Simple things become very complicated

Simple things become complicated.

How smug I was this summer to think I was way ahead of the Halloween costume game.

I had patronized a rummage sale at church, one to benefit the American Cancer Society.

And rummage sales at churches never disappoint when it comes to variety and value.

I go to them with an open mind and an open wallet, realizing it is there that I will find things I didn’t even realize I needed, which is why I discourage Better Half from going with me.

Second opinions are fine for a medical diagnosis or a furniture purchase, perhaps, but in the sea of “yard saleing” I don’t need anyone advising me to seek counsel or consult some other authority before a deal is done. Don’t even try to talk me out of all the bargains I’m determined to take home.

I spotted the Santa Claus suit early on. It was hung on a hanger, carefully covered in a dry cleaning bag. There was an accessories sack attached. The green price tag pinned to it warranted a second, yes, a third and even fourth glance.

Five dollars!

Wow! What a steal, I thought, not really needing a Santa Claus suit at that particular moment and feeling a bit holiday rushed at the thought of December when we weren’t even quite at the mid-year mark.

But then I thought, great Earth, yes, Halloween! The church’s trunk-or-treat event! Dress up as Santa! How much easier could it get?

And I have plenty of Christmas this and that and the other to decorate the car.

I bought the $5 Santa suit in pristine condition, well aware the only thing missing was a beard. I would have plenty of time to remedy that. In the words of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind”“I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Well, tomorrow has come, several times around actually, as Halloween approaches, and I realized I still needed a beard.

I tried to think if there was anyone in my circle of family, friends, acquaintances and Christmas enthusiasts who might have a Santa Claus beard I could borrow.


I shopped around, thinking, hey if stores already have Christmas stuff out, surely there’s a Santa Claus beard somewhere on a shelf.


I shopped around some more, thinking, hey if stores have Halloween outfit stuff out, surely there’s a Santa Claus beard on a shelf somewhere.


I mentioned my beard-desperation situation to Better Half.

Ever supportive, he offered several suggestions:

¯ Grow one.

¯ Go clean shaven.

¯ “I’ll make you one.”

The latter offer is one he always extends when I need something I can’t find or he’d rather that I not buy that something immediately, like a Santa Claus suit.

It’s getting close to Halloween, and I’m waiting on that homemade beard.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Happy Halloween.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at