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Halloween prep is part inspiration, part perspiration

As always, I am relishing the Halloween season. My fake black cat’s on the porch and my witch’s broom stands ready for flight.

I even have genuine spider webs pretty much everywhere, if I just stop vacuuming for 12 hours.

I also get to decorate the school library, which has a particularly receptive audience.

And I remain shameless. I will spray my hair green and wear glittery spider deely bobbers on my head just to get a laugh out of the kids.

I think I’m ready. I’m stocking up on hot dogs that I serve in the driveway, which has become a fun neighborhood tradition. I have far too much candy stashed where filchers can’t find it.

Well, it always seems like far too much, but when I see those bright eyes and adorable little faces, my intention to give one piece to each child just crumbles. I have to throw in handfuls.

And I always have to save some for the junior high kids who never come by until after 8 p.m.

I love to shout, “Trick or Treat forever!” I am one of the few who encourage them to keep being goofy, even when the pressure is on to be too cool to toss on a costume and schlep from house to house.

Besides, it keeps them from toilet-papering my house later.

No, I won’t eat my candy stash before Monday, because I carefully purchase candy that I don’t like. It is the only insurance against eating as much as I hand out.

The downside is that you won’t find much chocolate being offered at my door.

Now all that’s left to do is perfect a costume that won’t terrify my little pals when they come to my house.

I also have more fun if they recognize me, as they are always amazed to see their school librarian in the driveway.

A good portion of them figure I just sleep under my desk at school.

Another factor that goes into costume planning is the chance of warm weather. It can be tough to be anything that requires long sleeves, a hood, a wig, boots or worst of all, a rubber mask.

Somehow, prize-winning Halloween horror attire doesn’t often start with short sleeves and flip-flops.

Thus, it requires some extra creativity on our part, or the willingness to just be sweltering for the sake of shock value.

But if you are a serious Halloween fan, you just have to decide to be comfortable or memorable.

If you get into a serious costume, you might spend the night dripping with sweat but you will be applauded and admired for your efforts. It’s a tough call.

This year, I believe I will just go as an aging, suburban mom. Oh, that can be plenty frightening. Just ask my children.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who is plenty scary without her makeup. Contact her at [email protected].