Well, I did indeed put cobwebs on my garden — or the remains of it — as I threatened to do and we have the spooky shadow machine ready. #2 son and I baked a Hallowe’en cake. I put on a costume and read stories at the store Trick or Treat last night — there I was with a fairy princess on my lap and assorted Ninjas and superheroes at my feet, reading four great spooky stories (Old Devil Wind, Very Scary, The Soup Bone, and Pumpkin Eye.) I read them over and over as new groups of children arrived — and of course with all the voices — so I may not have any singing voice for church today. Tonight our director is having his party, at which he will show a classic silent horror movie and play the accompaniment on his pipe organ. So I thought we were ready for Hallowe’en.

But #1 son played the nostalgia card last night. It was too bad, he said mournfully, that we didn’t have holiday surprises anymore, the way we did when the girls were at home.

It isn’t that they were girls. For all holidays, all their lives, I have done just as my mother did, and made a special holiday breakfast. I use seasonal paper plates and such, fill the cups with things like seasonal pencils and candy, and put a new holiday book or two on the table. It’s fun.

But aren’t they getting a little old for that? It’s like Easter baskets, or Christmas stockings. When you have a bunch of kids, they don’t all get too old together. So unless you make an arbitrary cutoff — no one over 12 gets the breakfast-table goodies or somethng — then there will necessarily be kids who continue to get the kiddie treats till they are way too old. Like 20, in #1 daughter’s case, because that’s how old she was when she got married and left home, but her youngest brother was still under 12. So the younger ones feel that they should also get the same things till the age of 20.

And I suppose there is no reason not to do it. As long as they are not groaning “Mommm! Don’t treat us like little kiiiiids!”, I suppose I can still make a special breakfast table for holidays. For all I know, my husband might like it, too. Okay, I have just talked myself into it. I’ll make a quick run to the grocery.

It is too late to knit anything for Hallowe’en. Dweezy already made something, but I just looked at the patterns in The Witches’ Handbook (Dart and Bird) and decided they wouldn’t get enough use. There were a skull-and-bones scarf and hat,  a peaked witch’s hat, and some witchy fingerless mitts. Somehow I cannot see myself wearing such things on any other occasion, nor anyone else in the family. I have made Hallowe’en sweatshirts for the family in the past, but knitting seems too much of a commitment. I may finish the table runner in time — if so, that will be enough crafting for today. The Witches’ Handbook is unfortunately out of print, so if you want to do some Hallowe’en knitting for next year, you will have to look elsewhere for patterns.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Thanksgiving knitting pattern. This is as it should be. Thanksgiving is all about food, family, and gratitude, and it wouldn’t benefit from being tarted up with other stuff. Christmas, however, is another matter. You can knit matching snowflake and reindeer sweaters for your whole family. There is no such thing as excess when it comes to Christmas knitting. You can make stuffed Santas if you feel like it, and no one will fault you. And Christmas lasts for 12 whole days. There are 55 days left till Christmas, which is enough time to make a sweater — or 4, if you are a turbo-knitter like Mayflower.