7 Best Things About Halloween

7 Best Things About Halloween

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
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Halloween is hands down the best time of year.

Whether you're a summer person who likes to celebrate the Fourth of July or a winter person who loves the spirit of Christmas, Halloween during the fall meets you in the middle. It's not too hot, not too cold, and there's a spooky yet comforting feeling in the air during the transition from hot, summer days to cool breezy nights.

Even though Halloween is rooted from spiritual traditions, what we celebrate in present-day America has evolved into a holiday where you don’t have to worry about giving gifts or being proud of your nation—in a way, it’s about ourselves. What began as a traditional festivity has become the celebration of self and the humanism within life and death.

In a way, you get to be yourself while being someone else for a day.

Here are the seven best things about Halloween.

1. When people know what your costume is

If you’re the type of person who is sick of traditional cat ears and likes to get crafty with your Halloween costume—you will know this feeling all too well. Whether you put together a cute couples costume, or a “punny” idea to make people laugh, not everyone is as intellectual as you to figure it out. So, when you’re at a party, or in a crowd of costumes, dressed up as a girl scout with pot leaves all over your uniform, and someone shouts out—“OMG a pot brownie!”—you can’t help but get a great feeling that your creativity has been noticed. Another successful year of crushing the costume scene.

2. The best kind of party is a Halloween house party

What is better than a Halloween costume party? I mean really? Fun fall decorations mixed with a gothic twist—candy, cider drinks, bobbing for apples, bonfires—all while dressed up in something cool to express your creative style. There is mystery and excitement held in the Halloween spirit and there’s just something about having a gathering of disguised people on a spooky autumn evening.

3. You get to express your inner creative genius

Whether you are an artsy fartsy, stylish, creative person, or just have an average throw-something-together type of style, Halloween allows you to hold nothing back (except for offensive costumes—please hold those back). The expression of your inner creative genius is essential to who you are as a person.

In a 2013 Psychology Today article, Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., discusses the psychology behind crafting together a costume through examining the dark side, ulterior motives, fantasy and creative expression. “Costumes are communication devices. They say something about yourself to others and are meant to elicit a response. Nobody (normal) puts on a costume to sit home alone. Costumes are vehicles of social connection.”

4. When you find the perfect ensemble to complete your costume

If you’re last-minute like I am, and always end up scoring great finds to quickly throw together, then you know how exciting this can be. Sometimes people spend all month looking for the right pieces to put together their costume, and sometimes they spend all day searching—usually, the day of—before they finally find that last minute piece that completes it. When it all finally comes together, it’s a great feeling. YAS!

5. The pictures are hilarious and/or amazing

If you spent a lot of time creating your costume, or a lot of money to buy it, you know how important pictures are. You work hard to put together something awesome—make sure you document it! Whether you’re an amazing group costume like the Spice Girls or just a hilarious solo costume, photos are the most important thing to remember during Halloween. The celebration of life and death is meant to keep memories alive.

6. The festive decorations are the coolest of all holidays

Let’s face it—it’s fun to scare the sh*t out of people. I don't know why people love it, but they do. Not only are fall decorations adorable, but spooky Halloween decorations make the season that much more fun. In my personal opinion, artistic designs of ghosts, bats, vampires, monsters, skeletons and haunted houses are much more fun than a fat man and a bunch of reindeer on a roof.

7. You get to be somebody else while embodying your own self

Once again, Halloween has become so much more than just the traditional celebration we recognize as a holiday. It’s about connecting with others through creativity and personal expression. Celebrate Halloween as a form of human connection by dressing up as someone else through your own personal self-expression.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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7 Things Only Summer Camp Counselors Understand

Yes, it's possible to adore and hate your campers at the same time.

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I have worked as a daytime summer camp/recreation counselor for the past four summers, and it's the best... and the worst. If you've ever worked at a summer camp, you know what I mean. And there are so many experiences, details, and struggles only we counselors truly understand.

1. THE HEAT. THE UNBEARABLE, UNDYING HEAT.

Our Lord and Savior that is the AC is always either nonexistent or broken, leaving the Sun to beat down upon your and your kids' sweaty, sunburnt faces. While warm temperatures are summer's greatest blessing, at camp, there's no relief. Remember to always pack extra water!

2. Saying you love all of your kids equally, but secretly having favorites.

Yes, yes, yes, you love them all... but quiet Sam with the cute glasses is especially adorable.

3. ... and least favorites.

We have the clingers (the kids who were never taught the concept of personal space), the whiners (the kids who were never taught to walk it off), the sleepers (the lazy and moody kids whose parents forced them to come to camp)... the list goes on and on. Yes, you love them. Do they annoy you? Maybe.

4. Being CRAZY paranoid on field trips.

If a kid goes out of your line of sight or peripheral vision for even a second, you think the WORST. Kidnapped? Killed? Enslaved? These kids cannot disappear on your watch.

5. Having a thing for another counselor.

Even if it doesn't work out, it sure is fun to gaze lovingly across the field at male counselors that are way out of your league. If you're really lucky, you'll end up with a magical but fleeting summer fling.

6. Bonding with your fellow counselors over your love and hatred for kids/camp.

At the end of a long, hard day, there's nothing like complaining to let off some steam. Alternatively, it's also fun to giggle at your shared love for quiet Sam.

7. Realizing you have the best summer job ever.

The lessons and skills you learn at camp will stay with you forever. First aid, conflict resolution, and how to kill boredom are a few. Plus, you're basically being paid to have a fun time with the kids.

Cover Image Credit:

Flickr

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