Halloween is a golden opportunity. Both laughing and keeping your playful side alive work wonders in neutralizing stress. And who doesn’t need that? When you think about it, laughter and creativity are the total opposite of all those things that contribute to life’s pressures. 
This photo of me getting ready for a masquerade ball was the last time I played dress-up. The icing on the cake was the privilege of dancing with the best dance partner ever, Allen Young. What could be better? 
Every year as October rolls around I remember the evenings of great joy I used to have and yearn for an excuse to dress up again. Don’t you just love going into a business where all the employees are dressed up? Look around at all the smiles. Joyful spirits are contagious.
I remember long ago making myself into a candy cane for a Halloween party we had in our home. I wore head-to-toe white, with white turtleneck and long johns. Bought yards and yards of red ribbon and spiraled myself into a candy cane, tacking it in strategic places. (Probably my most creative costume idea ever!) I’ve been a cowgirl, flapper, pirate, lumberjack and, on many occasions, the witchiest of witches.  
When my children were young, well…  There was the year we carved styrofoam headstones and turned our front lawn into a graveyard, scribing the names of neighborhood kids on each one. (RIP David Roesner) The next year we stuffed straw into my husband’s clothes and put our “body” in a casket-type box on the porch, with dry ice billowing from below. Then there was the year we stuffed a giant spider to hang over our front door with a string threaded through to the inside. We peeked out and lowered it on to the heads of older treaters. We were on a roll.
My children did go trick ‘r treating, but I never understood the candy part of Halloween. Young children going door-to-door, begging friends and strangers for enough sugar to make the next few days a nightmare for mom and dad. Dressing up was definitely the fun part. 
Sadly, that fun part of Halloween has faded from our home and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was showing up once too often as the only one dressed for the occasion. Or maybe being surrounded by grown-ups for way too long. I’ve blamed my wet-blanketness on the adults around me, but really I’ve allowed this deadening to take me over like an alien pea pod. The truth is, I just quit trying. I’m finally admitting this because it’s so important to hang on to our playful sides as we get older… and not just on Oct. 31.  
Besides, laugh “crinkles” look better than frown lines.