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Oct 14 2014

This Sexy Olaf Costume Just Ruined “Frozen”

By at 1:07 pm

Sexy-Olaf

Who would do this to Olaf, the lovable snowman character from “Frozen”?

Halloween costume retailer Yandy.com is raking it in this season thanks to their naughty interpretations of Disney characters including a slutty Queen Elsa and, yes, a pants-less Olaf. Since the controversial Olaf made its rounds on the interwebs, the costume has completely sold out, reports NBC. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 30 2013

Why This Jewish Mom is Excited for Halloween This Year

By at 12:04 pm

instaghoul halloween decoration

Walking down the street here in Brooklyn, we are practically under a Halloween assault. It’s a riot of pumpkins, multicolored cobwebs, skeletons, and scarecrows. My 4-year-old calls out her favorites (pink cobwebs, in case you were curious) and even the baby can point to the pumpkins. There’s a house five blocks away that turned their entire front stoop into a pirate ship with a skeleton crew, and the witty folks on our walk to school have a spooky version of Instagram (they call it Instaghoul, and I giggle inside every morning).

I grew up celebrating Halloween. In fact, I never knew it was something that some Jews didn’t do until I got to college and someone lectured me on how its pagan origins made it something that Jews specifically shouldn’t do. I suppose that’s true—Halloween certainly was once something deeply religious, and not for the Jews. But that’s just not how it feels these days, at least to me. The majority of those celebrating Halloween in America aren’t doing it for religious reasons anymore. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 9 2012

My Kids’ First Brush with Fiddler on the Roof

By at 12:58 pm
Pre-Fiddler on the Roof costumes.

The original costumes, pre-Fiddler on the Roof.

Up until 15 minutes before we left the house to go trick-or-treating this Halloween, my 5-year-old daughter was going dressed as a medieval princess. Her biggest brother not only made her a crown with matching veil, he also whipped up jester costumes for himself and his younger brother so they could accompany her as wandering minstrels. It was all set. Photos were taken and everything.

But then, my daughter changed her mind. She no longer wished to be a princess. Now she wanted to be Tzietel from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Well. That’s quite a thematic change, isn’t it? Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 31 2012

The Only Thing I Miss is Halloween

By at 7:58 pm

halloween candyWhen I became observant I gave up half of my favorite foods and TV and shopping on Saturday. I don’t miss those things one bit.

What I really miss about my old life is Halloween.

Read the rest of this entry →

A Very Hasidic Halloween

By at 3:39 pm

As some people prepare their costumes and get their candy appetite ready today for Halloween, others still will not be celebrating this day of spookiness. Like Matthue Roth, who fills us in on what’s it like to be a hasidic Jew in Brooklyn on Halloween in the comic below. Enjoy!

(Click to enlarge the comic.)

What Do Jews Think About Halloween?

By at 9:27 am

Halloween is kind of a tough one for Jews. Less openly Christian than, say, Christmas or Valentine’s Day, but not as ecumenical as Thanksgiving. There’s scary costumes and candy, and a vaguely pagan-y narrative. So how does it play out for Jews?

Here at Kveller we’ve given you a few different perspectives on this issue.

The Jewish Take on Halloween:
A summary of different Jewish positions on Halloween

Mayim Bialik tells us why Halloween isn’t for her, but how she still makes it fun.

Carla explains why she doesn’t like Halloween, but still does it up with her family anyway.

Oct 31 2011

Halloween Costumes, Too Cute!

By at 2:01 pm

Ok, we know, we know, Halloween isn’t a Jewish holiday. But some of our readers do celebrate this night of sugar and dress up. (This mama is avoiding the holiday for as long as she possibly can.) But I just got sent this photo of our contributor Gabrielle Birkner’s son, Saul, dressed as a piece of sushi.

When asked if she made Saul’s costume (she does live in Brooklyn, the borough of DIY) she explained: “If by that you mean that I made the money to buy it, then yes!” Oh man, I love that girl.

If you’re also celebrating the spook fest, feel free to post photos of your costumed kids to our Facebook page!

Halloween, Brooklyn Style

By at 1:17 pm

Our own Matthue Roth offers his take on Halloween.

(Click to enlarge the comic.)

Oct 28 2011

Hello, We’re Talking About Free Candy

By at 9:14 am

Man, Carla is a Halloween scrooge! Our perspective on Halloween could not be more different. The fact that her post didn’t focus on FREE CANDY absolutely blows me away. Don’t Jews love free stuff?

