Tag Archives: kids

The Addams Family… Reincarnated?

I was doing a little reading up on The Addams Family – that iconic, bizarre television family from the 1960s (’cause I’ve got nothing better to do…), and I came across a source that called the Addams Family a “satirical inversion of the ideal American family; an eccentric, wealthy clan who delight in the macabre and are unaware that people find them bizarre or frightening.” And then it hit me… we must be distant relatives of the fictitious Addams Family (ignoring the “wealthy” part…)!

First televised in the 1960s (although it started as a cartoon in the the New Yorker in 1938), The Addams Family has had numerous iterations, including a live Broadway musical, and has struck a chord with much of the American population. Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the show is that, despite the gruesome, dark, bizarre likes and dislikes the family embraces, the family is a solid, tight-knit, caring, and generous one.

Much like the Addams Family, our family embraces Catherine’s Halloween creepiness with love and devotion. Our dad, for example has been working tirelessly on bringing Catherine’s Vortex tunnel dream to reality. I have no doubt that my father’s endless energy he has poured into helping her find the perfect rebar sizes, locating and ordering the requisite 28 foot 2x4s, and figuring out exactly how to make it easy for guests to enter and exit the spinning tunnel without creating a catastrophe isn’t necessarily because he’s fascinated with Vortex tunnels. It’s because he loves Catherine.Vortex

Likewise, our mom has spent countless hours helping my sister create the most realistic, incredible shipwrecked pirates scampering off the gangplank of a near-life-sized ship with their pirates’ booty in tow. All done out of love.pirate

But my very favorite Addams Family-Morticia-Pugsley moment happened last week. A major part of creating the perfect, old, broken down, dilapidated Macabre Inn scene is all of the dead branches and bushes she finds throughout the washes and fields in the area. She brings in the lifeless scrub, and meticulously arranges it all around to create the ideal “dead” look.

Catherine came home after a day of running to Home Depot (a dozen times, or so), Spirit Halloween, her storage units, and a few other places to help her perfect the Macabre Inn environment, only to find the most absolutely perfect, brittle, decaying, ten foot branch lying lifeless in her driveway. She assumed my mom found it for her. Nope. Then she actually for a minute thought her husband brought it home for her. Ha! (Not a chance!). When she was all out of ideas about how the perfect piece landed in her figurative lap, her 11 year old son walked around the corner with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face and asked her, “Did you see what I brought for you?”branch

Apparently, he saw it when he got off the bus and dragged it more than two blocks home to his mother’s Macabre Inn creation. He wasn’t even deterred when the cute girl from down the street who takes the same bus home questioned him. He simply replied to her with that Addams Family twinkle in his eye, “Don’t ask.” Yeah… that’s probably best.

Now that’s real love! And it still brings a tear to my eye.

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How Halloween Unites a Family

My very conservative Catholic father might take exception to my assertion that Halloween unites a family (well… unless I tie it in to All Saints Day, which I’m not doing). But perhaps after reading this blog post, he may change his mind.

Let’s take a look at the typical modern American family. Since I’m fairly certain that our family is pretty typical, heck! let’s take a look at our family! (Yes, I’m well aware that there are those who would argue that ours isn’t exactly typical, but we’ll save that argument for another day. For now, I’m talking about the big, broad, brushstrokes of a typical American family).

You’ve got parents pulled in multiple directions, usually due to job necessities or other obligations. You’ve got college age kids who are more interested in the next frat party or drinking game than hanging out with family. There are the boys (young and old) who would far rather play video games than do just about anything else in the world. The teenage girls, of course, are significantly more interested in their social life than catching up with siblings and parents. Even the young ones would rather be riding bikes, playing instruments, or creating some new art project, than sitting around the table talking about the same subject as the others (not that I’m really complaining about that one…).

So where does Halloween fit into all of this? It’s come as a surprise…. even to the most optimistic of us adults. And it has trickled its way into our daily lives over the last few weeks. The parents are working together to solve problems like coming up with the perfect name, figuring out how to get the zombie people to stand up in the pool, or whether to build or buy the clown tent. The college age kids are suddenly talking about memories of Halloweens past, and that they can’t wait to bring their friends from school home to see this year’s spectacular. Grandparents are showing up with ideas about werewolf fur and oversized invaders scaling the walls.

The boys – yes the boys – are taking great pleasure in discovering what new Halloween object was created or purchased that day. (The other day, I came home and started cooking, only to notice there was a creepy skull placed on my cutting board. One of the boys could hardly wait to see my reaction to finding it where I normally prep all the food. He was honestly more interested in waiting for my reaction than he was in the game he was playing. He completely cracked up at my reaction. It was awesome to see!)

And even the teenage girls – perhaps the toughest nuts to crack – have joined in on the fun. They put down their Facebook, iPhones, and snapchat to find out how they can help create a piece of the Macabre Inn.

Everyone is engaged. And everyone is working together. That, my loyal readers, is how Halloween unites a family.

P.S Just in case any of you are worried about my conservative Catholic father being a buzz kill on the whole thing, you can lay those fears to rest. He is every bit as involved as the rest of the gang. He is all queued up to help Catherine build the vortex tunnel, the clown tent, and anything else that requires his assistance. So I’m pretty confident that in the end, he’ll have to agree with my premise. And he’ll do it with a smile on his face.

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