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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Past Halloweens haunt present day

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Graphic by Frederica  Shih 

It used to be a ritual — the evening of Sept. 30 was spent perusing the attic, hunting down the various boxes and bags labeled “Halloween decorations.” Opening up the dress-up trunk full of old costumes brought with it the stench of mothballs and other smelly tidbits that had accumulated within the past year.
Strands of orange pumpkin lights were hung around the door, and globs of fake cobwebs were smeared across the bricks on the porch. My mom pranced around in her black cape and witch hat with Hocus Pocus playing in the background. I was at an age where I could become so immersed in the Halloween spirit that Oct. 31 was practically a recurring day throughout the whole month.
As the years passed, October evenings spent watching Halloween movies on Disney channel were spent doing homework instead. My mom alone took on the task of Halloween-ifying the house, inside and out.
The old dress-up trunk sat in the attic for years untouched, dustier than ever before. The wigs and top hats and gowns begged for a night out. However, growing pains brought not an unwillingness to participate in Halloween, but an inability to do so.
Junior high passed, high school graduation came and went and it seemed as though the months became shorter and shorter. The number of days became smaller and smaller, until I could barely manage to snap my head up in time to notice that All Hallows Eve had rolled around already without telling me.
October, November, December — the months that host my favorite holidays began to blur together and the only things reminding me that time was passing were the smell of autumn in the air and the need to grab a jacket before I walked outside.
There weren’t costume contests in school anymore, nor were there cornucopia coloring assignments or Santa’s gluey cotton ball beard to hang on the fridge to remind me of what was approaching. I was robbed of the anticipation of these holidays, only allowed a meager 24 hours to embrace each one. Unfortunately, the actual day itself — the Halloween party, the turkey feast with family, the morning spent in pajamas opening presents — although significant, was fleeting. To fully feel it in your bones, you need time to pick your head up for a moment and actually look at the date in your agenda instead of what you have scheduled for the rest of the week.
There are smells and memories and images that I keep stowed away in a dusty part of my mind for when I need them. Whether it’s the warm smell of a bottle of sweet cinnamon-pumpkin perfume or how my house looked on a chilly October day, when the wind was blowing and the air was so crisp that the light seemed to filter down gray through the clouds, they remind me of the day, the time.
Whenever I pull out that dusty trunk from the attic, it always seems like the past year didn’t even happen, that I was the same person I was 334 days ago.
And so it’s to this dusty box of Halloween collections stored away in my mind that I turn to on days when I’m so busy that I forget the time. I replay my favorite Halloween movies in my head, close my eyes to remember the autumnal smell from outside, filling the foyer with its sweetness and try very hard to remember the seasons that have passed without resenting the present.
Katie Canales is a journalism sophomore and assistant life and arts editor for The Battalion.

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