Sunday, November 9, 2008
The spirit of Halloween
As a child I adored Halloween. There's something really great about the combination of dressing up and bags of free candy. I extended my trick or treating days well into my teens, (which I could easily get away with being so short ;) and still enjoy dressing up to take my little son around to do his trick or treating. It's hard not to notice that participation in this "holiday" is waning. When I was a child it was an exception that a house would NOT be handing out candy. Now the houses that giving out candy are few and far between. I find this so sad for a number of reasons. Every year there seem to be new candy scares and voices are raised in opposition to "devil worship". People complain of teenagers who are "too old" trick or treating at their house.
This is something I find more than a little hard to comprehend. Halloween is the only "holiday" that encourages us to go out into the community and celebrate with strangers. For one night only we expect strangers to knock on our doors asking for gifts of sweets. The streets are filled with the laughter of children and the happy conversation of parents discussing the cuteness of costumes and the best decorations. It's a fun joyful experience that children give up far to easily and far to early in my opinion. I have no problem what so ever with older teenagers coming to my door (although I do prefer it if they are in costume.) I find the majority of them to be friendly polite and festive. True, it can be a little frightening when a "child" taller than I am arrives at my door wearing a hockey mask or soaked with "blood" but do I think they would try to knock me down and rob my house? Not for one second. Am I too trusting and naive? Or am I just filled with the Halloween spirit? I would hate to see this annual tradition peter out due to lack of interest or fear.