Halloween really bothered me this year. And it shouldn’t. It should be a light-hearted day, full of merriment and silliness. Not that I need an excuse to eat candy, but any holiday that celebrates chocolate is okay in my book.
I guess it’s because of the way Halloween is evolving. Our doorbell was busy Halloween night, and most of our visitors were people I had never seen before. And yes, I did say people. Because while I did distribute candy to the child pirate and witch, I also passed out candy to the high school boys who said they were dressed as “skateboarders” and the high school girls dressed in pajamas. When did Halloween become the day you knock on strangers’ doors accepting, and expecting, sweets?
Then there was the child Darth Vader and his brother, dressed as Superman. Although these two children do live on our block and used to play in our yard, their mother has decided not to acknowledge the presence of my family. She will literally walk by me as I say “hello” in passing, yet there she was with her two sons, watching as they accepted candy from my hands.
364 days of the year, we teach our children not to accept candy from strangers (let alone, ask for it.) Suddenly, one night of the year the rules change. And I’m not sure why.
I appreciate the allure of wearing a costume. The freedom to masquerade and behave uncharacteristically, to try out a different persona, if only for a night. But why must I feed these people too?
I’m fortunate that my son is 3 1/2, and so far, Halloween is just what we expose him to. Pumpkins we decorate with Sharpie markers. A hand-me down costume for him to wear to the local park. Sweet and simple, inexpensive and easy - as it should be.