I am writing today to express my outrage. Well, OK, maybe it isn't outrage I suppose I should save that for something really important. But it is aggravation and mild irritation at what I consider the watering-down of my favorite holiday. Halloween.
Nope. Apparently all of this is not enough. It is, in my opinion, just a fun holiday. It is a time to dress up, it is a societal ritual. It is about community and neighbors and being spooky and eating candy. Any efforts to make it more than that are, in my opinion, ridiculous. Now, I am all too aware of the origins of the holiday. However, like with most other holidays, it has become about more societal and commercial things anyway, so I just feel we should be celebrating it as such. Or don't celebrate at all. Last I heard you had a choice. For the majority of us there are no sinister overtones, there are no frightening rituals, you aren't challenging or increasing any one's power, or betraying a loyalty by trick or treating. Unless, that is, you believe you are. Unless you give one day out of the year that kind of power. Unless you are of a belief system in which the day is a high holy day. Or a sinister evil day. Otherwise it is just a day. October 31st.
My memories of childhood Halloween are wonderful and scary and fun. They are all mixed up with birthday memories, and hayrides, and fall festivals. I remember going to school in costumes made by my mom and trick or treating with groups of my friends in big neighborhoods and our parents walking along with us to make sure we said "thank you". I remember the one house where the lady met us at the door with a huge crystal bowl of FULL SIZE Hershey bars and I thought "she must be RICH! Score". I remember coming home and my brother and I dumping our candy out and trading out for what we liked, giving mom all the "old people" stuff that we didn't like. (i.e. anything not sour, chocolate, or anything with coconut or nuts in it) I actually remember the time when you got homemade treats in your bag like cookies, popcorn balls, caramel apples and such. I also remember the year we all started having to get our candy x-rayed and only individually wrapped would be acceptable from then on. Someone had laced candy with razor blades and hurt children. I think it was a Thursday. Even as an adult, I still consider it my favorite holiday. I have had some really fun adult Halloweens, and I love being able to dress up and be someone else for a little while.
Oh, and Happy Halloween!
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