Happy Halloween cards: A new way to celebrate a very old holiday
Black cats have been arching their backs, witches have been soaring on brooms, and ghosts have been haunting on Halloween for many, many years. Some 2000 years, it’s said, dating back to the pre-Christian era, for Halloween had its roots in the autumn festivals of the Druids.
Many of the customs we continue in some form today date back to those old days. The corn and pumpkins we use for decorating are reminiscent of ancient harvest festivals. Bobbing for apples and the telling of ghost stories go back to the Middle Ages and, when you build a bonfire for a wiener roast, you really may be reenacting an old British ritual of lighting fires to ward off evil spirits on the mystical night.
In recent years, a new Halloween custom has been added to those time-honored ones. Just how successful it is, I can’t say, but greeting card counters displaying Halloween cards seem to be doing good business.
Vintage Halloween cards for kids are especially cute
Some of the cards are humorous, some are clever — and some, designed for children, are almost sweet and appealing.
I enjoyed one with a drawing of a pair of scarecrows. The wording: “They’re playing our song — ‘Spook to Me of Love.'” Witches seem to be the big thing in cards this year, though, and their warty faces peer from beneath peaked hats on card after card.
One card shows a witch silhouetted against a full moon and, of all things, she’s driving a sleigh! Inside is a picture of Santa tightly bound and the message, “If you see an old witch in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer, notify the police.”
Another card reads “An evil witch is going to put a terrible spell on this card.” Inside, the message continues “Hapie Halowheene — that’s one of the most terrible spells I’ve ever seen.”
One advises, “Before you go out to celebrate Halloween, be sure to brush your tooth.” Another reads, “If, perchance, on Halloween, you are visited by a skinny little old lady with long black scraggly hair, sharp fingernails, a hairy wart on her nose, wearing a black dress and carrying a broom — be kind to her. After all, selling brooms is one heck of a way to earn a living.”
But. if I were going to send Halloween cards. I’d probably choose one of the Peanuts variety. Snoopy, for instance, grumbling over the vandals who painted “Happy Halloween” in bright orange on his dog house.
Or — my favorite — a masked Woodstock demanding “Twick or Tweet!”