A Plea for Halloween

The Private EyesInteresting note: from what all my Utah friends have posted, it appears almost assumed that when Halloween is on a Sunday in Utah, everyone goes trick or treating on Saturday. Well that’s now how we roll here in Maine–picking random days and just going from house to house looking for candy. No, we restrict it to the 31st of October, regardless of the day of the week. And after some brief debate*, Denisa and I took the kidlets out to trick or treat, despite the snow earlier in the day and the cold temperatures at night. I’m glad we did.

We’d already been to a Halloween party and gotten tons of candy. But in my personal opinion, Halloween isn’t just a big candy-delivery system. It’s more than that. It’s going out and being social. It’s knocking on people’s doors that you wouldn’t normally knock on. In our ever more “don’t talk to strangers” society, I think it’s nice to have unifying secular holidays like Halloween and Christmas (yes, Christmas IMHO is both a religious and secular holiday, and a lot of the angst people feel each year could be done away with if we’d just recognize this and move on. I totally believe in both aspects of the holiday–Nativity and Santa. They just happen to be celebrated on the same day. Much like the poor souls out there who had the misfortune to be born on December 25th.)

But in the end, Halloween is for the kids. It’s for the expression on DC’s face last night when we were going from house to house, and people were giving her CANDY. For free. She thought it was the best thing ever. (DC is addicted to candy. She craves candy night and day, and will do just about anything for it. Yes, I know that might seem to describe most children, but DC . . . it’s a much more deep-seated passion. TRC likes candy. For DC, it’s her raison d’etre.) TRC went as a Jedi (in an awesome robe hand sewn by Denisa’s mother) and DC was a princess butterfly fairy (it changed depending on what she was thinking of at the time–wand, dress, wings, pink–it could be whatever she wanted it to be). I hope to post pictures later, if I find time and proper cables. TRC really wanted to put on a light saber duel at each doorway, in hopes that good performances would earn us additional sweets. I managed to convince him that random light saber battles in between houses would probably result in fewer casualties.

The fact is, kids love to play dress up, they love to eat candy, and they love to show off. Halloween is the intersection of all of those desires, and it’s no wonder kids love it so much. I always enjoyed going out when I was little, and it’s been a blast every year to get to see my kids have the same amount of fun.

*Is trick or treating a Sabbath-day approved activity? That’ll no doubt vary on the family. My two cents: it’s a family activity, gets you out of the house and out of the same old same old, and you visit neighbors. There are some Halloween activities that likely wouldn’t be very Sabbath-friendly (blood, guts, scary stuff, etc.), but for a six year old and a two year old, there ain’t much to say . . .

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