Various piles of paper in different stages of development are all over my side of the studio this time of year: Printouts of cats, bats, owls and witches. Strips of black and orange paper…

Paper chains. Cutouts. Fringes. Multiples of things in assembly…

Not to mention lots of tiny scraps of orange and black paper crumbs all about the floor and on me while I’m working! They kind of linger about like pine needles after Christmas. No matter how much you sweep or vacuum, somehow they persist.

When I’m making Halloween decorations, I often think of the buyer and how happy I want them to be when they open their package and see their items. I even get a giddy over it. I suppose it’s just a projection of my love for Halloween. I assume that they MUST love Halloween as much as I do! Why oh why do I love Halloween so?! People I know are often a smidge skeptical of this love, because they assume that Christmas is the holiday to get excited over. Yes. I love Christmas too, but Halloween is extra fabulous to me because it’s a holiday of unselfish giving. [Insert needle scratch coming off a vinyl record and deafening silence here…]

“Wha?!, you say in exclamation like the “Home Alone” kid, “Why, Christmas is the biggest giving holiday!!!”

I say, “Well, yes, but…no.” There’s a difference. Christmas often becomes obligated giving. Halloween is voluntary. At Halloween time, you can choose to participate or not and no one will get offended. People give out treats and candy and little presents without a second thought about reciprocation. It’s mostly for the little kids, but it’s not necessarily for your kids or your friend’s kids. It’s for ANY kid who takes the effort to dress up and knock on your door. We don’t have to do it, but many of us celebrate anyway. As much as we think we are very giving during the Christmas holiday, let’s face it–most of us complain or secretly wish that we don’t have to buy so many presents and feel obligated to buy presents for people. “Charlie and Fabreau will get us a present, so we HAVE to give them a present,” your neighbor says going on and on, counting on her fingers all the other people in that list. It can get kind of ugly because it can get so expensive. You can spend as little or as much as you want on Halloween. It has the fun of putting up decorations, the option of giving gifts, and the sheer spectacle of imagery. Fun on top of fun with a whole mess of leftover candy in the house!!!

Which reminds me, I found out last year that MS is not prejudiced against ANY kind of candy and therefore, needs to be watched closely! I had a bag of candy for product photo shoots and he just couldn’t handle the temptation and kept bugging me for candy. “C’mon. You don’t need ALL those tootsie rolls,” he said to me with handsome sparkles in his eyes…oy. Big sweet tooth on that boy!

My big weakness is Reese’s peanut butter cups. O peanut butter cups, how I love thee more than an autumn day! What candy do you either A) secretly buy too much of so there’s a lot left over or B) what candy do you avoid buying because you’re afraid there will be leftovers?

This is a good segue for the next free True Love! pattern…

Next Time: The fourth installment of the FREE True Love! Embroidery pattern series: “True Love: Chocolate and Peanut Butter!” So stay tuned!