the creepy side of the holiday.  For us, Halloween movies mean Arsenic and Old Lace, Meet Me in St. Louis (also a good summertime and Christmas movie, if you remember) and, of course, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

While Arsenic and Old Lace doesn't deal with Halloween itself, the slight creepiness of the setting (an old house near a cemetery in stormy, 1940's Brooklyn) and the convincing menace of Raymond Massey make it a fun, but just edgy enough, movie for the evening.  Cary Grant is over the top in his role as the nephew of two elderly, but charming, spinsters who feel that it's their duty to "help" lonely old gentlemen along in their somewhat premature journey to the great beyond.  In fact, Arsenic and Old Lace was a rather mixed experience for Cary.  He disliked the way he played Mortimer Brewster, feeling that he was too over the top.  But, he was also reunited with one of his oldest friends, playing one of his dithering aunts.  As a newly arrived Englishman and circus performer in the United States many years before, she had nursed him through an illness, cementing a long and warm association. 

Our Halloween journal, made and kept by
Melissa...  It lists everyone's costume,
and all the fun events of every Halloween!

Halloween 2001...  Ten years and four kids ago!  Melissa
is a Spider Queen, I am an aged rock star with our little
goblins in tow.

I've already blogged about Meet Me in St. Louis, but just to refresh your memory a bit, it contains one of the most delightful looks at turn-of-the-century domestic life, and a marvelous Halloween!  Imagine coming home from frightening your neighbors to an enormous and beautiful cake, ice cream and countless other treats, all enjoyed in the late Victorian splendor of your huge, and cozy, home surrounded by loving parents, siblings, even your beloved grandpa, and that stalwart maid who's wisecracks keep the head of the household from taking himself too seriously.  Meet Me in St. Louis is an all time favorite of ours, and at no time more than Halloween.

Wreaths are fun inside, too!  And they're not just
for Christmas anymore...

Finally, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, needs no description.  If you are not familiar with this truly timeless classic, well, I just can't imagine there's a person alive who isn't!  Charlie Brown is part of so many American holiday traditions that it's hard to imagine missing any of Charles Schultz's masterpieces.  In fact, with the advent of videos and DVD's, we watch it so many times during the run up to the holiday that it seems that the soundtrack to the show is actually part of the soundtrack of our lives!

For most of us, Halloween is over, now.  But, be dapper and dreamy...  We strongly believe that the holidays can last far beyond their more obvious places on the calendar.  So, that means that tomorrow isn't too late to indulge in some post-Halloween revelry.  For us, however, we are ready to clear out the cobwebs and welcome the pilgrims.  Thanksgiving is on the way!  And that means a whole raft of new topics to cover here, at Dapper and Dreamy!

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