Halloween was always my favorite Holiday growing up. I was the kid that wanted every day to be Halloween. I thought, how cool would it be if we could dress up every single day? I didn’t even need the candy…just the permission to run the streets at night with a ton of other kids in my favorite spooky outfit. That might be why certain shows like the Addams Family and Munsters were my favorite. To me, Halloween rocked.
However, it did not come easy. Growing up in the bible belt, there was always someone turning their nose up at Halloween. They claimed it was a Devil’s Holiday.
Hey, I didn’t care. My mother might not have been the best in the world but at least she skipped the jive of her bible beating family and took me Trick or Treating. I may not be able to remember every Christmas, or hardly a birthday, but I can bet you that I can remember every Halloween and every homemade costume I cooked up.
Naturally the night of spook filled fun remained a big deal to me even after I was too old to go trick or treating. I was always volunteering to take other people’s kids, help them get into costume—>still flashing some Gothic- piece- of- fashion- fright of my own. I had forgotten about it being the Devil’s Holiday and I had forgotten about how uptight people were about it, until I watched a little girl’s heart get broken, something that still haunts me.
I rented a cabin in a cluster of other cabins back in the 90’s. Since the cabins were not in any subdivision and most parents worked, I volunteered to get any kid ready and take them to my parents subdivision for some Trick or Treating.
All the other parents were thankful except one. She kept saying that her child would not be going out and celebrating any ‘Devil’s Holiday.’ I explained that in a child’s heart, it was nothing more than fun and fantasy. It was about candy, treats, being something else for just a few hours. Living in the world of imagination…and that being reality…for just one night a year.
Needless to say, the mother wasn’t hearing it. A million reasons spewed from her mouth as to why Halloween should be ripped off the calendars and black listed. Every reason ended in–> God or began in God says…
Then, calmly, I lost it and the truth came out…”But God doesn’t mind you shoving a needle in your arm or spending the rent money in pot? God doesn’t mind you bringing home every Tom, Dick and Perv, despite what example that sets for your daughter or what they do to her? God doesn’t—“
It didn’t matter and what happened after doesn’t either. What mattered was, that night I left and when I left, I watched that little girl looking out her bedroom window crying her eyes out because she couldn’t go with us. And that broke my heart.
I have three children of my own and every year Halloween is a big thing at my house. My oldest is too old to Trick or Treat this year but he will still be dressing up and going with me to take the little ones. Last year some family went with us and complained that we literally walked around all the neighborhoods we went to, going from door to door. “Why can’t we drive damn it?” That’s how they did it. They drove, parked and then made their teenager walk all their kids around.
I told them go ahead…we would be walking because that’s what we do. I want to see my kids go to each door and I want to feel the night air on my skin. I want to swoon at each costume I see…I want to eat up every minute. And when we come home, the kids and me will watch horror movies till they pass out on the couch. Then…I will go outside, and do something private concerning the actual Pagan Holiday…Samhain, now that my kids had an absolute blast.
Still, every year I will see some little kid sitting by the window crying because their parents make too much out of the so-called Devils Holiday. And I think about that little girl that I knew long ago.
So to everyone out there, don’t deny your kids a night of fun because of some religious nonsense. It may mean something more to others but for the kids…its usually just about Trick or Treating, having a great time, and living inside the world of their imagination for just a few hours. Let our kids have that…before they are no longer our kids anymore.
And for all the Adults—go have some Halloween fun no matter what. Go to a Haunted House for Adults, or turn your house into one for the Trick or Treaters. Have a Halloween Party…DRESS UP…who cares how old you are!!!!!