I remember as a child we watched Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin while my mom “checked” our candy (for poison, so she claimed). In doing so she picked out all of her favorites – she liked those gross honey candies with the bee wrappers and Almond Joy so I gladly gave her the runt of my loot.  My brother’s and I carefully planned our costumes and wore them to the school parade and I remember being sad when I was too old for beggars night and had to stay home and hand out the candy.

Pre-children my husband and I were Halloween crazy. We have four Rubbermaid tubs of spooky (no slutty) costumes and decorations. Every year we decorated our entryway up like a haunted house with scary music and spiders and my husband would answer the door in a scream mask wielding a plastic bloody machete. Every few minutes or so we’d glance past the black curtains hanging over our front porch to see how many ladybugs and princesses were crying in the driveway (usually there were at least six) and I’d go out in my trusty pumpkin costume  and give them all extra candy. The only downfall to our fun was that we were too old to trick-or-treat, although we did take pride in buying WAY too much candy and polishing it off ourselves afterwards. We usually ordered pizza too, which pretty much made us the coolest non-breeders on the block.

The ironic thing about our holiday celebration, other than the fact that we didn’t have children, was that my husband and I are TOTAL WIMPS. We are scared of EVERYTHING. We don’t go to haunted houses, ghost tours, or watch scary movies.  We can’t even watch an episode of CSI because we both have nightmares for a week. Once our children are old enough to request these types of activities they’ll have to find some cooler parents.

Last year was our first Halloween as a family of three and we didn’t decorate a single thing, we were lucky to have left the house in between nap #3 and baby bedtime. I pulled out my pumpkin costume and my husband was a man, and he wore a yellow hat (rendering him “the man in the yellow hat”). Our son was a dragon and hated every minute of it. We live in a Jewish neighborhood, so there isn’t any door-to-door begging and I think our jaws dropped to the floor when we found out. Here we are finally with a genetic tie to free candy – and we were living on a street of dark porches.

It was actually the first time I realized that Jews don’t celebrate Halloween, and I immediately told my husband that Halloween, much like my Britney Spears Christmas Album, we not something I’m giving up. Thankfully, the business district gives candy to kids who parade up and down the street and it’s actually more efficient than walking up to doorsteps.  Last year, our little dragon scored a pumpkin full of candy, mostly chocolate, that my husband and I gladly polished off.

I love Judaism and the meaningful traditions excite me, but I am not about to tell my child that he cannot partake in yet another glitzy fun American candy-fest.  Like Carla, I do not see Halloween, pumpkin patches or hayrides as a threat to my son’s Jewish identity. I see them as fall traditions that our family will look forward to with great anticipation. I love it when our house smells like pumpkin bread, I love seeing my kid dressed up as adorable creatures and I love eating his snack-sized Snickers bars that he isn’t old enough to partake in yet. I’m sure the day will come when he is embarrassed that his parents wear costumes and he counts his candy before heading to bed, but we have many years to enjoy Halloween before that happens.

Even if you are a Jew who doesn’t celebrate Halloween please tell me you go to the store on November 1st to get half-priced chocolate and cheap Purim costumes?

Oct 27 2011

Why We Celebrate Halloween

By at 1:36 pm

halloween candyHalloween is on Monday. I can’t stand Halloween.

I’ve never really enjoyed dressing up, and I find the constant ringing of the doorbell annoying. Besides, most of the candy isn’t even chocolate, so what’s the point? Before our daughters got old enough to notice the proliferation of pumpkins and skeletons and witches in our neighborhood, my husband and I had a long-standing tradition of turning off all the lights and hiding upstairs. We were Halloween curmudgeons, and we loved it.

Our dislike of the holiday hasn’t changed much since we became parents, but we have started acknowledging it. I took the girls to a pumpkin patch, and we’ll be painting our pumpkins tonight. Our younger daughter will be a monkey this year because it was the cheapest costume available at Costco, and our older daughter will be a ladybug, because that was the only costume we could find that met both of our requirements: she was desperate for a tank-top dress (tank-tops are her latest obsession; a decidedly unhelpful one as winter approaches), and I insisted that the ensemble be reasonably modest—a surprisingly challenging task given that we were looking for size 3T. Who dresses their preschooler up like a slutty doctor? (That’s not a rhetorical question, people. I’d like names, please. There needs to be a conversation here.)

We’re going to a small Halloween party at a neighbor’s house. We’ll go trick or treating in our town center, gathering candy from the local merchants and admiring the murals that neighborhood children have painted on their windows. I hope that in a few years my girls will be painting them, too. Read the rest of this entry →

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