Tag Archives: Halloween

Why Do We Carve Pumpkins and Dress Up in Costumes at Halloween?

Halloween Magic by George Thomas Florist

We love to honor tradition by celebrating holidays, especially ones with seemingly absurd origins which bring about colorful characters like the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, Cupid, and Father Time.

We typically don’t delve too deep into why these particular characters show up, or how they got to be so popular in the first place, because it’s more fun just to go along with it than to question every little detail. But sometimes you just have to wonder why every October we let our kids dress up as pirates and princesses and take to the streets of the neighborhood searching for sugary treasure.

When left to the imagination, there aren’t many holidays that are more fun than Halloween. From carving pumpkins to trick-or-treating and haunted houses, Halloween has become a whimsical celebration of things that most people find scary or downright chilling any other time of the year.

Carving jack-o-lanterns is a tradition that began several hundred years ago in Ireland, but back in those days, they were carved from potatoes and turnips. It wasn’t until years later, after the Irish immigrated to the United States, that they discovered that pumpkins made for a much better medium due to their abundance in the new world, thus a new tradition was born.

Legend has it that the jack-o-lanterns were originally intended to frighten away the wandering soul of Stingy Jack, who was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity after tricking the devil and later finding out he wasn’t allowed into heaven or hell.

This also loosely explains why we dress up in costumes – to disguise ourselves from the souls wandering amongst us – including Stingy Jack!

Or perhaps it doesn’t.

According to Lisa Morton, author of “Trick or Treat: A history of Halloween,” dressing up as a way to scare off evil spirits is a common misconception about the holiday. Morton contends that people didn’t start dressing up until much later – as in the 1800s.

Cute & Creepy by George Thomas Florist

By that time, Halloween was known for pranks which were becoming more and more elaborate and dangerous. So much so that towns and cities were thinking about canceling Halloween because many felt that the pranks were getting out of hand.

That led to a gradual push from families, communities and civic organizations to change the nature of the holidays from pranks to the “trick or treat” traditions we know today.

Sadly, Morton’s version of buying off kids with treats and costumes is probably a bit closer to reality than the warding off evil spirits angle, but as with most holiday traditions, you never really know for sure!

Whatever the reason for dressing up and trick-or-treating, your friends at George Thomas Florist are here to get you in the mood for a spectacularly spooky Halloween! Make no bones about it, our ghoulish delights will make the wickedest witches green with envy, so stop by today – if you dare!

5 Inexpensive Last-Minute Halloween Tips

halloween blog2Halloween is just days away, but it’s not too late to find a perfect costume or brew up some last-minute goodies for all the ghouls and goblins that appear at your door.

Halloween doesn’t have to be an expensive event, even if you did manage to wait until the last minute. With a little creativity, you can still celebrate all things ghoulish without skimping on the fun. Just use these Halloween tips to create a frighteningly fun party while also keeping your spending in check.

Repurpose old clothes – Sometimes the best costumes are the ones you already own. Go shopping in your own closets and storage bins for pieces that may work for the look you want. Do you have an old pair of overalls? A red shirt and red cap make an easy Super Mario costume, or you can use a yellow t-shirt and swimming goggles to make a Minion outfit. Versatility is the key.

Face paint – Halloween masks are not only pricey, but they often restrict vision and breathing. Face paint is an excellent inexpensive alternative that is safer and can achieve the same look at a fraction of the price.

Buy candy in bulk – Small-sized candy doesn’t mean small-sized prices. Purchasing Halloween candy in retail stores can get expensive depending on what kind and how much you buy. Purchasing candy and other party items in bulk from warehouse clubs is usually a better value.

iStock_000022989519_MediumThrift shopping – Thrift shops like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are outstanding spots for inexpensive Halloween costumes. Many thrift shops have complete costumes for children and a treasure trove of options for adult costumes. Putting together your outfit is almost as fun as the party itself!

PicMonkey CollageFreaky finger foods – Are you hosting a Halloween party this year? Pinterest is an outstanding source of inspiration for unique and inexpensive treats. The ideas are endless and you can find ideas and recipes to fit well within any budget.

Like so many holidays today, Halloween comes with plenty of consumer enticements, but there’s no reason why you can’t do it on the cheap. You are only limited by your imagination! If you need any last minute decorating inspiration for your Halloween party, George Thomas Florist has you covered. Give us a call or stop by the shop. We’ll spare you the tricks, but we have plenty of treats!

GeorgeThomas Florist wishes you a safe and happy Halloween!