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Happy Halloween? Ugh. I despise Halloween. That’s right. I said it. I’m the Halloween Scrooge.
So many jump to the assumption I hate Halloween because I’m a Christian. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact “Halloween” derives from “Hallows Eve”, the night before the Western Christian-created “All Hallows Day” or “All Saints Day”, a beautiful celebration of loved ones that have passed. In Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a time for fiesta. Niños aren’t frightened when adults in skeleton masks approach them in festive parades.
Nope. The good ol’ USA culture has pretty much ruined this holiday for me.
Let me state the obvious. Being scared is not fun for me. In fact, I go to great lengths in my life to remain calm and safe. Why would I want to terrorize myself on purpose? Clearly I’m in the minority. The ginormous amount of dollars spent on chainsaw hacking, nightmare invading, mask wearing, murdering entertainment would be enough to feed a third world country for decades. Maybe even forever.
If I ever choose to be scared, I’ll watch the evening news.
Ok, take away the ghosts, the ghouls, the goblins. What about the cute trick-or-treaters and the cute dress-up, and the cute asking for candy? Blech, blech, blech.
Being a mom brings on a whole slew of pressure when it comes to costumes. When I was a kid, I threw on my brother’s football jersey and BAM! I was a football player.
I threw on a pair of roller skates and Dolphin shorts and BAM! I was a car-hop. I grabbed an ice cream scoop and a straw hat and BAM! I was a Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor waitress.
Nowadays, I tell ya’, these kids! Costume catalogs arrive in my mailbox by July and they drool over which $100+ character they’d like to become for one day. Order early and they’re sure to change their mind by September. Order in September and all costumes are out of stock. My therapist asked why I dreaded the holiday so much. “Costumes,” I replied.
“Oh, you think you have to come up with the perfect costume?” she asked.
“No. Just costumes. Any costume. And the tears and stress from the children if the costume is not completely accurate to their specifications.”
What the heck ever happened to getting an old freaking sheet and cutting 2 holes in it?
When we lived in Washington, our principal’s policy stated no costumes at school. Oh, man, did that throw the moms in an uproar. “Why can’t my kid dress up?” “My kid spent $100+ and he’s going to wear his costume all day, damn it!” “What about the costume parades?”
You could find me crouched far in the background of the PTA mob. “Ummm, yeah. Uproar. Madness. yeah…,” silently praising Jesus for this wise, educational decision.
I love sweets. I love chocolate. Only while I’m doing my best to live displaying the nature of a servant lifestyle, I’m learning about the horrors of the crappy candy we buy. If we all bought fair-trade,organic sugar, vitamin D3, fish oil, extra protein candy bars, I’d be FINE! But we don’t.
Yes. Those bags of Skittles, Almond Joys, and Milky Ways on the kitchen island prove my hypocrisy.
Don’t even get me started on the whole child/sugar crash thing. That’s a whole ‘nother post for a whole ‘nother time.
Why do we have to tromp around in the mud to find a “perfect” squash of which to dig out slimy guts and set on fire? Mind you, this year I found a leechy, worm thing on the bottom of the orange orb and I had to flick it off. With my bare hands. Just, ewww.
(Full disclosure: I refuse to pumpkin carve. It’s why I got married. I knew someday I would need a partner to do this for my child.)
Pretty negative, huh?
Told you I was a Scrooge.
But, next year! Next year, my friends, will be different! I’ll tell you why.
Just the other day, a friend shared on Facebook the idea of an “All Saints Day” altar. Here, the poster suggested setting up a small, temporary space in the home and filling it with photos and special mementoes reminding us of our loved ones who are no longer with us on earth.
I can already picture it. I’ll set up pictures of my grandparents and put out my grandmother’s hymnal and my grandfather’s collection of Little Orphan Annie comics. The photo of my friend, Teresa, and I will be displayed near a teacup. I might even put out the photo album of my precious Bagheera, the cat I loved for 13 years.
Yes, “All Saints Day” is a celebration I can support.
So, I guess you can go ahead and wish me a Happy Halloween. I may respond in kind with a “Happy Hallows Eve to you, too.”
**Edited note: The author’s mother would like to state that she, in fact, crafted the satin jacket and shorts worn in the car-hop costume referenced above. The author regrets this mistake.