In 7th grade, I boycotted Halloween. It wasn’t that I was too old for it, or that it was a somewhat ridiculous, hyper-consumerized holiday, monopolized by Mars Candy Inc. to boost the sugar industry’s stock. It wasn’t that I hated how it rained in Seattle, year after year, to the point where my dad’s oversized fleece hoodies were ubiquitous elements of my costume. I’d take my soaked trick-or-treating bag to my local orthodontist’s office, trading my spoils for a dollar per pound — a stunning economic opportunity that my peers all seemed oblivious to. No, my 12-year-old self turned her nose up at Halloween simply because I cared more about Christmas. 

I’d have to be crafty in how I would go about this dramatic stand; I’d still need to participate in the holiday, of course – at 12, I knew my trick-or-treating days were painfully numbered – but in doing so take a pronounced stance against the Party City costume aisle and pumpkin shaped-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I also didn’t want to be that one loser who showed up to school wearing regular clothes and saying that their costume was either themselves or a middle-school student.  Even worse, I avoided wearing that T-shirt that read “This is my costume.” If any of you show up to Hallowoads in that god forsaken shirt, I will hurl Yale Kermit at you with the force of all the frustration I currently have at my chemistry Achieve homework. 

Such an undertaking would need to begin in August. After months of carefully curating my Christmas Pinterest boards and a fortuitous trip to Costco, where light up deer already dotted clearance kayaks, I arrived at the perfect solution. I would dress up as the timeless motif of commercialized Christmas, the ideal holiday abode realized in royal icing and spicy shortbread. A lot would have to go right — some serious engineering would be involved — but I had faith. If I could pull it off, I’d have every piece of evidence required to show my entire town that it was time to do away with pumpkin-spice-everything.

I was going to be a gingerbread house. 

Was I still contributing to holiday mass consumerism? Yes. But I’d have a roof over my head and sound insulation as I graced Seattle streets. I’d also have gumdrop window boxes, functional candy-cane lights along my roofline, frosting shingles, and a pretzel door. Made out of foam, tinfoil, cardboard, dollar-store lights, pillow stuffing and a really big Home Depot moving box, of course.


I should insert here that at this point, I did have some experience with building food-adjacent costumes. Sure, I had gone as Princess Aurora in Kindergarten and a vampire-cat-witch in first grade — notably bringing my dog along, in a squirrel costume … not sure who said yes to that. But towards the end of elementary school, I decided I would go as edible products only. In fifth grade, I went as a bag of Jelly Bellies, my older brother’s favorite candy and oddly well-mimicked by water balloons and transparent trash bags. In sixth grade, I went with a friend as popcorn and soda, cutting arm holes in a trash can spray-painted red. My final Halloween hurrah would come in eighth grade, when I’d dress up as a box of orange TicTacs – horribly mistimed, considering the mint’s mention in Donald Trump’s then-leaked 2005 Access Hollywood tape. 

Nonetheless, experience didn’t simplify the endeavor. My mom and I sourced “ingredients” from just about every hobby store in town — if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right — and spent just as much money on hot glue sticks as the rest of the materials combined. We salvaged old Amazon boxes from the recycling bin and jerry-rigged straps such that my head wouldn’t be in the attic. Every artistic decision was considered with utmost architectural precision. Thoroughly anti-Gehry and Saarinen, we adhered strictly to right and normal angles. There were at least three rolls of duct tape holding the interior framework of the house together. And just in case it did get hot, we carved a functional chimney into the roof. This was not going to be a Hansel and Gretal situation: I wanted to be the champion of the Food Network Holiday Baking Championship, Life Size Edition. 

There were a few caveats to the costume. I couldn’t fit through any door. I also had zero access to my arms, and my knees whacked the front of the box as I walked. But considering the original goal of my boycott, there was no better getup to prove to everyone that Oct. 31 could be used for far more enjoyable purposes. 

Why seek sugar when you can be the sugar? Why hand out chocolate when you can hand out candy canes — which leave a jolly aftertaste of Christmas morning instead of a November 1st food coma? 

Today, I’m a little less bold with my pro-Christmas rhetoric — and also have infinitely less time to engineer costumes. I do take pride in originality — my “gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss” trio should have won an Academy Award for costume design last year, given the standing ovation we received at every suite party we graced during Halloweek — but my passion for the Halloween-Christmas crossover has been replaced with *ahem* vehement frustration at the timing of my upcoming chemistry midterm. 

Terrified as I am by people who like candy corn, I am even more terrified by those who state Halloween as their favorite holiday. This may make me the Grinch that Stole Halloween, but I’ll forever echo my mom’s battery-powered mantle Santa “the magic of Christmas lies in your heart.” If you prefer Halloween, what do you even get to say: boo? 


Anabel Moore edits for the WKND desk. She previously wrote for the WKND, Magazine and Arts desks as a staff writer. Originally from the greater Seattle, WA area, she is a junior in Branford College double-majoring in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and the History of Art with a certificate in Global Health.